The International Space Orchestra release a Sigur Rós cover

The International Space Orchestra, the world’s first orchestra composed of space scientists, is releasing a cover of Sigur Rós’ Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása.


As part of the festive season, The International Space Orchestra offer covers of Sigur Rós’ song Viðrar vel til loftárása, produced by Sigur Rós’ long-term collaborator musician Alex Somers, and performed by the International Space Orchestra.

The International Space Orchestra (ISO) is an assembly of star-spangled space scientists from NASA Ames Research Center, Singularity University and the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute. This recording act as a poignant memory of their performance as support act to the band at the Hollywood Bowl on 24th September 2016 as part of Sigur Rós’ world tour. Viðrar Vel Til Loftárása (free with an email sign-up), will go live on Christmas eve and be available via the International Space Orchestra’s website, SETI Institute’s Website and the Sigur Rós’ website.

Visit the ISO, SETI Institute or Sigur Rós’ website today and obtain a permanent memory of this human ground-breaking performance, a passage of time from the void to the full.

The International Space Orchestra:

The International Space Orchestra is the world’s first orchestra of space scientists. Blending space exploration and bassoons; planet-poking and bluegrass-playing spacecraft operators –the International Space Orchestra, is an experiential and hybrid research laboratory, where space scientists are implementing, deconstructing, performing, singing, mixing, modifying, and designing musical acts. It is a provocation to action: a call to imagine and disrupt future human relations to space science; to adapt space science to our creative needs.

The ISO previously performed with Beck, Damon Albarn and Bobby Womack, The Prodigy, Penguin Café, Japanese composer Maywa Denki and many more. In this tangential reality, your Flight Controller conducts arias and the Payload Officer works a baritone sax, while the Capsule Communicator is on the triangle and an astronaut on percussions. Following the rules of tragedy defined by the ancient Greeks, the International Space Orchestra chorus introduces the public to the emotional nuances of space science missions. Merging space, technology, design and rock, the ISO with Sigur Rós aims to reach the final frontier.

The International Space Orchestra is currently rehearsing with Director and ISO creator Nelly Ben Hayoun, Two-time Grammy-Award winner ISO musical director Evan Price and musical conductor Gordon Lustig, choir master Amanda Hahn at NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in California, USA.

You can read more on their website.

About the SETI Institute:

The SETI Institute is a multi-disciplinary, highly collaborative, research organisation designed to explore, understand, and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe utilising expertise in fields ranging from astrophysics and planetary science to biology and social science, as well as computer science and signal detection. We have a passion not only for discovery, but also for sharing knowledge as scientific ambassadors to the public, the press, and the government. The SETI Institute is a distinguished partner for government agencies, academic institutions, and corporations around the world. If you would like to find out more follow the link to their website.

About McSweeney’s:

McSweeney’s is an independent publishing company based in San Francisco, founded by Dave Eggers. We publish a journal of new fiction Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, a magazine of essays and interviews The Believer, an ever-growing selection of books under various imprints, and a daily humor website. Our projects have won multiple literary awards, including two National Magazine awards and the National Book Critics Circle award, and our publications have sent numerous stories to The Best American Magazine Writing, the O. Henry anthologies, and The Best American Short Stories. Our design awards include the AIGA 50 Books award, the AIGA 365 Illustration award, and the Print Design Regional award. We’ve worked with Beck, David Byrne, Miranda July, Nick Hornby, Judd Apatow, and thousands of other authors and artists. Our work combines great storytelling with elevating and eye-gratifying design, and our readers look to us for a sense of the state of the art. You can learn more by following this link.

Alex Somers:

Alex Somers is an American visual artist and musician from Baltimore, Maryland. He is currently living in Reykjavík, Iceland and runs a recording studio in downtown Reykjavík where he produces, engineers, and mixes since 2010. He attended Berklee College of Music, Boston, and Listaháskóli Íslands, Reykjavík. He and Jónsi, from Sigur Rós, produce music and visual art under the name Jónsi & Alex. The pair has released an album and a picture book; both titled “Riceboy Sleeps”.

Viðrar vel til loftárása cover by the International Space Orchestra (ISO)
25th December 2016
Recorded at 25th Street Recording, Oakland, CA, USA by Scott Bergstrom and Evan Price
Produced by Sigur Rós’ long-term collaborator musician Alex Somers and help from Paul Evans. Mastered by Taylor Deupree at 12k Mastering.

With ISO members


Vanessa Kuroda, BioSentinel Spacecraft Communication Subsystem Lead, NASA Ames Research Center – Piano
Scott Poll, Intelligent Systems Division, NASA Ames Research Center- Violin
Marie Lo, Hospitality Manager, Singularity University – Viola
Matt Linton – Chaos Specialist – (Former) NASA Ames Deputy CISO- Cello
Greg Schmidt, Deputy Director, NASA SSERVI- Ukulele
David P Roland, Sr. Systems Administrator NASA Advanced Supercomputing- Ukulele
Annette Rodrigues, Former associate director for Center Operations at NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Ames Bluegrass Band- Ukulele
Rodney Martin, Intelligent Systems Division, NASA Ames Research Center – Percussion and Clarinet
Peter I. A. T. Robinson, Computer Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center- Bassoon
Michael A. K. Gross, Software and systems engineer for SOFIA, NASA Ames Research Center – Trombone
Barbara Jo Navarro, Asst. Chief, Flight Systems Implementation Branch at NASA Ames Research Center- Trumpet
Paul K Davis, Retired Instrument Development Technical Group, NASA Ames Research Center- Viola and violin
Rusty Hunt, NASA Flight Director LADEE Lunar Orbiter and LCROSS Lunar Impactor, NASA Ames Research Center – Bari Sax
Martin Thoolen, Chief Drug Development Officer, NASA Ames Jazz band, contrabass
Oliwia Baney, worked as an Earth Science Researcher at Ames NASA DEVELOP- Cello
David Thompson, Sr. Research Scientist, Intelligent Systems Division, NASA Ames Research Center -Clarinet
Jasper Wolfe, PhoneSat NASA Ames Research Center- Alto Saxophone
Ben Ungs, Engineer, NASA Ames Research Center- Trombone
Robert ‘Bob’ Crow, Retired, NASA Ames Jazz Band- Saxophone
Elisabeth B Gee Giessler, Dr. of Optometry – Violin


Andrew Henry, Software Engineer, NASA Ames Research Center
Aileen Aniciete former operation Lead, NASA Ames research Center
John Cumbers, Founder of Synbiobeta, planetary sustainability network
Monica Ebert, Code D, NASA Ames Research Center
Amanda Hahn, Choir Master International Space Orchestra

ISO Director and concept: Nelly Ben Hayoun
ISO Musical Director: Evan Price
ISO Assistant Musical Director and conductor: Gordon Lustig
ISO Choir Master: Amanda Hahn
ISO Orchestration: Gordon Lustig
ISO Production: Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd
ISO and NBH studios Head of Music: Edna Pletchetero
NBH Studios Manager: Chloe McClellan
NBH Studios scientific advisor: Dr. Franck Marchis, SETI Institute
NBH Studios Social Media Officer: Darren Webb

With huge thanks to Alex Somers, Paul Evans, Sigur Rós, Big Dipper Productions Ltd, John, Dean, Clare, Sarah, Edna for their cosmic excellence.

The ISO is coming together with support from Big Dipper Productions Ltd, the SETI Institute, Singularity University, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd, and donations from ISO members.

Thank you to the SETI Institute, Singularity University, John Best, Evan Price, Gordon Lustig, Amanda Hahn, Annette Rodrigues, Melanie Lean, Scott Bergstrom at 25th Street Recording, Aileen Aniciete, Dr.Frank Marchis, Tim Olden, and BJ Navarro for their production support.

By signing up for this you will also be added to the newsletter of
– International Space Orchestra, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios (Director and producer of the International Space Orchestra) and partners SETI (Search for the Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, partner McSweeneys, Independent publisher and friends of the International Space Orchestra and collaborators Sigur Rós.