As if the news wasn’t already bizarre and wacky enough, Sónar Festival went and maybe topped all of that. To celebrate 25 years of existance, they have decided they wanted to try and contact extraterrestrial life.
“Sónar Calling GJ273b,” will be the first message sent to a potentially habitable exoplanet. It includes 33 music pieces, each 10 seconds long. Among the artists who have decided to send their music out into space include Autechre, Richie Hawtin, Carsten Nicolai, Modeselektor, Laurent Garnier, Holly Herndon, Matmos, Jean Michel Jarre, Nina Kraviz, The Black Madonna, Kate Tempest, Kode 9, Laurel Halo and Daito Manabe.
The music comes in a wide variety of ranges as they all took different approaches to the potential first contact (or so we would suspect) with species from another planet. They range from political, to math to poetic.
The first batch of transmissions were sent on October 16-18 from the EISCAT antenna in Tromsø, Norway with selections from Autechre, Modeselektor, Laurent Garnier, Holly Herndon, Matmos, Jean-Michel Jarre, Nina Kraviz, Francisco López, The Black Madonna, Kerri Chandler, Ólafur Arnalds, Kode 9, Laurel Halo, Soichi Terada, Fatima Al Qadiri, Cabo San Roque, BFlecha and Nisennenmondai. A second batch will go out in April 2018 with music from Richie Hawtin, Carsten Nicolai, Squarepusher, Kate Tempest, Daito Manabe, Juana Molina, Niño de Elche, Cora Novoa, Lorenzo Senni, Zora Jones, Desert, LCC, Yuzo Koshiro and more.
The transmitions are being sent to Luyten’s Star because it is the closest star, 12.4 light-years from Earth (over 70 trillion miles), with a known potentially habitable exoplanet that is visible from the Northern Emisphere.
Any response to the message could arrive in 25 years time, so mark down on your calendars November 2043 and April 2044 just in time for their 50th anniversary. I will be waiting. Let’s just hope we didn’t nuke ourselves of this planet by then and this festival can stay afloat that long.
This was done with the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC) and METI, a non-profit in San Francisco that helps with these types of things.