Sunday, 4 May 2014

Why and how we need music on Mars

The reason that we need music on Mars is that so far, we have not heard any. People generally enjoy novel, innovative sensations because they evoke curiousity. There is potential for codifying our perceptions and experience into sonifications -- engineered on Earth or beyond.

In the future, we can build on early musicking performances on Mars -- stimulating further human discovery that is connected with the people, places, and musical occupations people undertake there. Musicking requires negotiation across cultures and precise timing -- related to the sensitivities that exist politically, culturally, spatially, legislatively.

The musical realm is not governed completely by science/technology, but relates to the aesthetic values and other concerns that are significant to those creating the work. Who is permitted to generate sounds in particular locations? For the musicking to be inclusive, the ideal would be open involvement of all who wish to participate. International participation is possible through Twitter and other forms of social networking, but synchronisation of efforts usually requires modulation and synthesis -- traditionally executed by a conductor or cultural leader. Is it possible to organise musicians and rehearse before arriving on Mars? What needs to be taken into account in the physics of playing there -- whether it is a performance in the material or virtual sphere? These issues are a fundamental considerations for researching our creative practice and participatory music making in relation to the new environment.

Let's extend the invitation to collaborate to those who are not normally involved in space discovery - musicians, ethnomusicologists, in collaboration with cultural advisers and respected leaders in aerospace engineering and design musicking that is meaningful to as many people as possible. Musicians and ethnomusicologists are likely to be at the cutting edge as ambassadors, diplomats and cultural negotiators as new social structures evolve -- if we permit them entry to this domain and international forums for discussion. A focus group was held on Aerospace Musicking at the World Forum on Music, in Brisbane Australia in 2013.

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