Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Pale Blue Dot Through Music

Jonathan Sierk (H1)

I’ve always had in interest in Carl Sagan’s pale blue dot by just hearing the name thrown around. What actually helped me learn more about it though was a marching band show that I was a part of, Titled simply “The Pale Blue Dot”. It really set up the scene for what Carl Sagan was try to convey.  It starts out with all the members of the band around the perimeter of the field creating “space” for the guard member holding a blue ball in the center of the field.  As she dances with the ball Sagan narrates talking about everyone we know and have ever met is on that pale blue dot. There’s a big intro hit and it slows down into part two, which immediately picks up when Sagan starts to talk about all the bloodshed and conflict that’s happened on this pale blue dot. Hard brass hits and an eerie tone can be heard through out this part that really accentuates the fervent hatred Sagan talks about. Part 2 ends with everyone coming together around the giant inflatable earth that was the main prop of this show, and leads directly after in part 3 (a much calmer part).  It starts with a beautiful flute solo as people start to disperse from the group and take their place on the field casually meeting and greeting people as they find their spot. He narrates this migration talking about how we have some delusion of self importance on this cosmic stage and we need to humble our selves. Finally the show ends with a beautiful ballad and final pose with every member of the band connected holding hands. A flute closes the show out as the earth rolls off the field back to a pale blue dot and Sagan tells us we need preserve and cherish our pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known. This whole show just really helped understand what Sagan was trying to put across with is “Pale Blue dot”.


  1. I'll try and find the video of the show and link it here. It'll really bring to life what I tried to describe

  2. Thanks for the visual description, it really helped put into perspective the concept behind the pale blue dot. Seeing as I also have a background in marching band I can truly see and "hear" what's being described.