» download (mp3, 2:12)

We’re all excited about this new program we’re working on featuring anthropologist-turned-novelist Mary Doria Russell. She frequently writes historical fiction, but Krista one day picked up her sci-fi epic The Sparrow (and its sequel Children of God), and was hooked. I guess being a fan of Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek influenced her a wee bit as well.

The premise of Mary Doria Russell’s epic is that music from another planet is detected by SETI scientists here on Earth. That’s how first contact is made. This leads to a group of astronauts being sent into space in search of the music’s source.

The idea of music traveling across the universe is not remotely fantastical. We’re already beaming transmissions from Earth into space in hopes of making contact with an alien civilization. In the 1970s, we sent out the Pioneer and Voyager probes to study the solar system. The two Pioneer probes each carried a plaque showing where the probes came from.

The Golden RecordThe two Voyager probes carried something far more ambitious: a cosmic message in a bottle known as the Golden Record. Although the potential aliens would need to build a device to read the record, once they do, they’ll find directions to Earth, and a wide sampling of sounds, music and images from life on this planet. That’s our attempt at making contact. So in this produced program with Mary Doria Russell, it seemed appropriate that we lay in some of that Golden Record music.

Here’s a short clip that ultimately was cut from the program, about Mary Doria Russell’s fascination with music. Enjoy. The full show will be up next Thursday.


Share Your Reflection

7Reflections

Reflections

I am a music therapist, and I loved this short clip - all the things you are saying about the power and universality of music are concepts I live and work with every day. Can't wait for the full show! And I will look for these books!

This is very exciting...I'm a big fan of The Sparrow... I read it last year...and them promptly re-read it a few months later before I embarked into Children of God. I was fascinated how anthropology, religion, sociology, linguistics, suffering, redemption, doubt, faith, ethics and human curiosity could all be melded into one book.
And Anne remains one of the most real-to-life characters ever portrayed in a book for me. I have adopted her phrase to new guests to my home "First time here, you're a guest. Second time, you're family. Get your own damn beer."
I'll look forward to this programme with great anticipation! As always, you SOFolks are marvelous.
Pádraig.

Pádraig, if you liked Anne, you'll love Mary Doria Russell. As I understand it, Anne was a stand-in for the author in the series. She's certainly in no shortage of energy during the interview. It's a high-minded but thoroughly wacky theological conversation.

This is very exciting...I'm a big fan of The Sparrow... I read it last year...and them promptly re-read it a few months later before I embarked into Children of God. I was fascinated how anthropology, religion, sociology, linguistics, suffering, redemption, doubt, faith, ethics and human curiosity could all be melded into one book.
And Anne remains one of the most real-to-life characters ever portrayed in a book for me. I have adopted her phrase to new guests to my home "First time here, you're a guest. Second time, you're family. Get your own damn beer."
I'll look forward to this programme with great anticipation! As always, you SOFolks are marvelous.
Pádraig.

This is very exciting...I'm a big fan of The Sparrow... I read it last year...and them promptly re-read it a few months later before I embarked into Children of God. I was fascinated how anthropology, religion, sociology, linguistics, suffering, redemption, doubt, faith, ethics and human curiosity could all be melded into one book.
And Anne remains one of the most real-to-life characters ever portrayed in a book for me. I have adopted her phrase to new guests to my home "First time here, you're a guest. Second time, you're family. Get your own damn beer."
I'll look forward to this programme with great anticipation! As always, you SOFolks are marvelous.
Pádraig.

Listening to the program right now, and this is delightful! You can doubt and be devoted, you can believe in the CREATION and in the elegance of DNA and Universal Gravitation. This is my vision of God: “He dances when we defeat him in argument.”
I will somehow work both books into this semester (15 credits!).
Thanks SOF

My connection with the universality of music derived (and derives still) from lines in Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality": "The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star / Hath had elsewhere its setting, / And cometh from afar: / Not in entire forgetfulness, / And not in utter nakedness, / but trailing clouds of glory do we come / From God, who is our home: / Heaven lies about us in our infancy! "
I look to believe in the old concept: the "music of the spheres."