Voyager Interstellar Mission Record

Voyager Interstellar Mission Record

The Voyager mission that launched thirty-six years ago has recently reached interstellar space, it has left our galaxy. On board is a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk, a phonograph containing an exceptional, diverse range of sounds from our world. Eastern, western, classical, blues, one conspicuous absence is anything we might call ‘pop’ music – notwithstanding Chuck Berry’s historical contribution to the genre. Eat your heart out 1D. The outerspace-scape is amply conveyed by a wealth of classical music, and Earth’s indigenous and primitive beginnings are transmitted by, amongst others, a pygmy women’s initiation song.

The full tracklist is detailed below. So It Goes was especially pleased to note that ‘Dark Was the Night’ by Blind Willie Johnson made the cut. Treat yourself to a good and true earwig at this keening, lonesome masterpiece.

God speed.


Voyager Interstellar Mission tracklist:

Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor. 4:40

Java, court gamelan, 'Kinds of Flowers', recorded by Robert Brown. 4:43

Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle. 2:08

Zaire, Pygmy girls' initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull. 0:56

Australia, Aborigine songs, 'Morning Star' and 'Devil Bird', recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes. 1:26

Mexico, 'El Cascabel', performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México. 3:14

'Johnny B. Goode', written and performed by Chuck Berry. 2:38

New Guinea, men's house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan. 1:20

Japan, shakuhachi, 'Tsuru No Sugomori' ('Crane's Nest'), performed by Goro Yamaguchi. 4:51

Bach, 'Gavotte en rondeaux' from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux. 2:55

Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor. 2:55

Georgian S.S.R., chorus, 'Tchakrulo', collected by Radio Moscow. 2:18

Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima. 0:52

'Melancholy Blues', performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven. 3:05

Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow. 2:30

Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor. 4:35

Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano. 4:48

Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor. 7:20

Bulgaria, 'Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin', sung by Valya Balkanska. 4:59

Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes. 0:57

Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, 'The Fairie Round', performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London. 1:17

Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service. 1:12

Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen. 0:38

China, ch'in, 'Flowing Streams', performed by Kuan P'ing-hu. 7:37 I

ndia, raga, 'Jaat Kahan Ho', sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar. 3:30

'Dark Was the Night', written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson. 3:15

Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet. 6:37