Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The "Mondenkind" that "they left behind": Michael Collins in music by Michael Wollny and Pink Pedrazzi

One of the two long pieces Michael Wollny played at his solo-piano concert in Basel last week was "Mondenkind", which he had written with Michael Collins in mind: the astronaut who stayed in lunar orbit while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. Wollny was particularly struck by how Collins lost "visual and radio contact with the earth for 46:38 minutes of each orbit." Then, on Saturday, in an "insignificant but touching" coincidence, I heard Pink Pedrazzi play a song he wrote while thinking about how Collins got so close to the moon but didn't land, "Almost the Moon", with its haunting refrain: "I'm the man they left behind." (Andrew Shields, #111words, 14 September 2021)


Pink Pedrazzi, Théâtre de la Fabrik, Hégenheim, 11 September 2021


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