Good evening, Kraftwerk!

“Good evening, Kraftwerk, good evening, Stuttgart!” On 20 July 2018 at 21:50 local time, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst welcomed the legendary electronic band Kraftwerk and 7500 visitors to the Jazz Open Festival on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz – live from the International Space Station ISS, where he will live and work until mid-December 2018.

“I am one of only six people in space, on the outpost of humanity, the International Space Station ISS, 400 kilometers above sea level. The ISS is a Man Machine – the most complex and valuable machine humankind has ever built,” he told the astonished audience.

Video: Kraftwerk/ESA/JazzOpenSitara Schmitz

“Here in the European Columbus laboratory, the successor to the Spacelab, the European Space Agency ESA is researching things that will improve daily life on Earth. More than 100 different nations work together peacefully here and achieve things that a single nation could never achieve. We are developing technologies on board the ISS to grow beyond our current horizons and prepare to take further steps into space, to the Moon and Mars,” Alexander said.

Kraftwerk and the ISS at Jazz Open Stuttgart, shortly before the call with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. Credit: ESA, M. Trovatello

Kraftwerk and the ISS at Jazz Open Stuttgart, shortly before the call with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. Credit: ESA, M. Trovatello

However, as Kraftwerk founding member Ralf Hütter emphasised, Alexander’s appearance was not only about greeting Kraftwerk and the audience in Stuttgart but also about “music as the universal language of the world”. After addressing the crowd, he and Alexander played a special duet version of the track Spacelab, for which Alexander had a tablet computer configured with virtual synthesizers on board.

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst live from the ISS with Kraftwerk at Jazz Open, Stuttgart. 20 July 2018. Credit: Sitara Schmitz.

ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst live from the ISS with Kraftwerk at Jazz Open, Stuttgart. 20 July 2018. Credit: Sitara Schmitz.

After Kraftwerk had finished the track and Alexander bid farewell to the audience from the ISS with a “Good Night Earth”, the band continued their brilliant set while the audience probably wondered a few more times whether what they had just seen and heard was really live and real. We can assure you it was, and for everyone involved the partnership truly was out of this world.

Kraftwerk and the ISS at Jazz Open Stuttgart, shortly before the call with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. Credit: ESA, M. Trovatello

Kraftwerk and the ISS at Jazz Open Stuttgart, shortly before the call with ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst. Credit: ESA, M. Trovatello

About Kraftwerk

The multi-media project Kraftwerk was started in 1970 by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider. They set up their electronic Kling Klang Studio in Düsseldorf, Germany, where they conceived and produced all Kraftwerk albums. By the mid 1970’s Kraftwerk had achieved international recognition for their revolutionary electronic ‚sound scapes’ and their musical experimentation with robotics and other technical innovations. With their visions of the future, Kraftwerk created the soundtrack for the digital age of the 21st century.

Their compositions, using innovative techniques, synthetic voices and computerised rhythms, have had a major international influence across an entire range of music genres: from Electro to Hip Hop, from Techno to SynthPop. In their live performances, Kraftwerk – Ralf Hütter, Henning Schmitz, Fritz Hilpert, Falk Grieffenhagen – illustrate their belief in the respective contributions of both man and machine.

www.kraftwerk.com  

About the European Space Agency and Alexander Gerst

Alexander Gerst is a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut. In 2014 he spent six months on the International Space Station for ESA’s Blue Dot mission. He is now back in space on his second mission called Horizons where he will take over as Station commander for Expedition 57. Alexander is a geophysicist and volcanologist. http://alexandergerst.esa.int/

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space. ESA is an international organization with 22 member states, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities. Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human and robotic exploration of space. ESA also has a strong applications programme developing services in Earth observation, navigation and telecommunications.

www.esa.int

Comments

9 Comments

  • Hannes says:

    Hi,

    pretty cool idea, thumbs up!

    But as someone who works with audio myself I have some questions: Was it really live? How is this possible without any latency? I’d be interested in the technical part.

    Thanks

  • Elvira Seidel says:

    Atemberaubende Bilder & Töne von Alex aus dem All & sein Part bei “Kraftwerk” ist großartig! Gänsehaut! Wir Winzlinge hier auf unserem Planeten… Mir fehlen die Worte…

  • Klaus-Peter Grüner says:

    Ich war gestern Abend beim KRAFTWERK – Konzert in Stuttgart und konnte die Zuschaltung somit live miterleben. Was soll ich sagen, ich hatte eine Gänsehaut, so beeindruckend war das Zusammenspiel zwischen Alexander Gerst und der Band,
    Dieses Erlebnis der “dritten Art” wird mir unvergesslich bleiben!
    P.S. Das T-Shirt mit Cap. Future’s Konterfei war das Sahnehäubchen :-)

  • Gänsehaut überall! Ich nehme eure Liebe zu unserem Planten Erde vollkommen war. vielen Dank. Für eine
    Menschheitsfamilie im All! LOVE!

  • joergy says:

    Fantastische Inszenierung, geniales Timing!
    Schade, dass ich nicht dabei war…

  • Melanie Jean Mayfield says:

    KRAFTWERK/GERST Jam session Stuttgart/ISS. Fantastisch!

  • Sehr geile Idee, lieber Alexander Gerst! Wieder ein Stückchen mehr Nähe zwischen Menschheit, Erde und Weltraum. Was alles möglich ist und noch möglich werden kann. Ich bin begeistert. Der Weltraum ist beeindruckend – wir stehen so sehr am Anfang. Wer weiß schon die Unendlichkeit wirklich einzuschätzen. Oder ist sie nicht unendlich? Was ist danach und zuvor? Es ist für uns noch so unvorstellbar. So wie einst die Erde als Teller erahnt wurde, so können wir diesen Raum (oder nicht Raum) im Weltall erahnen. Für uns im Weltraum zu forschen ist eine Meisterleistung! Wir sind über eure Forschungsergebnisse gespannt. Ich wünsche dir und den anderen noch viel, viel Erfolg auf der ISS. Vielen Dank!

  • Sujata says:

    A W E – effing- S O M E
    Just how cool is this!

    Loved every bit of the video. Big fan of Alex. Love his Sendung mit der Maus contributions.
    A big admirer of Kraftwerk

    And seeing both together is just AWESOME! ♥️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.