While the first couple weeknights of the Ottawa Folk Fest were packed with shows, regular 9-5 work schedules prevented any daytime events until Saturday. Even still, day stuff was reserved mostly for things like ukulele tuning workshops and interviews with astronauts.
Yes, I also thought a folk music festival was a weird place to bring an astronaut for an interview session, but that was because I was completely out of the loop on what Chris Hadfield had actually done while he was in space (other than all the regular crazy astronaut-ness, which apparently wasn’t stimulating enough for him). As it turns out, this Chris Hadfield guy actually recorded an album in space – with the Barenaked Ladies nonetheless (check it out here)! During his interview, he and his brother performed a couple of the tunes with out of this world lyrics (sorry, I can’t NOT make space puns) about the trials of watching the sun rise 16x a day and other space-problems. He also touched on how similar cities in Canada and Africa (and the rest of the world) began to look and how much we’re all really one in the same. From what he said, it seems like the best way to learn about the world is to take some time away from it.
Basically, his performance was AWESOME – he brought more than a few crowd members to tears with his sentimental songs. Singing about space gave him such a unique perspective, but all of the themes he sang about – love, togetherness, travelling through life – remained fully relatable.
After the session, I was hit by an amazing idea: have NASA re-design its astronaut recruitment criteria to include instrument and song writing abilities. Its win-win for everyone, hear me out:
– Stimulation for the music industry: who DOESN’T want to listen to space tunes, PLUS they could make a KILLING holding outer space concerts – which totally aren’t unreasonable, fyi – space hotels are already being planned!
– Motivated astronauts: I’m not saying they should stop the whole astronaut thing, just get people who can also strum a few chords to go out to space. Apparently staring at the planet all day gets boring, so sending people with hobbies they can pursue while they’re up there will keep them stimulated and motivated
– Beating the Russians: I’m pretty sure this is the whole reason NASA exists anyways and the Russians show no intention of sending someone like Ruslana into space (yet)