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Richie Hawtin's Music Will Finally Reach Outer Space

Potential alien life on Luyten’s Star 12 lightyears away may soon hear the cutting-edge electronic music of Holly Herndon, Autechre and Richie Hawtin. 

“There is no better way to celebrate 25 years of Sónar than sending music to extra-terrestrials.” So concludes the below promotional video for the 2018 edition of Sónar Festival. After 25 years pushing music to us terrestrially-bound chumps, the successful Barcelona festival has moved on to bigger and better things: sending Holly Herndon‘s music to Luyten’s Star, a red dwarf in the constellation Canis Minor, which lies some 12 lightyears away.

In collaboration with the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia and METI (Messaging Extra.terrestrial Intelligence), Sónar believes that they can make contact with alien life and beam out proof of our intelligence with snippets of cutting-edge dance music. Gone are Chuck Berry and Glenn Gould’s interpretations of Bach, as featured on the last music comp to be sent music to space, the Voyager Golden Record (pictured above). These days we’re tapping in in Ibiza legend Richie Hawtin and IDM stalwarts Autechre.

So, is this all just a big old stunt? Does Sónar really believe that contact will be made? Will we finally get the approval we desperately need that our electronic music really is bona fide cosmic? The Guardian has an entertaining feature up at the moment tracing the history of all humanity’s recent attempts to use music to make contact with alien life. You can read it here. Check out Sónar’s attempts to page exoplanet GJ273b below. Scroll down further to hear the original Voyager Golden Record featuring hits from Mozart and Laurie Spiegel.


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Read more: Listen to the voice synthesizer that inspired 2001: A Space Odyssey