Observer in the Megellanic Cloud
for 12-part chorus a cappella
Approximate Duration 7'
Eons from now, a lost satellite floats in the Magallanic Cloud (Nubeculae Magallani), a group of dwarf galaxies. The satellite picks up a glimpse of ancient light from Earth. The light is old because it has been traveling for so long, and it reveals a look into Earth’s distant past. Focusing its telescope, this robotic observer witnesses the Maori (the indigenous people of New Zealand) chanting to the Magallanic Cloud, which appears as a cluster of stars when seen from Earth’s surface. They invoke the power of the stars to bring bountiful food:
|Tuputuputu||Magellanic Cloud, sacred one,|
|atua Ka eke mai i te rangi e roa e||Mounting the heavens,|
|Whangainga iho ki te mata o'te tau e roa e.||Cause all the new year's growth to flourish.|
Distant future meets distant past in this brief moment. Then the telescope retracts, the satellite floats on, and the Maori leave their vegetable shoots in thanks.