Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will be in Windsor, Ont., next week to debut several songs he wrote while commanding the International Space Station.

Reached at his cottage Friday, Hadfield told CBC News six of the nine songs he intends to perform are "world premieres."

“I’m looking so forward to this event in Windsor,” Hadfield said. “It’s a way to talk about the space flight and the human experience of it that is unprecedented.”

As Hadfield plays, backed by the symphony, photos he shot from the International Space Station will be on flashed on a screen behind them.

"It’s a multimedia combination of trying to tell the whole story,” Hadfield said.

Hadfield has previously played with the Houston Symphony. He performed Big Smoke, a song written by his brother before Hadfield’s first space flight.

The Windsor Symphony Orchestra is the first orchestra to feature the retired colonel as a musical guest.

“I still feel surprised that any orchestra would want to play with me,” Hadfield said before laughing. “It will be strange to look over my shoulder to an entire orchestra to take the full counter-melody.”

A three-quarter-size travel guitar, from Vancouver’s Larrivée Guitars, accompanied Chris to the International Space Station and was prominently featured in many of his videos, including his version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.

Hadfield will perform that version of Space Oddity at the Capitol Theatre. He'll also perform other favourites, including a work written by his brother for performance in space.

The former commander of the International Space Station said he always heard music in his head while orbiting the earth.

Early demand to see the famed Canadian astronaut perform prompted the Windsor Symphony Orchestra to add a fourth Hadfield show to its bill this season.

Dates include:

  • Fri. Oct. 17 - 8 p.m.
  • Sat., Oct. 18 - 1 p.m.
  • Sat., Oct. 18 - 8 p.m.
  • Sun., Oct. 19 - 2:30 p.m.

The only way to purchase tickets for these Pops series concerts is with a season ticket package.

Next week, Hadfield will publish his second book, entitled You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes.

The book's cover features a shot of southewestern Ontario, including Windsor and Hadfield's hometown of Sarnia.

"The book features 150 of my best pictures," Hadfield said.

Profits from sales of the book go to the Canadian Red Cross.