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Darkness Rises

The limits of a boundary-stretching mankind are translated into music: a 50-minute lasting radio-broadcast, including a sonifcation of material which is moving about on more than kilometers from Earth.

Pioneer 10's journey

On January 22nd 2003 NASA established final contact with 'Pioneer 10’, a space probe launched in 1972. In a macrocosm that exceeds our imagination of distance and time, a transmission sent over 12 billion kilometers not only mark the last we have seen of Pioneer 10, but somehow it is also the last it has seen of us. Set to travel through the vast emptiness for the next 2 million years -craned with the finest of 70s technology- Pioneer 10 is one of the most distant remains of human presence and might be the first to reach new stellar objects.

Darkness Rises

It is this slow farewell that inspired Aart to write Darkness Rises; a translation of technology and space itself into music. A 30 year-long radio transmission of Pioneer 10's journey towards the unknown, comprehended into a 50-minute experience, including a sonification of the last dataset from Pioneer 10 ever to be received and a video tailor made by Dries Alkemade, fitting the piece as a glove.

Quartet and orchestral version

The original composition for quartet was commissioned by Intro in Situ and the Sonic Skills department of University Maastricht. The orchestral version is a commission by Philharmonie Zuid Nederland.

The album

Darkness Rises has been recorded at the small hall of Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, beautifully captured by Alex Geurink, wonderfully mastered by Wessel Oltheten, a fantastic picture provided by Marie-José Jongerius and artwork designed by Dries Alkemade.


A physical copy of the cd can be ordererd for €15,- ex. shipping costs by email:


“Darkness Rises is a gripping process that kept the audience captivated completely”

“the complete work consisting of ten parts, manages to captivate the listener from start to end and this applies to both the live performance and the cd ... compulsory, immersive music...”

“It produced lines bouncing back and forth that reminded of minimal music, but also strongly resembled electronic signals by which earth and probe communicated with each other.”

“I started identifying with the probe, as if moving further and further away from everything.”