Space jam
December 24, 2012 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Jewel in the Night is the first song recorded on the International Space Station. Colonel Chris Hadfield's companions in space are both also musicians.
posted by bwerdmuller (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Minor correction: it should read that his companions aboard the Soyuz capsule taking him to the ISS are both musicians.
posted by bwerdmuller at 10:30 AM on December 24, 2012

That is beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
posted by michellenoel at 10:45 AM on December 24, 2012

I like Chris Hadfield because he gives the world something to associate with my hometown that doesn't involve the words "chemical" and/or "valley."
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:49 AM on December 24, 2012

Last Rendez-Vous, by Jean-Michel Jarre, was composed with the intent that the saxophone piece would be performed by jazz musician turned astronaut Ron McNair, but the flight was Challenger 51L. The official title became "Last Rendez-Vous (Ron's Piece)".

Relatedly, Sarah Brightman, currently serving as a UNESCO Artist for Peace ambassador, as well as an evangelist for women to join the STEM professions (in conjunction with Virgin Galactic), will travel to the ISS in 2013 aboard a Space Adventures, Inc. flight. She is expected to "sing from space" although details, and schedule, are hazy as of now. (Previously, Lance Bass signed up for a flight, but fell short in the funding department; these private rides cost roughly $20 million.)

There has been a guitar on ISS for some time, and at one point a US astronaut (Jerry Linenger?) brought a "travel guitar" with a custom hinged stem (to fit through hatches) up to Mir. There was also a reported plan to bring up a John Lennon-designed Schaffer guitar to Mir, to be released into orbit with a transmitter to play "Imagine" to anyone who could pick up the signal. I couldn't find any real confirmation this was real or happened, though.
posted by dhartung at 10:55 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

You know, that folding guitar was also Hadfield, who has a history of influencing the music played in space.
posted by dhartung at 11:08 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Earlier instruments include a trumpet (Exp. 3 commander Frank L. Culbertson, Jr.), a keyboard (read about how they test the instruments for gaseous emissions and other potentially dangerous conditions), and onboard Gemini VI, the harmonica used to play "Jingle Bells", on Dec. 16, 1965. (This recording had to be recovered from the original mission audio tapes, and was only uploaded to the internet last year.)
posted by dhartung at 11:16 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Chris Hadfield is a lot of fun on Twitter. He likes to talk to his followers, and he'll do quizzes where he shows a Strange Space Object and has them guess what it is.

That's how I learned they have a little box of holiday supplies stowed away on the ISS.
posted by cmyk at 11:30 AM on December 24, 2012

I so SO very much wanted this to be space music, like the category I saw for sale in all the new age shops in Sedona, AZ in the late 1990s...

But, if there is a more appropriate music to come out of the ISS than renaissance-tinged folk music, I'm not sure what it could be.

This was lovely, thanks for posting!
posted by hippybear at 11:43 AM on December 24, 2012

Awww, that was lovely! I'm off to practice my guitar now....
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:12 PM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Lest we forget the flute. In 2011 Ian Anderson ( of Jethro Tull) played a duet with Colonel Catherine Coleman to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight in 1961. Coleman ha[d] been practising her Ian Anderson trade mark of playing the flute whilst standing (or in her case floating) on one leg. For 3 months, Anderson's flute accompanied Cady Coleman and her own flute in orbit allowing her to perfect her Anderson stance ahead of the duet.
posted by Gungho at 12:17 PM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just posted by Cmdr. Hadfield on Twitter: I was asked by many to record the ambient noise of the space station. Here is what the US lab of the ISS sounds like.
posted by mykescipark at 10:51 PM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Youch! I'd heard it was generally noisy, but the videos I've seen don't seem to do it justice except in a few places.

Anyway, it's interesting to compare....
posted by dhartung at 11:39 PM on December 25, 2012

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