ABSTRACT: The Phoenix lander is lonely. (It’s also dying as I write this, but then again, so are we all.) It’s very far from home in a very empty place with not a lot to look at except that which one can see under a microscope. And yet it looks around. And then there’s snow. I’m well aware that Mars isn’t really as red as all that, but “red, red sand” has a nice resonance with The Waste Land, and makes the image somehow complete. White snow. Red sand. Endless plains. It occurs to me, too, that snowfall on Mars must look different than it does on Earth – Mars exerts slightly less gravitational force, and the atmosphere is much more diffuse, so I imagine snow falls slowly, in smaller circles than what we’re used to.
I recorded this song with a guitar and a ukulele. There’s some pitch-shifting upward, into the fragile, icy registers. I added some sine waves from a tone generator and made a loop from a sonar sound effect – both had a kind of NASA transmission feel to me. And I whispered. I tried to make this sound like Things In Herds, but it came out more like Philip Glass. I’m not complaining. It does what I wanted it to do.
Guitar: Capo on the fifth fret. Or use a ukulele.