Composed in 1992, Atlantis Variations for Solo Piano is one of several works written to develop material for inclusion in a proposed cycle of 4 operas on the topic of antediluvian civilisations. In Part 3, featured here, I seek musical means to portray the cataclysm which is thought to have terminated the Quaternary Age and is referred to in the mythologies of many cultures as the Flood. Many scenarios have been advanced to explain this global event. I have elected to follow that suggested by physicist, engineer, inventor and rocket scientist Otto Heinrich Muck in his work "The Secret Of Atlantis" (1978).

CELESTIAL BODIES - THE GOLDEN AGE:- Musical themes are heard denoting Sun, Venus, Moon and Earth, followed by The Golden Age, denoting Atlantean civilisation at its height. These themes (and motifs for Poseidon, his consort, Cleito, and Atlas) are employed as building blocks in constructing the following narrative:-

CONJUNCTION - APPROACH OF THE INTRUDER:- On June 5, 8498 B.C. a triple conjunction occurs of Venus, Moon & Earth which causes an Asteroid of the Adonis Group to be diverted from its orbit shortly after reaching its perihelion (closest point to the Sun). In two minutes actual time, it is drawn into the Earth's atmosphere, shatters and scourges the Earth with its debris.

IMPACT - DELUGE:- The Asteroid splits into two monstrous boulders, kilometres wide, which plunge into the ocean in the (now) Gulf of Mexico and penetrate the earth's crust leaving a (still existing) scar of two abyssal holes in the ocean floor. Huge tidal waves deluge surrounding landmasses.

THE END OF AN AGE:- Red-hot magma pours from severed rifts in the Atlantic Ocean. The earth tilts on its axis. The poles move. The seas rise. There is worldwide volcanic activity. The planet experiences climatic change. We are survivors of survivors.

"Atlantis" Program Notes Copyright © 2002 Derek Strahan

"Atlantis Variations Pt. 2 may be heard on "An Australian Festival", JADCD 1094, and other "Atlantis" works on Jade CDs "Voodoo Fire" (JADCD 1063) and "Eden In Atlantis" (JADCD 1074) .

Derek Strahan

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