Yes, you read that correctly. Next year, Spain’s Sonar Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary and they will mark the occasion by sending music from artists including Autechre, Laurel Halo, Nina Kraviz, Holly Herndon into space . If (and this is a big IF) the project is successful, they could receive a response by 2042 and, who knows, maybe there will be some very special guests attending Sónar Festival’s 50th anniversary celebration.
The ambitious project has been dubbed “Sónar Calling GJ273b” and will be launched in partnership with METI International, an organisation that is dedicated to searching for and specialises in sending messages out to possible extra-terrestrial beings.
Sonar directors Enric Palau, Sergio Caballero and Ricard Robles said: “Sonar Calling is an attempt to rekindle a sense of global consciousness and a shared reflection on our collective present, that we hope will lead to new ideas and new partners. Yes, even alien ones.”
The project will take place in two phases with a total of 33 pieces of music, each ten seconds in length, being transmitted in the direction of GJ273b, otherwise known as Luyten’s Star, which is the closest star to Earth.
These artists were chosen to represent the festival’s established history of electronic music and each of their compositions are unique. Alva Noto has sent a recording of his unborn daughter’s heartbeat and Autechre composed a mathematical piece of music based on the first 449 prime numbers.
You can watch a short video about the project here.