Indigenous music from Australia has been included in a new box set featuring music from NASA’s ‘Voyager’ program.
In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager missions, each of which contained a golden record containing the music, sounds and languages of earth in the hope that an alien culture would find the craft and listen.
Up until now, there were only twelve copies of that record, one on Voyager 1, one on Voyager 2, one given to then president Jimmy Carter and nine that were distributed around NASA.
Recently, David Pescovitz of Boing Boing put up a Kickstarter to raise money for the release of 2,500 copies of the music and sounds on the Voyager discs to celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of the launch.
The $98 box set will come in a gold-foil inlaid box with three translucent gold vinyl LPs and a hardbound book with images, essays and ephemera from the project. A digital download card will also be included to get all of the audio in MP3 or FLAC format along with a lithograph of the golden record cover diagram printed in gold metallic ink on archival paper.
Three pieces of popular music are included, Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode, Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven’s Melancholy Blues and Blind Willie Johnson’s Dark Was the Night.
The set also has a very important pedigree as Timothy Fields, the man who produced the original golden record, was in the studio for the remastering of the audio.
The track list for The Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition
Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor
Java, court gamelan, “Kinds of Flowers,” recorded by Robert Brown
Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle
Zaire, Pygmy girls’ initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull
Australia, Aborigine songs, Morning Star and Devil Bird, recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes
Mexico, El Cascabel, performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México
Johnny B. Goode, written and performed by Chuck Berry
New Guinea, men’s house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan
Japan, Shakuhachi, Tsuru No Sugomori (Crane’s Nest) performed by Goro Yamaguch
Bach, “Gavotte en rondeaux” from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux
Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor
Georgian S.S.R., chorus, Tchakrulo, collected by Radio Moscow
Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima
Melancholy Blues, performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven
Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow
Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor
Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano
Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor
Bulgaria, Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin, sung by Valya Balkanska
Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes
Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, The Fairie Round, performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London
Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service
Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen
China, ch’in, Flowing Streams, performed by Kuan P’ing-hu
India, raga, Jaat Kahan Ho, sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar
Dark Was the Night, written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson
Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet
Greetings from the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim
Greetings in 55 languages
United Nations greetings
The Sounds of Earth: “Music of the Spheres” by Laurie Spiegel, Volcanoes, Earthquake, Thunder, Mud Pots, Wind, Rain, Surf, Crickets, Frogs, Birds, Hyena, Elephant, Chimpanzee, Wild Dog, Footstepts, Heartbeat, Laughter, Fire, Speech, The First Tools, Tame Dog, Herding Sheep, Blacksmith, Sawing, Tractor, Riveter, Morse Code, Ships, Horse and Cart, Train, Tractor, Bus, Auto, F-111 Flyby, Saturn 5 Lift-off, Kiss, Mother and Child, Life Signs, Pulsar