"collapsing Star"

a matter of measurable light.

Go HERE to hear the song on your favorite music service. 

"The science is way off," says Maine-based songwriter Chris Robley of his new single "Collapsing Star," musing on how pop music is rife with mixed metaphors and factual inaccuracies. "In this song a giant sun steadily dims and shrinks; I think stars actually get big and bright before they finally collapse, but I chose sentiment over science."

Robley, whose previous album saw him "at the top of his game" (KCRW), has been releasing a series of singles over the past year, building towards an upcoming EP called Secret Society Sessions. 

The latest of these singles is a song about the promise of devotion in the face of aging. It’s a Bowie by-way-of Death Cab sprawl, both epic and ultimately tender, the music patiently shrinking under its own slow gravity.

The song was recorded at Secret Society and Mysterious Beard Studios in Portland, Oregon, engineered and mixed by Jeff Stuart Saltzman, mastered by Adam Gonsalves at Telegraph, and performed by: Arthur Parker (synth bass), Daniel Adlaf (keys and synth), John Stewart (drums), and Chris Robley (voice, guitars, glockenspiel).

Cover art designed by Chicken 3000.

More notes and lyrics below.

 
Chris Robley - "Collapsing Star" cover art

Field Notes:

-

The film A Star is Born has been made four times between 1937 and 2018, recycling the same basic material in new formations.

 
As far as I know no one has made a movie called Collapsing Star — though there’s Interstellar, Event Horizon, Sunshine, even Disney’s The Black Hole


If they ever make a film called Collapsing Star, hopefully it will never be re-booted, as the outer layers of a collapsing star are cast into space as part of a supernova explosion, leaving behind a neutron star which might eventually constrict into a black hole where all remakes would exist simultaneously: so Judy Garland and Lady Gaga could do a duet!

-

To the day-fly, a year's the same as an eternity. 


For others, it's "till death do us part."

 

Inside a black hole, the stuff of stars becomes forever. 


As my daughter asks, "at the end of the universe, what's past the universe?"

 

Love in the face of aging — in the face of anything — is a kind of segmented infinity.

-

"One of the fascinations of astronomy is its continual push against the boundaries of the unknown. This can take the form of peering out across billions of light years, studying ghostly images produced by instruments strained to the limits, or it can involve pressing deep into the gravitational whirlpools surrounding stars that have collapsed to form white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. High energy astronomy has led the advance here, because matter drawn into these whirlpools gives off large amounts of high energy radiation.

In collapsed stars, matter has been pushed to the limit. Internal pressures produced by nuclear power production in the centers of stars are no longer important, because the nuclear fuel has been exhausted."

- The Star Splitters

-

"And I am not frightened of dying. Any time will do, I don't mind. Why should I be frightened of dying? There's no reason for it. You've gotta go sometime."

-Gerry O'Driscoll, Abbey Road Studios janitor

(on "The Great Gig in the Sky" from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon)

-

“A star, like an inflatable bubble, is held up by a balance of internal pressure against gravity. In the normal course of its life, this pressure is provided by the energy produced in nuclear reactions deep in the center of the star. When those nuclear reactions stop producing energy, the pressure drops and the star falls in on itself.

How large a heap will a star make when it collapses? The answer depends on the size of the star. A star about the size of the Sun will collapse into a heap about the diameter of Earth, or about one-hundredth the original diameter of the star. Such stars are called white dwarf stars because of their small size and because the heat generated by the collapse has made them white hot.”

- The Star Splitters

-

Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Renato Calabria told eNews that of all the Hollywood actors between the age of 25 and 30, around 40% have had some form of plastic surgery.

For actors over the age of 40, he says it’s “close to 100%.”

-

“Ordinary matter, the kind that we and everything around us is made of, is mostly empty. It is made up of atoms, which are made of electrons, protons, and neutrons. The protons and neutrons contain more than 99.9 percent of the matter, yet they are contained in the nucleus, which has a diameter of only 1/100000 that of the cloud of electrons around the nucleus. The electrons themselves take up little space, but the pattern of their motions, or orbits, defines a size that is the size of the atom. In a white dwarf star, the atoms are crushed to a diameter about 1/100 that of ordinary matter. Still, the matter is mostly empty. The distance between nuclei is 100 times the size of the nuclei themselves. In a neutron star, the atoms are crushed completely. The protons capture the electron clouds and are transformed into neutrons, so that most of the matter in a neutron star is neutrons, as you might have guessed.

The collapse of the core of a star to a neutron star has no analogy on Earth. It is as if a structure the size of the Empire State building were to collapse to a heap of one centimeter high! A sphere of neutron star material the size of this would weigh about 20 million pounds, or about a trillion times more than a lead sphere of the same size.”

- The Star Splitters

 The film A Star is Born was released in 1938. It’s been remade three times since then.

“You’re like a starlet of the silver screen who’s burdened by her beauty and by everything it’s gonna mean for us when it goes away.”

- from the song Collapsing Star

 “Neutron stars represent the last stand of matter against gravity. The nuclear forces have been pressed to their limit. Stellar cores having a mass less than about three times that of the Sun can be stabilized this way. What about larger stars? Will the extra mass be thrown off in a supernova explosion, or will an unstable core be formed?
A combination of theoretical research and observation of Cygnus X-1, an X-ray star in the constellation of Cygnus, has led most scientists to conclude that the core becomes unstable.

The properties of such a core are very strange. Since nuclear forces cannot prevent gravitational collapse, the core collapses indefinitely, forming a warp in space. Nothing, not even light, can escape from this gravitational maelstrom, so the name black hole is used to describe these bizarre objects.”

- The Star Splitters

-

It’s all a matter of measurable light.

 

“White dwarfs have been known to astronomers for some time. The white dwarf companion to Sirius was first observed in 1862 and explained in 1933. Neutron stars and black holes, however, are a product of modern astrophysics. Neutron stars were not discovered until 1968, and the first compelling evidence for a black hole was not obtained until 1971.”

- The Star Splitters

It’s all a matter of measurable light.

The film A Star is Born has been made four times between 1938 and 2018.

Love = Segmented Infinity.

“Now that our collapsing star gives off a little less light, now that our collapsing star shines a little less bright, I can feel you in the dark; you’re all right. You’re all right. You’re all right.”

- from the song Collapsing Star

The science is way off. I chose sentiment over science.

 

"Collapsing Star" lyrics

 

With your hollow alcoholic eyes
and your sad sense of spent allure, 
and how the better half of you will hide
behind all the small things you never were

you're like a starlet of the silver screen
who's burdened by her beauty
and by everything it's gonna mean for us
when it goes away

Now that our collapsing star
shines a little less bright
Now that our collapsing star
gives off a little less light
I can feel you in the dark tonight
You're all right, You're all right

Now you holler at the falling skies
but you still bring this child to life
We've gotten older and we're none more wise
but you still bring this child to life

You know I promised you I'd care about
making sure that we can do the things
you were never allowed to do
in your younger days

Now that our collapsing star
shines a little less bright
Now that our collapsing star
gives off a little less light
I can feel you in the dark tonight
You're all right, You're all right

Now that our collapsing star
shines a little less bright
Now that our collapsing star
gives off a little less light
I can feel you in the dark tonight
You're all right, You're all right
You're all right, You're all right
You're all right, You're all right
You're all right, You're all right
You're all right, You're all right