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"Space Musical Instruments" was performed on board Kibo

Last Updated: March 29, 2012

All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

JAXA Education Payload Observation (EPO) "Space Musical Instruments"* was performed on board Kibo, the Japanese Experiment Module.

*Principal Investigator (PI): Ayako Ono, Tohoku University Graduate School

The theme intends to look for a new sound and playing style in microgravity using two innovated musical instruments, a kind of brass instruments (such as maracas and handbells.) The instruments are played on orbit, and the performance and sound are recorded by a HD camcorder.

From 8:15 p.m. to 9:55 p.m. on February 10, 2012, on Kibo, NASA Astronaut Daniel Burbank played the instruments, and the performance was recorded.

Through this experiment, creations of new sounds and playing style resulting from a unique physical phenomenon in microgravity is expected, which might be possible to develop into a creation of new musical instruments for space use. Further, it could lead to some new leisure and communication tools in space.

Special Message from PI, Ayako Ono, Tohoku University Graduate School

We obtained a better result with the astronaut's adjustment than our preplanned playing method. I felt the "armchair theory" was the perfect word for this case. Especially, adding "stop" to the play was discovering. We may have discovered more from the play, and thus become a high-quality observation to us if more time had been allowed. However, we did our best with team working.

Ms. Ono (PI, left) and Mr. Negishi (Co-Investigator: CI, right) monitor the performance from the User Operations Area (UOA) at Tsukuba Space Center (Credit: JAXA)

Space Musical Instruments (Ellipsoid Bell and Fractal Bell) (Credit: Ayako Ono/JAXA)

*All times are Japan Standard Time (JST)

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