The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life Initiative – known simply as SETI – are about to embark on a mission to send music from our pale blue dot into outer space in the hopes of grabbing the attention – or repulsion, depending on the music – of extra-terrestrial life.
The Earthling Project, which collects songs from people across the world to create musical compositions and send them into space, officially launched in December of last year.
The project is a collaboration between SETI Artist-in-Residence Felipe Pérez Santiago, the SETI Institute, and the Arch Mission Foundation, a nonprofit that archives human knowledge for future generations.
“The Earthling Project consists of gathering human voices from all over the world to create global online compositions and send them into space as a representation of our species united as one, having our first mission to the moon in 2021,” said Pérez Santiago.
The project will collect 10,000 voices from anyone who submits songs through the Earthling Project app. Pérez Santiago will use the submitted pieces to create a composition representing the sounds of humanity.
The composition will be put on a disc and sent to the moon onboard Astrobotics Peregrine rocket. So, not quite beaming it out randomly into space, but still cool.
The project is somewhat similar to the Golden Records which are carried on board the Voyager spacecraft which blasted off in 1977. Voyager One and Two are currently the furthest man-man objects from the Earth, some 14 billion miles away, and carry recordings and sounds from the planet that you can listen to here.
Unlike the Golden Records, The Earthling Project is intended to be an original creation built from all of humanity. The app, which you can download here, allows you to make submissions of sounds, songs, and singing which may end up being used in the composition.
Dr. Jill Tarter, co-founder of the SETI Institute, has said that she is “excited to see/hear what Felipe and his team can create.”
“I love the idea of composing music based on songs from around the planet, a piece of music that astronauts can someday take with them to distant worlds to remind them of home.”
The Earthling Project app is available for OS and Android devices. People can submit up to three songs in seven categories, such as festive, lullabies or grief. Submissions are open now and will close when 10,000 voices have been submitted.
The resulting composition will be made available on music streaming services.