Just over 40 years ago, NASA produced a pair of phonographic records, strapped them to rockets and fired them into space. Contained on these ‘Voyager Golden Records’ was an eclectic collection of sounds, songs and images intended to portray the diversity of life on Earth. And the idea, more or less, was that intergalactic aliens might get their grubby little mitts on them and experience all the wonders that Planet Earth has to offer.
It was the famous astronomer Carl Sagan who came up with the concept: a “kind of time capsule, intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials.” The recordings include greetings in 55 different languages, the sound of rain, a whale song, bird chirps, a crying baby, and orchestral music by the likes of Bach and Beethoven.
Sagan originally noted that “The spacecraft will be encountered and the record played only if there are advanced space-faring civilisations in interstellar space.” But now, for the very first time, the Golden Records will be made available in their near-original phonographic form for the sake of human listeners.
The vinyls will be released via Ozma Records, “a record label and publisher focused on the intersection of science, art, and consciousness to spark the imagination”. Each package will include three gold 140 gram LPs, as well as a “Full-colour 96-page softcover book containing all images included on the original Voyager Interstellar Record, [and a] gallery of images transmitted back from the Voyager probes.”
There’s been some debate, in the 80 odd years since LSD was first synthesised, over the ultimate album to trip to. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon; The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; just about anything coughed up by Radiohead in the past twenty years – these are oft-cited favourites. But there’s a good chance you haven’t truly reached the fourth dimension until you’ve tripped to a record designed for alien ears; a record that was specifically curated to encapsulate the essence of life on Planet Earth.
Ready your minds. Shit’s gonna get weird.
Source: Huffington Post
Feature image: Red Ice
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