Left: A Voyager Golden Record (Photo: NASA); Right: The cover of Space Project
In 1977, the space probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 blasted off from Cape Canaveral, carrying what came to be known as the Golden Records. Each gold-plated copper LP was etched with instructions explaining how to play it, and contained recordings intended to teach extraterrestrial lifeforms about our planet: sounds of surf, wind and animals, as well as music selections representing everything from Bach to Chuck Berry.
As far as we know, no alien lifeform has yet made contact with either probe or listened to the recordings.
But the spacecraft themselves have continued flying through space long after their planned missions ended (indeed, Voyager 1 passed beyond our solar system into interstellar space last year). And both have sent all kinds of interesting data back to Earth during their travels past planets, moons and asteroids.
Now some of that data has made its way back into music, courtesy of Space Project, a new compilation of songs from Lefse Records. The album features 14 tracks from different bands, each making use of audio tracks recorded by the Voyager probes flying by various celestial bodies. (These aren't recordings in the traditional sense, since there's no air in space for sound waves to travel through; instead, the audio is made from electromagnetic radiation fluctuations picked up by the probes.)
The biggest name on the record is the British space rock band Spiritualized (recording under the name Spiritualized Mississippi Space Program), whose track "Always Forgetting With You (The Bridge Song)" makes use of radiation "recorded" near Neptune:
And here's "Worms" by Boise, Idaho's Youth Lagoon, which features sounds from the Rings of Uranus:
Other artists who contributed to the project include Beach House, The Antlers, Mutual Benefit and Blues Control. Space Project is available on vinyl, CD, MP3 and as a 7-inch box set.
Via The Verge