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Music for Funerals (in Space)


Cyclotimia’s album “Celestis: Space Ceremonial Music” is inspired by the activity of a well-known American aerospace company Space Services Inc. which among other things specializes in sending human ashes into space (via their subsidiary Celestis Inc.). Moreover, the compact discs with this music have prowled the outer space twice while being on board rockets launched from the spaceport America in New Mexico. This happened for the first time in April 2007 (“Legacy” project), and for the second time in May 2010 (“Pioneer Flight” project). Cyclotimia’s music obtained the status of the official soundtrack to both events. 

“Celestis” definitely stands out in the discography of this project, known mainly for its post-industrial and avant-garde recordings. It would be no exaggeration to say that this is their most accessible work (in a good sense) correlating with the best examples of such acclaimed masters of the “space genre” as Jean-Michel Jarre or Klaus Schulze. At the same time the music on “Celestis” is in no way secondary, it is modern and quite craftily made. 

From the opening theme “Capsula” the album’s atmosphere plunges the listener into a world of spiritual experience, calls to take an imaginary space travel; fly towards Space along with the remains held in capsulas… It’s worth mentioning that the CD comes with a 12-page booklet narrating about the activities of the company. This release differs from the first edition (2007) as it contains an additional exclusive track “Another Time Another Place” – a 15-minute “space suite” recorded by the project in 2009.

So if you’re feeling morbid, funereal, AND cosmic, this might be the album for you. €7, $8.80 for Americans, or stream for free… while your tears float away in zero-G…


2 replies on “Music for Funerals (in Space)”

What about György Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna or Requiem, or Zbigniew Preisner’s “Lacrimosa”? All of these were used to stunning effect during the cosmological scenes of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Tree of Life.” Then there is the “Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age” movement of Gustav Holst’s The Planets which contains a variation on the funereal Dies Irae.

And Tomaso Albinoni’s dirge-like “Adagio in G minor,” used elegiacally in the “Space: 1999” episode “Dragon’s Domain.”

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