Nelly Ben Hayoun - International Space Orchestra

Nelly Ben Hayoun - International Space Orchestra

Commissioned by Zero1Bienial San Jose, coproduced by Z33 and V2 (Rotterdam).

International Space Orchestra is a film/opera project by artist Nelly Ben Hayoun. In the summer of 2012, a temporary orchestra was set up with scientists and staff connected to the NASA Ames Research Center, the Singularity University, the International Space University and SETI.

The project refers to science fiction literature, the space opera and classical opera as Gesammtkunstwerk. But the script also contains specific references to NASA's missions and tries to bring them down to a more human and personal scale. The scenario of the opera was based on the events that occurred in the control room during the Apollo 11 mission and was co-written by NASA flight director Rusty Hunt. The project tries to give the NASA Ames Center and the people who work there a more human face. It is also a study that exposes, in a creative and alternative way, the functioning of an organization of this kind. A concert with singer Bobby Womack was recorded in front of the wind tunnel at the NASA Ames site on September 6, 2012.

The making-of film tells the story of how the project came about. We get to learn more about the members of the NASA band, their functions within NASA and how they think about space or music. International Space Orchestra is a hybrid experiment in which scientists become performers and artists astronauts. Are Hayoun also managed to gather a dream team for her project which included, among others, Bruce Sterling as co-writer, Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz, Arthur Jeffes of Penguin Cafe and Bobby Womack, all of whom collaborated on the music.


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