From Outer Space (A Smile for A Saturday)
With all that’s been going on, you might have missed the news that Russia recently launched a crew into outer space in order to go where no cinematic enterprise had ever gone before.
But of course in our view this is a bit of splitting semantic hairs, because sending cameras into the cosmos has been a hallmark of the space race since the beginning. Recently, as we were perusing YouTube looking for inspiration for a Smile for a Saturday, we came across what might have been another first: the first music video in space.
To call the performance of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield “out of this world,” is of course trite, but we couldn’t resist.
His song of choice is the very apt and very special “Space Oddity,” by David Bowie, which was inspired by the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hadfield updated the lyrics for the performance, with Bowie’s permission. It was the spring of 2013, and the astronaut had just handed over command of the International Space Station. He was about to return home when he made the recording, acting as both star and cinematographer. It has understandably struck a nerve back on Earth, racking up more than 50 million views!
We were moved by the music, the lyrics, Hadfield’s voice, and perhaps most of all, the view. It is inspiring to think about the scale of hopes and dreams that takes for humankind to leave our precious and precarious home. Reflecting on how we can orbit high overhead, looking down on all that we cherish and hold dear, and to do so infused with art and music, is reason to smile.
For those interested in the “making of the video” story, you can find that here.