From the iconic scores of Hans Zimmer to the chilled-out tunes of a great summer playlist, the right music can lift us up, calm us down and even make us run faster. The same is true in space, where this week ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano will inspire attendees to explore farther beyond our planet at two major events in Europe.
The Stockholm Culture Festival in Sweden runs from 13-17 August at inner-city venues including Gustav Adolf’s square, Karl XII’s square (Dansbanan), Skeppsbron, Jacob’s church and the family area at Norrbro. All are welcome, attendance is free and this year the theme is space.
Festival highlights include the premiere of multimedia experience ‘Space Station Earth’, as well as a live call with Luca on the International Space Station and in-person appearances by ESA astronauts Tim Peake and Thomas Reiter.
Space Station Earth features images shot by astronauts on the International Space Station set to music by award-winning composer Ilan Eshkeri and will be supported by an orchestra, a choir and a band. It takes place at 20:30 on the festival’s main stage following the live call with Luca on board the International Space Station at 20:10.
Luca will also speak to music lovers in Ibiza on Tuesday as part of the space-themed BigCityBeats World Club Dome Cruise Edition. Here he will make his debut as the first space DJ, sharing his experiences in orbit and the value of music as a way of connecting across cultures directly from the International Space Station’s Columbus module. Tune in at 23:20 CEST via the World Club Dome Facebook page.
Though Luca may hold the title of first space DJ, music in space is nothing new. The crew of Apollo 11, who set foot on the Moon 50 years ago this year, famously carried Dvorak’s New World Symphony with them, and the Apollo 15 crew took songs by The Beatles and The Moody Blues.
Today, astronauts take music into space digitally, on their laptops or MP3 players. Some – like Luca – even play instruments and there are currently two guitars, a keyboard and a saxophone on the International Space Station.
ESA’s astronauts have shared their playlists with the public via ESA’s Spotify music channel and other streaming services and say often say music is one of the most personal things they take up into orbit as it brings happy memories and reminds them of home.
Listen to Luca’s Beyond playlist on Spotify here.