Space with its endless number of planets, moons, stars, galaxies and all kinds of celestial bodies has served as an inspiration to artists from all fields of expression. Musicians in particular have used space as their muse time and again, and have created many timeless songs. Let’s tell you about some of these songs below.
Sun Ra’s ‘Space is the Place’
Herman Poole Blount, the popular jazz musician from Alabama could have been satisfied moving amongst the jazz circles, and becoming a part of the free jazz movement. However, he merged his love for jazz music with his obsession for space, creating the movie, song and album titled ‘Space is the Place’.
The film revolves around Sun Ra who is leading an Afro futurist movement. He discovers a new planet where African-Americans can live in peace. Now the fight is to transport all new converts to the new world. The music plays as a backdrop in the entire space story; and that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the whole experience. In a nutshell, Sun Ra has left behind an unparalleled legacy in the music world.
While the humanity has been wondering all along if humans can indeed inhabit Mars one day, the song ‘Mars’ by Kelis is about communication breakdown in a relationship instead. But look at it another way, the song is also about how if a couple can somehow put their lives back on track, they can not only conquer the world, but Mars too.
Rush’s ‘Cygnus X-1’
Back in the year 1964, astronomers located a bizarre object which lit up the entire sky, but was visible only in x-ray (0.1 to 10 nm wavelength) and no other wavelength. More studies revealed that it was the first-ever black hole discovered by the mankind. The song ‘Cygnus X-1’ by Rush was focused on this astronomical object. It takes the listener aboard Rocinante, a spaceship which is headed for this black hole.
Harry Nilsson’s ‘Spaceman’
Give a listen to the popular Harry Nilsson numbers, for instance ‘Everybody’s Talkin’, ‘Coconut’ and ‘Without You’, and you’ll find that all his songs veer between emotive, plaintive and drug-fueled expressions. ‘Spaceman’ was one of his most interesting creations; an ode to astronaut who is longing to come back home.
The Imagined Village’s ‘Space Girl’
This song by the Imagined Village is exactly the opposite of Nillson’s ‘Spaceman’! It’s actually a British musicians’ collective that merges different music styles in a very pleasing manner. It also serves as a sort of cautionary tale about heading into space, with a young woman taking to the stars. While in ‘Spaceman’ we hear about an astronaut’s longing for his home planet, ‘Space Girl’ focuses mostly on the restlessness involved in that journey. Her journeys soon go beyond the realm of the solar system, even farther and bigger, taking her to the universe’s edge.