Stephen Canfield and his colleagues at WeTransfer curated a stunning online experience inspired by the Voyager Golden Record, the iconic message for extraterrestrials launched into space on a phonograph record 40 years ago. My friends Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad and I co-produced the first ever vinyl release of the Voyager Record this year and we were honored to help with WeTransfer's effort, titled A Message from Earth.
A Message To Earth includes newly-commissioned images, art, sound, and words from the likes of Gilles Peterson, Wanda Díaz Merced, Aspen Matis, S U R V I V E, Lawrence Krauss, Fatima Al Qadiri, and Oneohtrix Point Never. It's a beautiful, non-linear exhibition of creative work that embodies the sense of hope, optimism, and goodwill instilled by the original Voyager Record.
The exhibition's intention is to relay a message of goodwill and encourage further exploration while raising awareness and funding for Astronomers without Borders, the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University, and the SETI Institute. WeTransfer is providing $10,000 grants to each institution to initiate public donations, and the project will be commemorated in a $15 limited edition zine with 100% of generated revenues going to the non-profits above.
Here are the contents of A Message From Earth:
Preface: A comic of illustrations by Sophy Hollington telling the story and brief history of the original Golden Record.
1. Greetings: Wanda Díaz Merced, a blind astronomer who uses sonification to study interstellar events, presents a study of stars as heard on earth – with a selection of images curated by NASA's Rebecca Roth.
2. Music: In video conversations between BBC 6 Radio's Gilles Peterson and leading international musicians living in London, Peterson explores the global influences of contemporary sound. Each musician discusses how their music is influenced by their world locally and globally, paired with one-hour musical mixes from leading DJs from their home country. Musicians include Christian Scott, Nubya Garcia, DJ Edu, Jordan Rakei, Maft Sai, DJ Lefto, DJ Soul Sista, and Dengue Dengue Dengue, DJ Juls, Nai Palm, Fatima Al Qadiri, and Luzmira (of Family Atlantica) Zerpa.
3. Sounds: An interactive, custom-designed sound collage generator allows visitors to contribute their own unique sound to the project, using and manipulating sounds produced by S U R V I V E, the group best known for scoring Netflix's Stranger Things.
4. Images: Photo essays from international photographers Chiara Goia, Albert Bonsfills, Luisa Dörr, Sasha Arutyunov, and Kent Andreasen focus on stories of hope, determination, and goodwill in the respective cities they call home.
5. Brainwaves: A series of 500-word pieces from artists, writers, and musicians explore the phrase "and somehow, somewhere, the record arrives…". Contributors include Aspen Matis, Charlie Skelton, Deepak Chopra, Hannah Giorgis, John Saward, Lawrence Krauss, Musa Okwonga, Nelly Ben Hayoun, The Range, Sara-Kate Astrove, Shelly Oria and Vera Chok.
Epilogue: An animated video collaboration produced in response to the question "do we matter?", with a musical score from Oneohtrix Point Never and Voyager short film by WeTransfer Studios.
The Voyager Golden Record is now available for pre-order on vinyl or CD from Ozma Records.