May of 2013 will no doubt be remembered by classic rock junkies as the time when David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” came to life.
When Commander Chris Hadfield tweeted the poignant version of the song performed aboard the International Space Station, he immediately earned worldwide acclaim and (maybe even cooler) a shoutout from Bowie himself, via the music mogul’s Facebook page. In his post, Bowie credits musican (and former bandmate) Emm Gryner, along with Joe Corcoran, Andrew Tidby and Evan Hadfield for “all their hard work” in bringing this unprecedented feat to fruition.
In her Blog , Gryner tells how this larger than life production came to be…
About 10 years ago, I had sung with David Bowie in his band. I was so young David used to say i was “pure as the driven snow” and he’d have to explain song lyrics to me very patiently like a Dad. He’d put up with me roller-sneakering all over the place and I’d adoringly listen to him tell wacky stories about the 70′s. Mick Jagger would come to our shows and dance like a crazy drunk relative. Pete Townsend would pop into rehearsal. It was a magic time but we never did play “Space Oddity”. It has always been one of my all-time favourite songs.
The task was in front of me. I came up with a piano part. i then enlisted my friend, producer and fellow Canadian Joe Corcoran to take my piano idea and Chris’ vocal and blow it up into a fully produced song. Drums! mellotrons! fuzz bass! We also incorporated into the track ambient space station noises which Chris had put on his Soundcloud. I was mostly blown away by how pure and earnest Chris’ singing is on this track. Like weightlessness and his voice agreed to agree.
And voila! An astronaut sings Space Oddity in space! I was so honoured to be asked to be a part of this. You wouldn’t get too many chances to make a recording like this and not only that, to make music with someone who – through his vibrant communications with kids in schools to his breathtaking photos to his always patient and good-humoured demeanour – has done more for science and space than anyone else this generation. Planet earth IS blue, and there’s nothing left for Chris Hadfield to do. Right.
If you haven’t seen this performance yet, what are you waiting for?! Click here . It’s fabulous.
… and just in case you were wondering, there has been a variety of instruments taken into outer space.
According to NASA‘s website, a keyboard, flute, guitar and saxophone have all made their way into space. But the realities of space travel made playing a challenge. The action of pressing a key or blowing into a wind instrument pushes you away from it because of the lack of gravity. Astronauts have resorted to foot restraints and bungee cords to keep their instruments from floating away.