Encounter with Infinity - The Orion Syndrome

If you are into amateur astronomy and like progressive rock and pop, this is the CD for you!
There are LOTS of observing sound effects, recorded over many actual observing sessions out in Lake County, Florida in the 1993 timeframe.
This is primarily a guitar album, but there are lots of great lyrics and a few sax solos.
This is a one man album; David Hearn did all performances, vocals, sequencing, mixing, and production himself.
Some songs and individual takes were done in the 1995 timeframe, and completed in 2000. There are at least two songs that were done entirely in 2000.

Weather Report

Song Story & Credits

Here on the first track of Encounter with Infinity, we find out that the weather's looking good for tonight, so we can pack up the scopes and gear and head out to the observing site! It's meant to convey the anticipation & excitement of knowing we're going observing tonight.

Music, Lyrics, and Sequencing: David Hearn
Copyright 2000 David Hearn

Lyrics

Well, I 'm feelin' pretty happy, yeah
I'm feelin' pretty fine
'cause the weather's lookin good tonight
and the stars are gonna shine
I'm gonna head out to the countryside
to escape the city light
I'm gonna load up my big telescope
start my mind on its astral flight
Yeah, I'm gonna escape the City Lights
Start my Mind on its Astral Flight
I'm gonna escape the City Lights

The Telescopic Machine, Part 1

Song Story & Credits

This is a transitional song on the album. Here we're loading up all the telescope equipment for the ride out to the observing site.
There are sound effects of all the loading going on,
then a cool delayed guitar roams around in the background under B3 organ rhythms and a Floydian guitar lead.

Music, Lyrics, and Sequencing: David Hearn
Copyright 2000 David Hearn

Lyrics

SFX Transcript:
Time to load up the monster again!
(Feet Shuffling)
Now - get the tool box...
the eyepieces...
and star maps...
and the all important ladder...
Ok, we're loaded!

Pilgrimage to the Dark Zone

Song Story & Credits

This song portrays the riproaring drive out to the observing site.
Usually the drive starts out hurried, and I generally settle down about half way there (unless I'm late). Gotta get there before sunset!

Music, Lyrics, and Sequencing: David Hearn
Copyright 2000 David Hearn

Lyrics


I'm just a Pilgrim
and I'm bound for the holy land
of the Dark Zone
I gotta find my way there
before the evening twilight fades
I'm gonna leave the City
gotta run, before the Sun Slips Away
Well that Fat Old Sun
he's slidin' downward toward the Horizon
He's gettin' larger every minute
turning orange in the thin western haze
And this spectacular evening
is one of his better displays
I'm just a Pilgrim
and I've arrived in the holy land
of the Dark Zone
You know I found my way there
before the evening twilight fades
And now we're out in the Country
and we're waitin' for the Sun to Slip Away

The Telescopic Machine, Part 2

Song Story & Credits

Here in another transitional song on Encounter with Infinity, we're assembling the telescope equipment.
Back in the days when the SFX accompanying this song were recorded, I had a very large scope that took significant effort to assemble,
and you can hear that effort! The song starts out with the sound effects of all the assembly going on, then a cool delayed guitar roams around in the background under B3 organ rhythms and a guitar lead that would have made Dave Gilmour proud.

Music, Lyrics, and Sequencing: David Hearn
Copyright 2000 David Hearn

Lyrics


SFX Transcript
***
Dave:
Just a Second...
Put it up on it's end...
Ok, You want to put in on?
Jeff: Yeah.
***
Dave: Do you have your side in?
Jeff: Yep.
Dave: Then I need you over here! He He...
***
Jeff:
Do you got a nut with you cause this is pullin' out! Remember the last time it pulled out?
Dave: Yeah, but this side's not in!
***
Dave:
If you could just hold onto the mount so it doesn't spin... It wants to go that way...
***
Dave:
There. Ok. Whew! It was a little more difficult that time! Aaargh!
***
Dave: The problems of a big telescope!
Jeff: Yep!


Watchin' the Stars Tonight

Song Story & Credits

This song describes the friendships and good feelings that develop by observing the stars with friends.
We're usually way out in the country, with crickets and nightbirds jamming.
The late evening tends to set up the observing session as an impending event, and everyone is excited.
There's some nice leads and many layers of vocals.

Music, Lyrics, and Sequencing: David Hearn
Copyright 2000 David Hearn

Lyrics


As the Sun slips down
and the night draws near
with the stars appearing, one by one
The western sky wears a rosy glow
Now the Night begins, Now the Day is done
We share the skies of this country night
we've escaped the city's glow
We'll be mystified by celestial sights
and encounter worlds unknown
***
(Chorus)
And as the orange in the sunset
turns to the purple of the night
In this open field
We'll be sharing the skies tonight
Catch a falling star
Hear the crickets chime
Watch a passing satellite
As the evening fades
We'll be Watchin' the Stars Tonight
***
The anticipation grows tonight
with our friends appearing, one by one
as the telescopes view the early stars
it's a tranquilizing sight
We can sight Polaris in the dusky glow
of the disappearing sun
or the portrait of the crescent moon
as the remaining clouds become undone
***
(Chorus)

The Sun Slips Away

Song Story & Credits

This one describes the emotion packed event of a sunset under a clear blue sky, out in the country, before the observing begins.
Vocal harmonies, double guitar leads, a great hook line, and hopeful, upbeat lyrics make this one a truly great pop song.

Music, Lyrics, and Sequencing: David Hearn
Copyright 2000 David Hearn

Lyrics

We watch the setting sun
fading in the west
the skies above becoming very clear
as colors fade to black
the sun moves in his track
and dawn begins to break
west of here
***
(Chorus Intro)
As we wait to view the emerging stars
the fading evening gives us pause
the sunset of another day
can move us in a special way
***
(Chorus)
As the Sun Slips Away
we bid farewell to the day
we'll begin our astral flight
and peer through the roof of the night
As the Sun Slips Away
the stars will find their way
they'll march across the sky
their light will fill our eyes
***
Our local star glows in the west
his daily warmth we know the best
he wakes us every morning with his glow
but lightyears distant, away so far
our sun is just another star
lost within the great celestial show
***
(Chorus Intro)
(Chorus)
***
(Bridge)
How I wish that you were here
to watch the Sun Set
How I wish that this experience were shared
We could greet the coming nightfall
as one; together
We could walk the Milky Way
hand in hand
***
(Guitar Lead)
(Chorus)
(Guitar Ride-Out)

The Celestial Show Begins / Meteor Storm

Song Story & Credits

This one was inspired by ELP's "KarnEvil 9". It will fool you at first, as it starts off very delicate,
then a full orchestra comes in, then the emotional guitar lead. I always wanted to play a guitar lead over an orchestra!
This is a transitional piece on "Encounter with Infinity". Meteor Storm documents an actual event that occurred during the Perseid meteor storm of 1994.
We had several hundred people out at the astronomy club's dark sky observing site, complete with TV and radio coverage.
The SFX of the TV news broadcast really sets the song up well.

Music, Lyrics, and Sequencing: David Hearn
Copyright 2000 David Hearn

Lyrics


Celestial Show Lyrics:
***
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The Celestial Show Begins!
***
SFX:
(changing channels, TV News Broadcast)
***
Meteor Storm Lyrics:
***
As we gazed into the Milky Glow
of our Spiral Galaxy
Cosmic Messengers were approaching fast
from the depths of the Cosmic Sea
A million children ride the passing Comet's Tail
still far off in the cold Depths of Space
They would arrive this nigh
with an Awesome Light
and conclude their desperate chase
***
(Departure Chorus)
And they Screamed into the Atmosphere
trailing Flaming Tails of Fire
Out of the Northern Sky, the Wonders Mystified
then the intensity grew higher
A hundred thousand strong
you know they rush headlong
Like wild moths to a candle's flame
Like fireflies transformed into this Meteor Storm
one of Astronomical Fame
***
(Guitar Solo)
***
And the display went on all through the night
like an interstellar fantasy
the camera shutters flew
you know that we all knew
a show like this again we'd never see
Around the world that night the skies became alight
but millions did not even chance to see
the comet's children fly
in flashes cross the sky
cosmic travelers, wild and free
***
(SFX)
There's a good one - whoa, whoa, WHOA!
Best one of the night! (Clapping & cheers)
It's gonna be a good night - good night!
Right There! That was just two in about Five Seconds! There's a good one.
YO! That one was GOOD! They're all coming out of exactly the same spot!
There's another one, Dave. There we go - One Two! Peakin'! Peakin'! WHOA!
***
(Departure Chorus)
***
And in the afterglow of this astounding show
the children's fate was very clear
they must forsake their lives
when they cut like knives
through Our Planet's Atmosphere
***
(Guitar Solo)

Astrophoto

Song Story & Credits

This song simulates the photons accumulating on the film over a long time exposure of a faint nebula.
The song starts out with the astrophotographer speaking to the computer and it answering him.
You hear the camera shutter open and immediately the film starts collecting the faint light from the nebula.
As with the image on the film, the music volume and complexity starts to grow.
By the end of the song the image (and the music) is complex and full.
Just as we think the image will start to overexpose (and our ears overload) the shutter closes!
These images sometimes take an hour to create and they can be somewhat exhausting - listen for the computer's comments at the end!

Music, Lyrics, and Sequencing: David Hearn
Copyright 2000 David Hearn

Lyrics

SFX:
***
Dave: Computer, Select the first Astrophoto Target
***
Computer: Target Selected. Omega Nebula is a cluster with nebulosity of magnitude six point zero.
***
Dave: Begin Exposure. (camera shutter)
***
Computer: Exposure has started at 23 hours 2 minutes and 51 seconds...
***
Computer : Fifty-Nine minutes left!
***
Computer: Forty Five Minutes left!
***
Computer: Fifteen Minutes Left!
***
Computer: One Minute Left!
***
Computer: Attention: Exposure has completed!
(camera shutter)
***
Dave: Man that was long! I'm exhausted!
***
Computer: So am I.
***
Dave: What??!!

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