Scientists plan to beam a musical message into space to find aliens

I love any story that has to do with SETI research. We’ve been listening for signals from space for decades now with little to show for it (although the recent chatter about Proxima Centauri seems interesting.)

Maybe, though, instead of quietly listening, we should be a little more shouty about our existence (although this does raise the issues articulated in Cui Lixin’s The Three-Body Problem, which is sobering, to say the least).

That hasn’t stopped astrophysicist Jill Carter (the model for Jody Foster’s character in Contact) and Felipe Pérez Santiago, a composer and musician from Mexico. They’ve launched the “Earthling Project,” which is a envisioned as a musical message to the stars.

The duo is asking people to upload snippets of them singing a song. Everything will be assembled into a chorus of human voices and then launched into space later this year.

I quote: “We are a group of music fanatics, space geeks, and technologists that believe music brings people together for good. Inspired by space, the project is creating collective compositions to act of symbols of our species and be messages for generations to come.”

Once everything is assembled, the music will be stored on a virtually indestructible disc that will be sent to the moon. There’s no one there (or so we’ve been told!) but from what I gather, this is just the first step to sending human music to the stars. Call it a proof-of-concept thing.

The Earthling Project is looking for 10,000 voices in 1,500 languages. Sign up here. And getting involved is as easy as downloading an app.

(Thanks to Andrew for the tip.)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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