The official NASA image (AS8-14-2383) known as Earthrise taken from Apollo 8

The ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, leader Kristina Šuklar, and conductor Neil Thomson, recorded Nigel’s orchestral transcription of `Earthrise‘ on 31 August this year for the Naxos CD label..

EARTHRISE [2010 arr. 2021]

– After a photograph taken from Apollo 8 in 1968

Earthrise is a musical celebration of one of the most iconic photographs in history.  The NASA image AS8-14-2383 was taken by William Anders and the Apollo 8 crew on 24 December 1968 during the first manned mission to orbit the Moon.

Nigel with Neil Thomson at the recording of Earthrise


I have emulated the speed and power of Apollo 8’s Saturn V rocket, using the Earth’s gravitational force to catapult it towards the Moon. Preceding the central section of Earthrise is a large-scale, multi-layered cadenza featuring most instruments in the band in free time floating bars, portraying the weightlessness experienced by the astronauts on their odyssey. The final section of the work depicts Apollo 8 hurtling back to Earth at an incredible 25,000 miles per hour on its quarter of a million-mile journey, hitting Earth’s narrow atmospheric corridor and finally splashing down in the Pacific.

For more information about Nigel’s works that were recorded by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra – go to previous post.

Here is a short extract from Nigel Clarke’s new orchestral transcription of `Earthrise’ published by Studio Music Company