The Alouette I was the first Canadian satellite and was launched on
September 26th, 1962. The launch made Canada the third nation,
after the USSR and the United States, to design and construct its
own satellite and cemented Canada’s reputation as a space-faring
nation. Alouette`s mission lasted for 10 years before she was
deliberately switched off on September 30th, 1972. She remains
in orbit – as a derelict – to this day.
In this piece, Alouette`s circuits inexplicably come alive after
remaining dormant for over 30 years. As she becomes aware once
again of her orbit and proximity to earth she hears an inexplicable
voice from deep space. The voice calls to her soothingly until its
intentions are revealed to be malicious once it threatens to literally
pluck her from the sky (ie. “Je te plumerai”).
Alouette panics and sends out desperate pleas for help but she
can`t fight the forces pulling her to her doom. She careens to the
ground below, exploding in a fiery heap. The piece closes with the
last gasp of life from her circuits before they are silenced forever.
Duration approximately 5’30.
For SATB choir.
Text excerpted from traditional text and Environment Canada’s weather alert system
Alouette, gentille Alouette,
Alouette, je te plumerai,Alouette, gentille Alouette,Alouette, je te plumerai,