Yuri’s Night 2008 @ NASA Ames: Call for Submissions

Yuri’s Night 2007 makes your head go all Sputink-y. Credit: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid. Synths and space: they go together like chocolate and your mouth, like Sun Ra and aliens. So, it was with a heavy heart that I had to report the electronic awesomeness of Yuri’s Night, the party in celebration of space exploration at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Telefon Tel Aviv, Plaid, and circuit-bent Touch & Tells and keytars were there, but I was not. And maybe neither were you.  NASA Yuri’s Night Rave: Space is the Place Enough of that, though. Organized Matt Ganucheau writes to …

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Theremin Music for Aliens, Theremin of the Damned

Seed Magazine asked recently, “Who Speaks for Earth”? Answer: Russian kids playing Theremin music! In 2001, Zaitsev and a group of Russian teenagers created the “Teen-Age Message to the Stars,” which was broadcast in August and September of that year in the direction of six stars between 45 and 70 light years from Earth. The Teen-Age Message notably included greetings in Russian and English, and a 15-minute Theremin symphony for aliens. Unlike Drake’s Arecibo message, Zaitsev’s messages target nearby stars. So if anyone wishes to reply, we may receive it in the next century or two. I’m all about instant …

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NASA Yuri’s Night Rave: Space is the Place

Adding to our running tally of totally geeky events, electronic musician Chachi Jones writes with a report from the Yuri’s Night party at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Sure, Yuri’s Night events, in honor of the great space explorer cosmonaut, take place all over the world. But when it hits Ames, you get a full-blown rave — and fantastic electronic music, to boot. Among others, Plaid and Telefon Tel Aviv made appearances. Chachi jumped into his flight suit with his circuit-bent Touch & Tell and Korg Kaoss Pad, which makes a nice mobile music setup. Also spotted: a toy keytar running …

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Recording NASA’s Spacesuit Satellite Sounds

In the ongoing quest for sounds from the hearts of space for use as digital music sources, I give you NASA’s SuitSat. The crew of the International Space Station has equipped the Russian Orlan spacesuit with batteries, a radio transmitter, and sensors; it’ll transmit power and temperature info Earthward. To pick it up, you just need a radio receiver that can be tuned to 145.990 MHz FM. February 3 is the launch, with tracking info posted to the SuitSat Tracking site. Now this sounds like a sound source even more interesting than the dying hard drive. (More on the results …

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ElectroKraft Lunar Module: Spacey Handmade “Optical Theremin” Photocell Controller

Bored with keyboards and drum pads? How about light-sensitive photocells with customizable control options, all in a spacey case that looks like it escaped from Sun Ra’s Arkestra? Tony Amendolore of ElectroKraft has a new MIDI controller creation he calls the Lunar Module: Multiple photocell “portholes” light up blue for feedback; use as a Theremin-like control Push-button controllers can be used in combination for controlling effects Send MIDI messages like program/bank change, notes, transposition, or all notes off “panic” Customization options, before or after purchase, for controller options like pitch bend, sustain, modulation wheel, etc. US$249, free continental US shipping, …

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Arts in Space: International Space Station

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: “It should be noted that it is very unlikely that an artist would have the opportunity themselves to go to the International Space Station, certainly in the foreseeable future.” Damn. Okay, that said, though, Arts Electric reports the European Space Agency is looking at ways of using the ISS for artistic purposes, contracting an arts consortium that includes the very cool science-and-arts group Arts Catalyst and Leonardo (the MIT journal, not di Caprio.) So, if you can’t go perform on ISS, what can you do? First, you need to be …

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New Voyager 1 Spacecraft Audio and Other Sounds from Space

I look forward to releases of sounds captured in outer space the way some people wait for new album releases. Don Gurnett, the University of Iowa physicist responsible for various space-bound audio instruments and the major advocate for space sound, is the Jagger of the genre. Even the Kronos Quartet has gotten in on the action. The latest from this physics rockstar: Voyager 1 crossing the Termination Shock, part of the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space. (Far out . . . literally.) 6 seconds of strange clicks and pops — and pure music. AFP has a full …

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NASA/ESA Audio From Saturn, Titan

NASA's Cassini spacecraft was bomboarded with dust particles that make up Saturn's rings, and the sound against its high-gain antenna are included in a new video file. Meanwhile, as the ESA's Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument makes its descent to Titan, acoustic sensors pick up audio data posted by ESA as MP3s. Load up your iPod and enjoy digital sound from space, while we wait for NASA to try again on the Mars microphone idea. And by the way, the government agencies' audio is typically public domain, so I expect to hear your remixes soon. Via our friend Gina Robair of …

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