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:
|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.