6th International Space Arts Workshop "The Collaborative Process in Space Art", March 17, 2002, Paris, France, http://www.olats.org/setF11.html,



Design and Implementation of the 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens


Alexander L. Zaitsev, IRE RAS



The idea and project of the 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens were stated in the Arecibo Proposal "One-Dimensional Radio Message for Blind Aliens" (AP number Zaitsev000704074140) on July 4, 2000. Unfortunately, this Proposal was not accepted by Arecibo reviewers for realization because of their misgiving that such interstellar radio transmission may be a dangerous affair. Next, the ground and description of this Project were presented at the SPE-2000 Conference in Evpatoria on September 11, 2000, in order try to transmit this Concert from the Evpatoria Planetary Radar (EPR) as a part of the SPE events. But only the third attempt to implement the Theremin Concert was successful – music for potential Extraterrestrial was firstly broadcasted from the EPR to 6 nearby Sun-like stars on August-September, 2001, during transmission the TAM (A Teen-Age Message to the Stars at the http://www.setileague.org/articles/tam.htm).


A review will be given of the theory of interstellar musical radio transmission, the collaborative processes between scientists, engineering, musicians, amateurs of astronomy, as well as, the plans for future development.




There are two interconnected, inverse and direct, problems in concept of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) – Search for ETI by terrestrial intelligence (SETI) and Messages to ETI from terrestrial intelligence (METI). The key element of SETI is the Object of search, namely Universe, where we hope to detect the ETI and then to decode theirs Messages, and so the essence of SETI is Space Science. In turn, the key element of METI is the intellectual Subject, who creates new messages for potential ETI and hope that They will detect and perceive these Messages, and so the essence of METI is Space Art. Of course, both SETI and METI have both scientific and art components, but it’s important to underline that dominant of SETI is Science, and dominant of METI is Art. Also, the Messages for ETI might content both terrestrial knowledge and art, however scientific objective laws, known to terrestrials probably similar to ETI one, in turn the terrestrial subjective Art is unique and definitely unknown to ETI.


The classification of human interstellar messages might be done in concordance with proposed difficulty of theirs perception by unbeknown mentality. The most ready for perception will be an unmodulated carrier or regular radio signals, which might be used by Them for detection of our transmission and for radio science investigation of propagation effects at the receiving point. So, such radio transmission may be named as Interstellar Sounding (ISS). The next one is the message with one-dimensional information, oriented to perception by one-channel, ear-like sense organs – it might be a music, voice, or similar process as a one-variable function. And such radio transmission may be named as Interstellar Broadcast (ISB). The third type of human radio transmission is two-dimensional information, oriented to perception by multi-channel, eye-like sense organs – it might be a flat pictures, images, or similar processes in the form of two-variable functions. By analogy, this radio transmission may be named as Interstellar Television (ISTV). Both Arecibo Message 1974 and Evpatoria Message 1999 (“Cosmic Call”) were the ISTV messages. It is quite possible that in future more complexes 3D Messages for ETI will be created, too, for example, in order to show Them the terrestrial Architecture.


An initial pulse, which launched project "Music for Aliens" was the thesis on "universal, perceived by any carrier of intellect, nature of music", which I detected at the site "Russian SETI". As a design result of this project the following conclusions were formulated:


Above conception was expounded in the Arecibo Proposal "One-Dimensional Radio Message for “Blind” Aliens" (AP number Zaitsev000704074140) on July 4, 2000, that text is at http://lnfm1.sai.msu.su/SETI/eng/articles/zait_eng.html.


The first recording of the 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens was made in Moscow by famous performer Lidia Kavina, and it included four musical compositions: 


Further also two other theremin musicians – Yana Aksenova and Anton Kerchenko were invited. They went to Evpatoria and performed live Concert during Interstellar Broadcasting.


Update of Evpatoria Planetary Radar (EPR) consisted in its re-equipment with special interface and software for connection of theremin and cassette tape recorder.


For the first time, the 1st Theremin Concert for Aliens was transmitted on August 29, 2001 from the EPR to the Sun-like star HD 197076 in the Dolphin Constellation. The 15-minute performance consisted of following melodies: 


In sum, there were six METI sessions from the EPR to six Sun-like stars on August 29, September 3 and 4, 2001. The List of target stars and Concert program were composed by teens from different sites of Russia. Teens sent theirs suggestions via Internet and by post mail to the Moscow Center of Teens Activity, where worked a special Jury, which selected the most interesting suggestions. More info is at TAM page of http://ebe.allwebco.com/Science. The lease of 70-m dish and power transmitter of the EPR was paid by Education Department of Moscow City Administration. The hard and soft equipment was manufactured in IRE RAS.


Future Interstellar Messages would be composed with using any other sources of self-oscillation musical signals, similar to theremin – violin, organ, voice, trombone. It seems to me the most interesting variant – using in the next Concert for Aliens the female voice "mezzo-soprano" for singing a series of Songs without Words or the songster-songstress dialogue in composition "Melody of Love".