The Pleiades – Francisco J Gordillo

Before anything had a name, back in the days when you had to point at something so the other person knew what you were talking about, thousands of generations looked at the sky, at its stars. In those nights the relationship between humans and stars was more personal since their lives depended on them. When they looked at the sky they not only saw lights, but a genius of stories and patterns; They understood that the movement of celestial bodies predicted changes that would improve or threaten their living conditions. This is The Pleiades, 7 compositions of Instrumental music by Francisco J Gordillo. This is the story.

Those were the times when imagination was the only source where stories came to life, when movies, cell phones or television did not exist. Those were the days when each human connected points in the sky to form their own image, thus capturing new names and personalities of gods, heroes, animals and figures. This is how the story of one of the most appreciated and distinguished star clusters in space is born: The Pleiades.

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    the pleiades

    It is a star cluster formed roughly 100 million years ago, where each star shines almost 40 times brighter than our Sun. The Pleiades were used as a sight test for people around the world, if you could see 6 of them you were considered normal, if you could see more than seven, you were an ideal candidate to become a warrior or explorer.

    celts & druids

    The story of The Pleiades varies according to each culture. The ancient Celts and Druids of the British Isles believed that its meaning was that of ghosts. They believed that the spirits of the dead wandered during one night of the year where The Pleiades reached their highest point at midnight. This is believed to be the origin of the holiday once known as “Samhain,” now known as Halloween.

    hiowa

    On the other hand, the Hiowa people of North America told the story of how 7 sisters went out into the countryside to dance freely under the stars until a group of bears began to chase them to hunt them down. So, they ran and climbed a large rock, but desperate and surrounded, they asked the Rock for help, they asked it to save them. The Rock heard their pleas and grew taller, until it became what is now known as the Devil’s Tower. The women were later immortalized as the stars of The Pleiades.

    greek mythology

    The Greeks also saw the stars as sisters, the 7 daughters of Atlas. This time they were not chased by bears, but by the hunter Orion. The story tells that one day Orion went out for a walk, saw them and began to spy on them; the desire to possess them grew and made him go crazy, so, for 7 years he pursued them, for 7 winters, summers, autumns and springs he followed them relentlessly. Exhausted, the 7 women asked Zeus for help. So, from the top of Olympus, the Greek god heard them and felt compassion. He decided to help so he transformed the 7 sisters into 7 stars of the Pleiades.

    But the hunt did not end there, once Orion died from being stung by a scorpion, Zeus placed him in the sky near the sisters so that he could resume his relentless pursuit. Still, in about 10 to 20 million years something incredible will happen, a Cosmic event that will put an end to this chase; Orion will be very close to reaching the sisters, but before he can gets his hands on them, the biggest stars in the Orion Constellation will go Supernova. Orion’s chase will finally end and the sisters of the Pleiades will be able to travel freely towards the arms of the Milky Way.

    the pleiades | francisco j gordillo

    The Pleiades are a collection of compositions on piano, guitar, violin and cello and are named after the distinguished star cluster called The Pleiades. There are 9 main stars: Alcyone, Maia, Atlas, Pleione, Merope, Electra, Celaeno, Taigeta and Asterope, all hundreds of light years away, but we can still see them on our sky.

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