View From Amalthea – The Cover Art

As I mentioned, I’m working on a new album of music. I’ve long wanted to do something in the ambient, “space music” genre while adding my own stylization to the songs. The title came to me perhaps a year ago when I was reading some essays by Isaac Asimov. He had a particularly good one called “The View from Amalthea” in which he talks about the best skies in the solar system. Where, in our solar system, would you see magnificent views anytime you bothered to look up?

His answer? Amalthea.

Amalthea is a small satellite of Jupiter, and orbits very close to the planet. It’s actually a captured asteroid and irregularly shaped. Because it’s tidally locked to Jupiter, the same side faces Jupiter at all times. Jupiter would look huge in its sky, looming over the little moon with the Great Red Spot almost looking down upon it as it passed over  every 12 hours or so. Thing is, Jupiter wouldn’t be the only thing in Amalthea’s sky — you’d have the Galilean satellites too. They’d be quite noticeable as they’re close enough to be visible discs in the sky. As our moon is a disc overhead, so too would be Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto above Amalthea.

Click to enjovianize.
Click to enjovianize.

It was that image that inspired me to finally try ambient music, and it was that image that inspired me to create this cover. I’ve blended the classic NASA view of Jupiter from the Voyager missions with a personal photograph of Phoenix. I’m not sure I got the size right from a scientific sense, but I like how it looks from the artistic perspective.

View From Amalthea will be out sometime around mid-December and available on Bandcamp. As I finish songs, I’ve been uploading them to my Soundcloud. The album will be pay what you want, and you can just download everything for free if you don’t care to pay anything. While I’d love to sell a few of these I harbour no illusions that my music will ever make me rich!

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