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Major: Biochemistry, Mechanical Engineering
Genre/Medium: string quartet
About the work: This piece for string quartet and glockenspiel tells the story of ancient (16) Psyche’s last moments before a hypothesized collision, which tore away its rocky outer layers and revealed the metallic core within. It is composed for string quartet-2 violins, viola, and cello-with an accompanying glockenspiel. The recording is built from synthesized instruments, which unfortunately do not fully express the instruments they represent. This is especially apparent in the second half of the recording with the choppy strings bouncing back and forth rather than flowing. It would sound much nicer with a recording of actual instruments, but finding a string quartet to perform your piece is more than difficult.
The work opens with a long, low cello note, representing the darkness of space. Quick notes from the glockenspiel ring out above, not unlike the twinkling of stars. After a brief pause follows a melancholy soundscape and low melody as a theme for our asteroid 16-Psyche. Following this is a rising movement, building stress as it gets louder and faster. This represents the approach of another astronomical body hypothesized to have collided with an ancient (16) Psyche, leaving behind the metallic core we hope to study.