July 22

PBS television sucked. That’s the opinion I had in high school anyway. It was great for Sesame Street when I was  a kid, but, as an “adult”, it was all boring news and Masterpiece Theater.

Then came Cosmos:

This 13 part series interested, captivated, informed and challenged me like nothing else I had ever experienced. It was breathtaking in its scope and presentation and I made damn sure I was in front of that TV before every episode in that 1980 VCR-less world.

So, there was no way I was going to pass this up when found at a thrift store:

The Music Of Cosmos – Various Artists.

This record was broken up into six sections three on side A and three on side B.

  • Part one, entitled Space/Time continuum, represents the latest big bang, and includes pieces by Vangelis and Shostakovich.
  • Part two Life, has some beautiful pieces by Pachelbel, Bach and Vivaldi… plus an interesting piece of Japanese traditional music called Depicting the Cranes in Their Nest.
  • Part three, The Harmony of Nature is all Bach’s Partita No. 3.
  • Side B begins with Exploration, with pieces by Hovhaness and Rimsky-Korsakov, with some “modern” tunes from a band called Synergy and another by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu.
  • Part five, Cataclysm, deals with the chief peril of the day, nuclear annihilation, with more Vangelis.
  • Part six, Affirmation, has us imagining “a Cosmos, resplendent with beauty and, perhaps, rippling with life” as the music once again returns to a reprise of part one.

This 40-ish minutes of music, great liner notes, photos and Carl Sagan quotes was an afternoon well spent.

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