NASA Commander Chris Hadfield Launching First Album Recorded In Space
Space Sessions: Songs from a Tin Can album cover (Chris Hadfield)
All Systems Go For Release of Space Man’s Full Length Album Next Month
Space Sessions: Songs from a Tin Can is the first album set to be released by retired Commander Chris Hadfield on October 9. His guitar and vocal tracks were entirely recorded in space during a 6 month stay on the International Space Station with the rest of the album being multi-tracked back on earth. Hadfield had brought a guitar to the MIR space station on his first space mission as a gift about 20 years ago. Some tracks were earlier compositions while others were written in his tiny sleeping pod, the quietest place in the very noisy environment. After testing various ways to complete the task he resorted to using his iPad stuck to the wall with Velcro, a slim Larrivée Parlor acoustic guitar and a microphone for recording equipment. No microphone stand was required in the zero gravity environment; it just floated there in front of him with ease. He had to adjust to strumming and holding the guitar in a new way, referring to it, ‘as if playing on earth but almost like standing on your head.’ His singing voice was affected on the recordings from having his sinuses blocked due to the lack of gravity.
His first song recorded in space was “Jewel In The Night,” released via YouTube on Christmas Eve 2012. He had a smashing hit with a cover of David Bowie’s “A Space Oddity,” recorded on a Saturday with the help of his terrestrial son Evan Hadfield, and originally posted on YouTube in May 2013. Bowie himself loved the song stating that it was “possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created.”
David Bowie and his publisher had allowed his intellectual property to be used royalty free by Hadfield for one year after which it was removed from YouTube having at least 23 million views. After a new agreement was worked out with Bowie’s publicist, the video was soon reposted to YouTube due to popular demand. The song will be included as a bonus track on the upcoming album.
Commander Hadfield first gained a love for music from his Mother while growing up on an Ontario corn farm, influencing the acoustic folk sound of his original compositions. He has played with various bands over the years, including the Barenaked Ladies. He is not launching a musical career with the new album; instead, he is simply adding to his multitude of multimedia efforts about life in space.
“To me, this is a continuation of my best efforts to share the experience, to the best of my ability. I am just as delighted with this as I am with any photograph I took or any other verbal description I’ve ever had of that magnificent experience.”
Thanks to Commander Hadfield’s active social media accounts, interest in NASA and space exploration has increased around the globe (and sporting a bushy mustache might actually be cool again). What do you think of Hadfield’s version of Space Oddity compared to other covers of the song? Do you think mustaches were cool in the first place? For more about Chris and his music visit his official home page at http://chrishadfield.ca/music/
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