Portland, OR. All Classical Portland has commissioned Irish composer Desmond Earley to write an original musical work specifically to accompany the 2017 total solar eclipse. The piece will receive its world premiere at the moment of totality in Oregon (10:15 am PT, Monday, August 21) as part of a specially curated soundtrack crafted to pair with the entire viewing experience. “Designed to bring eclipse viewers together in a spirit of rapturous wonder, this beautiful tapestry of sound has been carefully programmed to uniquely enhance and reflect the epic nature of this phenomenon,” station managers explain. You can listen online at www.allclassical.org. or at KQAC 89.9 in the Portland/Vancouver area.

Described by the Irish Times as “enterprising and wide-ranging,” Desmond Earley has established a reputation as one of Ireland’s foremost choral directors and early keyboard specialists. A College Lecturer in Performance Studies at University College Dublin School of Music and Artistic Director of the UCD ‘Ad Astra’ Academy, Earley is the founding Artistic Director of the Choral Scholars of University College Dublin. He received worldwide acclaim for the CD Invisible Stars: Choral Works of Ireland and  Scotland (Signum Records, 2016) which he directed, and which also features his music.

Aptly titled, The Body of the Moon, Earley’s new composition incorporates letters of Galileo, reflects the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and speaks to the universality of this magnificent occurrence. Scored for choir, cello, and bass drum, performers include Portland’s outstanding choir the Resonance Ensemble, Oregon Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Nancy Ives, Chris Whyte of the Portland Percussion Group, and improvisational pop vocalist Erick Valle.

Earley comments: “The landscape of Oregon is so inspirational in and of itself, and I knew I wanted to capture the spirit of the region in the piece. Also, this amazing astronomical event calls for a piece of music that will match the once-in-a-lifetime experience that it’s going to be. My decision to feature a vocal pop artist stems from a desire to connect with the individual experience of witnessing the totality of the eclipse. The choir comments on the experience while the cello represents the soul of humanity. The bass drum adds palpable depth and resonance, pointing to the vastness and mystery of outer space.”

The Body of the Moon will air at 10:15 am PT on Monday, August 21 with special, eclipse-themed  programming from 8am through noon. Tune in around Oregon by way of All Classical Portland’s seven FM repeater stations. Download the free All Classical Portland app or visit allclassical.org to listen on mobile devices. (Please note that cellular data service may be compromised due to the massive influx of visitors, so terrestrial radio may well be the most reliable option of the two.)

All Classical Portland is Portland, Oregon’s classical radio station. Established in 1983, our mission is to advance knowledge of and appreciation for classical music; to build and sustain culturally vibrant local and global communities around this art form; to reflect the spirit of the Pacific Northwest; and to foster integrity, quality, and innovation in all that we do. For more information, or to listen online visit www.allclassical.org.

Here’s a list of the area transponders:

  • KQAC 89.9
  • KQOC 88.1
    Newport/Lincoln City
  • KQHR 88.1
    Hood River/The Dalles
  • KQHR 96.3
    Columbia Gorge East
  • KQMI 88.9
  • KSLC HD-2
    90.3 McMinnville
  • 95.7 FM