April 12th This year sees an extraordinary anniversary. Fifty years ago to the day Yuri Gagarin became the first person to see the Earth from space. To mark this extraordinary anniversary, I’m proud to be involved in a project devised by my friend Christopher Riley.
In a unique collaboration with the European Space Agency, and the Expedition 26/27 crew of the International Space Station, we have created a new film of what Gagarin first witnessed fifty years ago.
By matching the orbital path of the Space Station, as closely as possible, to that of Gagarin’s Vostok 1 spaceship and filming the same vistas of the Earth through the new giant cupola window, astronaut Paolo Nespoli, and documentary film maker Christopher Riley, have captured a new digital high definition view of the Earth below, half a century after Gagarin first witnessed it.
We have partnered with YouTube to share First Orbit with the World in a special global streaming event on the 12th April. The Yuri’s Night network will also be showing the film at over 120 parties around the world that day. If you would like to watch it at one of these events then please contact the organizers directly through the Yuri’s Night clickable party map.
The music in the film is all composed by me and comes from my album Cloud Songs.
“We’d been working with some of these tracks on another project” says Chris, “and we suddenly realised how perfectly they could compliment ‘First Orbit’ as well. We contacted Philip to ask his permission to use them, only to find that his entire Cloud Song album was already in orbit onboard the International Space Station!”
NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, had them on her iPod… Her husband, Josh Simpson is a friend of mine and they’d listened to a lot of my music together before she left, so I made up a playlist for her. Quite by coincidence Cady had been listening to the music in ‘First Orbit’ at one end of the Space Station whilst European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli was shooting for the film at the other end, without either of them knowing the connection!
If you want to see the film, it’s going to be a completely free download.
Dear Phillip, you are an emotive and musical geniouse, being a man who loves space and is studying astronomy, this music fits so well to the lauch that it actually made me emotional watching one of the greastest historical events that has happened in recent times.
Best of wishes to you