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The Guardian festival blog: The vinyl frontier: why do we keep sending music to outer space? | Music


What item would you choose to sum up humanity if you were, like Captain James T Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, seeking out new life and new civilisations? A “five items or less” sign from a supermarket, with a note explaining why it should be “fewer”? Maybe a selection of press cuttings about the Greggs sausage roll Jesus controversy, summing up both humanity’s silliness and its capacity for overreaction?

Of course you wouldn’t. You’d do what the Barcelona electronic music festival Sónar has done to mark its 25th anniversary: send out 33 separate 10-second clips of music by electronic artists such as Autechre, Richie Hawtin and Holly Herndon.

The music was broadcast – in binary code, with instructions, also in binary, on how to decode it – from the EISCAT antenna in Tromsø, Norway, over three days last week. Its destination? Luyten’s Star, 12.4 light years from Earth, which has an exoplanet, GJ273b,…



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Straight from The Guardian
(image courtesy of http://www.rosestallard.com/)

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