The International Space Orchestra

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In collaboration with NASA Ames Research Center SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Life), Singularity University, and the International Space University, and featuring original music by BECK, PENGUIN CAFE‘s ARTHUR JEFFES, Blur and Gorillaz frontman DAMON ALBARN with BOBBY WOMACK and producer Richard Russell, arranged by GORILLAZ Musical Director MIKE SMITH; and Japanese superstar and Otamatone inventor, MAYWA DENKI. With lyrics by science fiction author BRUCE STERLING and writer JASMINA TESANOVIC. Musical director: Two time Grammy-Award winner EVAN PRICE.

For the performance Ground Control: An Opera in Space, Nelly Ben Hayoun assembled a group of NASA space scientists and astronauts to participate in a musical retelling of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. Ben Hayoun describes the collaboration, which premiered in front of the world’s largest wind tunnel (80x 120 feet) in NASA’s Ames Research Center on September 6th 2012  (see Teaser here), California, and San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall with a live performance with BECK, ‘a call to imagine and disrupt future human relations to science – to adapt science to our creative needs’. Ground Control: An Opera in Space was recorded at Skywalker Ranch, George Lucas‘ studio, where Star Wars was developed.
In January 2013, the International Space Orchestra feature film had its world premiere at the Rotterdam International Film Festival where it was acclaimed by the critic as a “masterpiece” (Independent Cinema Office, ICO), a “real achievement” (DOMUS),”as thrilling as watching a rocket launch” and “Spine Tingling” (The Guardian).

In 2013, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios had two Ardusat satellites launched carrying the ISO recordings aboard the H-IIB Launch Vehicle, HTV-4 from Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the Tanegashima Space Centre.
In November 2013, the satellites were released from the International Space Station by the six- member expedition crew. The ISO recordings currently orbit the earth.

In 2015, March; the International Space Orchestra records a special orchestration of punk band The Prodigy’s Breathe with me song  for the feature film Disaster Playground (which premiered at SXSW 2015)

In 2015, May 5th, ISO trumpet player BJ Navarro, received pictures from ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti who brought the ISO music Compact Disc to ISS. The pictures show the ISO CD orbiting the earth on board the ISS, experiencing ZERO G inside the Cupola.

In 2015, August, the record of the International Space Station made it back on Earth, on board of the Soyuz rocket! The International Space Orchestra’s record made it to the International Space Station and back. Mission accomplished.

The International Space Orchestra is, to this date, UP AND RUNNING, at the NASA Ames Research Center Park and the SETI Institute, Mountain View, CA, USA.

See more pictures on Bruce Sterling’s Flickr