In 1977, as NASA was preparing to launch two spacecraft as part of the the Voyager Interstellar Mission, they enlisted astronomer/astrophysicist Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, the creative director of the project, to create a golden record that would be sent into space on the spacecraft. It was to be the ultimate mixtape of the human experience, an audio introduction to humanity to whatever unknown life form listened to it; it included a kiss, a mother’s first words to her unborn child, greetings in 59 different languages, music from all over the world.

In the course of working together to find just the right mix of sounds and music, Sagan and Druyan fell in love, in a stunning, immediate and completely unexpected way. And that inspired additional sounds they curated for the record: they measured the electrical impulses of a human brain and nervous system and turned it into sound for the record.  And since Druyan was to be the one whose brain and body were recorded, the sounds include what she was meditating on at the time “the wonder of love, of being in love”.


Click to listen to the full Cosmic Mixtape Love Story via NPR. (It will load on a separate page so you can continue to surf.) You can listen to everything on Messages from Earth here.

Video link here.

via Cara De Silva via NPR’s Morning Edition

Related posts: pates’ tapes: hours of terrific music – free

kraftwerk mixtape + their new music generating app

let’s get lost: yale’s vast fabulous archive available online

music sometimes opens the way

sing LOUD! like they do in sardinia

thomas ashcraft: artist as electroreceptor

ashcraft’s music: d-i-y recordings of sun + planets

travel the known universe

bbc’s astonishing world music archive – free

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *