What would Starman play? Spanish company wants to find out

Ever wondered what kind of music might someday be made in space? 

Wonder no more: A Spanish instrument designer has created ceramic percussion instruments with materials mimicking those found on the surface of Mars and the moon. 

Carlos Traginer’s Hypate Project aims to find out what music made on other celestial bodies might sound like in the future. “During this research, which is already in its first phase of development, ceramic percussion instruments, such as bells and shakers, will be manufactured using simulants of lunar and Mars regolith. Regolith consists of that first layer of unconsolidated soil formed by small fragments of rocks and loose minerals,” Traginer’s company says. 

The research is happening in partnership with Exolith Lab, a NASA collaborator, and will compare the acoustic properties of instruments made with celestial simulants and more traditional materials.

“Hypate Project brings together a group of top-level collaborators from all the involved disciplines: ceramic artists, researchers from the CSIC and Polytechnic University of Valencia, geologists and specialists in acoustics. Among some of those names we count with doctor in geological sciences, Jesus Martinez Frias, an expert in meteorites, planetary and geology astrobiology, and Pedro Barcelo, Joaquin Sabina’s drummer who, throughout his extensive career has collaborated with artists such as Joan Manual Serrat or Jorge Drexler.” 

Traginer adds that this work “opens the door to new study fields, like exoacoustics or exoluthery. Our long-term dream is that humans can manufacture musical instruments on the moon or Mars, using materials obtained there. At the rate that the exploration of the universe is currently progressing, perhaps, within a few decades, this dream will materialize as a revolution for musical instruments and the sounds known to humans.” 

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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