Since the beginning of our space missions, humans have tried to send messages to aliens, messages that could- in that shortest lightest way possible – tell them who we are.
But, ‘What to send?’ has always remained a crucial question. Should it be a donut or masala dosa, showing them the delicious food we eat? Or, our collective wisdom in the form of texts, showing them what we all believe in?
This problem is, all this might be subjective – different food from different regions, different believes of different people. However, there is one thing that we all share, irrespective of borders, religions and varying culture – music,
For years, space agencies have collected sounds which can be sent to outer space. The Voyager golden records, which were launched in 1977, contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, including the “Bhairavi: jat Kahan Ho” by Kesarbai Kerker, that late Indian classical vocalist.
Now, a composer plans to compile a ‘world song’ to send into space. Felipe Perez Santiago, Mexican musician and composer- in residence at the search the extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) institute, has devised the “earthling project” along with Jill Tarter, the co-founder of SETI.
The project is a call to people everywhere to upload snippets of song that he plans to mould into collective human chorus. Santiago told the economist that the music is intended to be not a just message to the universe, but a mirror – a chance to say “see, we’re all the same.”
This summer, an initial composition as containing as many as ten thousand unaccompanied voices will be launched into the space, inscribed alongside Wikipedia and the Rosetta project, sampling of 1,500 human languages, on a nearly indestructible disc.
Jill Tarter, the co-founder of SETI, says that the programme aims not just to communicate with remote civilisations. It is also remind humanity of its own modest, fragile place in the cosmos.