Shawn Brackbill/Courtesy of the artist
It has been a great 12 months for space music, but to our ears much of this burgeoning scene doesn't quite sound spacey. The Sufjan Stevens-led Planetarium is a modern Holst-ian work, more at home in the concert hall than the Milky Way (and we’d take Gustav’s “Mars” over Sufjan’s). Ennio Morricone’s newly reissued SPACE: 1999 is free-form jazz that sounds appropriate for a sci-fi horror set in the stars, but it doesn’t conjure up images of the galaxy if you close your eyes and listen. And clipping’s Hugo-nominated Splendor & Misery is already an overlooked artistic masterpiece, but its triumph is in storytelling and not necessarily in being some aural representation of interstellar happenings.
Close your eyes and picture “space,” and many of us likely have similar visions. Yet ask what space sounds like, and there’s no such unified response... at least there wasn’t.