Solar Winds

Elizabeth Anderson

  • Year of composition: 2012
  • Duration: 9:37
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Musiques & Recherches
  • ISWC: T7030018272


ISRC CAD501410013

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The idea to present Solar Winds near the end of 2012 sprang from a desire to honor the astronomers of the ancient Mayan culture and their worship of the Sun at a time that marks the completion of one Mesoamerican Long Count calendar and the beginning of another. After an initial examination of several astronomical events, my interest centered on the relationship that solar winds, streams of charged particles emanating from the Sun, might have with the Earth’s magnetosphere. According to James Dungey’s (1923) open magnetosphere model, interplanetary field lines, which emanate from the Sun and are carried by solar winds, connect indeed with Earth’s magnetic field lines when they strike the Earth’s magnetosphere.

I found this model to offer an intriguing starting point for the sonorization of these non-sounding events via the acousmatic medium. Solar Winds incorporates acoustic translations of electromagnetic phenomena that are produced by the Earth as well as other astronomical phenomena, and constitutes an imaginary celestial aural journey from the perspective of the listener who is Earth.


Solar Winds was realized in 2012 at the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio of Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium) and premiered on October 27, 2012 during the 8th festival Visiones Sonoras organized by the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS) in the Auditorio de la Unidad Académica Cultural of the UNAM Campus Morelia (Mexico). The piece was commissioned by Musiques & Recherches. Solar Winds was composed with support from the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (Direction générale de la culture, Service de la musique). Thanks to David Baltuch, Alexis Boilley, Rodrigo Sigal, and Annette Vande Gorne.

The diptych Solar Winds… and Beyond was awarded First Prize in the Musica Nova 2015 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Prague, Czech Republic).


  • October 27, 2012, Visiones Sonoras 8: Concierto 4, Auditorio de Vinculación Cultural — UNAM Campus Morelia, Morelia (Mexico)