Eavesdroping on the Music of the Spheres!

Posted on Apr 11 2011
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Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream will use real sounds recorded from the Sun and other stars in two musical compositions dedicated to Russian space legends Yuri Gagarin and Alexey Leonov. Musician and astronomer Dr Brian May welcomed the idea and has joined the collaboration. The pieces will be debuted at the Tangerine Dream concert Sonic Universe in Tenerife on 24 June, 2011.

On 12 April, 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin mapped out a new destiny for our species when he became the first man to travel in space and orbit the Earth on board Vostok 1. Gagarin’s status as the first man in space resulted in his being forbidden ever to fly in space again for fear of losing him in an accident. Sadly, he was to die in a terrestrial flying accident in 1968, but he is remembered with affection by his cosmonaut colleagues and a new Russian launch vehicle carries his name.

On 18 March, 1965, Russian Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov became the first human to leave his spaceship and float in free space, looking down on our fragile blue planet. Apart from this first ever “spacewalk”, he also commanded the Soviet half of the Apollo-Soyuz mission, the first collaboration in space between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Leonov is commemorated in Arthur C. Clarke’s novel 2010: Odyssey Two in the form of the fictional spaceship AlexeyLeonov (the book is also dedicated to him and to the physicist Andrey Sakharov). In the Star Trek novel Destiny: Gods of Night a fictional spaceship U.S.S. Alexey Leonov is sacrificed to save the planet Korvat from the Borg.

Inspired by these two all-time space heroes, Tangerine Dream´s Edgar Froese and Starmus director Dr. Garik Israelian hit on the idea of creating two musical composition dedicated to Gagarin and Leonov.

The compositions will make use of a database of cosmic acoustic waves (sounds) compiled by Israelian. Starmus Advisory Board member, 

musician and astronomer Dr Brian May welcomed the idea and has joined the collaboration. This musical surprise is expected to have its debut at the Sonic Universe concert in Tenerife on 24 June, 2011.

Sonic Universe is but one event in the STARMUS Festival, which has a packed agenda of conferences by leading scientists (including a number of Nobel laureates), a day-long tribute to Yuri Gagarin, presented by legendary veteran Russian cosmonauts and Apollo astronauts, a SETI booth and much more. In a special webcast event on the neighbouring island of La Palma, the leading participants of STARMUS, who rank among the best minds on our planet, will hold a round table discussion (108 Minutes) under the dome of the largest telescope in the world, the 10.4 metre GTC.