Good things come to those who wait and so it is with great expectations that we’ve pounced on the first teaser film for this much-anticipated new project from the ever-innovative Nelly Ben Hayoun. We’ve been aware of the French artist’s moves to form the International Space Orchestra, using staff at the NASA Ames Research Center and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI), for some time. But only now do we get our first look at the film which documents the deliciously barmy sounding project.
Merging science, technology, design and opera, the project is described as “an experiential and hybrid research laboratory, where space scientists have been invited to implement, deconstruct, perform, sing, mix, modify, and design musical acts in control rooms.”
But thanks to Nelly’s enthusiasm and the open-mindedness of so many senior NASA figures, it’s became even more than that: “a provocation to action: a call to imagine and disrupt future human relations to science; to adapt science to our creative needs.”
With big-name collaborators like Damon Albarn, Bobby Womack, Arrthur Jeffes and Bruce Sterling, Nelly and her team set about creating an endeavour which used science and music as mirrors to examine each other and this film, which premieres at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, tells this extraordinary story. It promises to give us an insight into Nelly’s immersive way of working and her ability to take these intergalactic experts on a new type of exciting adventure.
As one of the contributors in the trailer puts it: “They’re never going to be the Philharmonic, but that’s not the point.”