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Between December 2018 and 2019, Canadian composer Stefana Fratila went on a series of research trips throughout North America – including to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre – to meet with astronomers and scientists to answer a complex question: “If each planet in our solar system were a room, what would each room sound like?”
Her findings culminated in Sononaut, a collection of open-source VST plug-ins for digital audio workstations emulating each astral body’s atmospheric conditions. (Artist Jen Kutler collaborated on the project as well, using calculations by NASA astronomer and planetary scientist Dr. Conor Nixon).
During a residency at CMMAS (Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras) in Morelia, Mexico, Fratila began writing the album on an octophonic sound system, then added additional synthesizer, finalized arrangements, and incorporated Sononaut at her home studio in Toronto. The results are surreal, expansive, multi-colored, and mesmerizing. I want to leave this Earth behind is an odyssey of cosmic voyaging and technological innovation, fusing science, sound design, and stargazer reverie into eight cosmic portraits of our vast galactic family.