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Astronaut Chris Hadfield & Barenaked Ladies Ed Robertson’s Song From Space Premieres Across Canada
February 8, 2013
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Music history was officially made today - both in this country, and high above it.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies' Ed Robertson premiered their song, I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) on CBCMusic.ca.

The song was written by Hadfield and Robertson and commissioned by CBCMusic.ca and The Coalition for Music Education in partnership with The Canadian Space Agency.

It's the official song for Music Monday 2013, to promote and celebrate music education in schools across Canada.

The song was recorded on earth and in space - with Robertson and the glee choir of Wexford Collegiate School for the Arts performing at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto, and Hadfield performing in orbit on the International Space Station.

"Chris and I were able to write a song together while he was training in Russia for the mission that he's currently on and then we were able to record the song with him in space. It's really incredible when you think about it," Robertson told CBC News.

"When I started this band, I didn't have a cellphone and nobody had really heard of the internet. And now I can work with a man who's in space and [we can] make a music track together!"

Here's the video.

I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) will be learned and performed by students across Canada for Music Monday on May 6. But the coalition is encouraging everyone to take part.

"(We're) calling out to millions of Canadians to help us Fill the Skies with Music and unite our nation in song," said Holly Nimmons, the Coalition's Executive Director.

"We're inviting music makers of all ages and backgrounds to learn I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) so we can join together on Music Monday, May 6, in our annual coast-to-coast-to-coast simultaneous concert."

Along with being an astronaut, Hadfield is a talented musician in his own right and a great songwriting partner, Robertson said.

"It shocked me. I was like 'Dude, you're a high-functioning individual. You're training to command the ISS and writing beautiful poetry."

"Chris is one of those renaissance guys," Roberston added. "He has a love and an appreciation for arts and he's obviously a very technical, a very competent and accomplished person: everything from flying fighter planes to the shuttle to commanding the ISS."

Hadfield is a veteran of two space shuttle missions, and will soon take over command of the International Space Station (ISS) - the first Canadian to do that.

He will also speak live from orbit during Music Monday.

And yesterday, Hadfield had a conversation from space with William Shatner, who of course, played Captain Kirk on Star Trek.

Here's a video from the Canadian Space Agency.

As for the Barenaked Ladies, they're recording a new album, making plans for a summer tour and writing music for a Broadway production of 'Animal House'.

Robertson was in the red chair on Tuesday. He told George he couldn't pass this up.

"Chris said 'I'm gonna be up there for six months, and I'd really like to do some recording while I'm up there. Would you be interested in doing some co-writing with me.' And I was like, 'uh, let me check my schedule... yes', yes I would," Robertson said.

You can see the full interview here, or on our best of the week show tonight.

You can also get free downloads through the Coalition's Music Monday website, including the sheet music and lyrics, 14 different musical arrangements and translations of the song into 11 languages.

You can find out everything you need to know at MusicMakesUs.ca

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