On Christmas Eve in 1968, astronaut Bill Anders took what would become one of the most iconic photographs ever: Earthrise, taken from the surface of the moon during the Apollo 8 landing.
“For as long as there have been people, we earthlings have watched, extolled and wondered over countless moonrises,” said composer Jake Heggie. “But here, for the first time, we could wonder collectively at the appearance of our own fragile, tiny blue planet rising over the cold surface of the moon, surrounded by an unfathomable, infinite darkness.”
Anders now lives on Orcas Island, where he was honored at this year’s Orcas Island Music Festival with a new piece composed by Heggie and featuring one of his favorite instruments: the ethereal musical saw.
Inspired by Anders’ iconic photo, Heggie composed EARTHRISE: Dec 24, 1968 for musical saw and string quartet. The piece was premiered at this summer’s festival by saw player Anita Orne with the Miró String Quartet. We are thrilled to share a live video of that star performance: