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Astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded an album in space

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield releases the first album ever to be recorded in space. And it includes a cover version of “Space Oddity” by David Bowie.

Three years ago, after that his version of “Space Oddity” had been seen 26 million times on YouTube, Chris Hadfield’s popularity was sky high. The astronaut, the first Canadian to walk in space but also a talented musician, announced on Twitter the release of his first album entirely recorded in space. “Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can”, including eleven original songs and, obviously, the cover of the all-famous song by David Bowie, was partially composed aboard of NASA’s International Space Station (ISS), a “tin can” where Hadfield spent as much as 144 days.

The astronaut explained that he set up a studio in the small spaces of the station and that he used Apple’s app Garage Band to record the music. He only brought 2 plastic guitar picks and a small acoustic guitar. Sometimes he would forget where he put the picks impeding his progress but he always finds them as they have nowhere else to go. Many of his songs are inspired by rock and blues rhythms and include his experience in outer space. “The feeling of hush and reverence when you are floating weightless at the window of the spaceship and watching the sunset pour across the world and thinking of what that’s doing and the influence on lives, and how you have this privileged position to see it – he said – it really changes how you feel”.

NASA’s psychologists, who thought that music and art were crucial to maintain the scientists’ mental health and soul, gave Chris Hadfield a guitar for musical sessions in space. The instrument, a Larrivée Parlor, was brought to the station in August 2001 and since then it was played by astronauts and cosmonauts daily, most of which were also musicians.

 

But Hadfield, who is a player of the rock band Max Q exclusively composed by astronauts, is the first who used the guitar to record an album. “Music is an extension of what I did for 21 years as a Canadian Space Agency astronaut” he said. The proceeds of the album sales, which is just sold in his site, will contribute to support music schools in Canada.

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