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Music inspired by or pertinent to Johannes Kepler and/or the NASA Kepler Mission

“Music of the Universe” combines a traditional acoustic chamber ensemble with Kepler star sonifications created by Jon Jenkins. My goal was to treat the star songs as equal members of the ensemble, which led to some compelling musical interactions through shared overtones, rhythmic pulses and timbre but also highlighted many differences. In 2014, I started working with school kids to compose music to bridge the gap between arts and science, so I am very pleased to explore musically any relationships between humans and space, especially after discovering that KIC9812351B contains an almost accurate 7/8 meter groove to jam with.

The work was premiered at Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, CA on July 5, 2015 inside the planetarium, accompanied by images from the Hubble telescope and others.

Performers are: Katrina Wreede, composer, viola and goat toenails; Martha Rodriguez-Salazar, flute; Felisa Simon, oboe, Jessie Ivry, cello; Jennifer Peringer, piano; Jon Jenkins, dry grass and sonified light curves. Recorded: Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA, 8/27/2015, Tim White, engineer.

Play: Music of the Universe (mp3; 4.8 Mb).

screenshot of stellar choir interactive

The Stellar Choir, by Francisco Camas, is an interactive choir of 8441 singing stars built from an early data release of star light curves by NASA's Kepler Mission. These curves were discarded as targets for the search of extra solar planets because of their high degree of variability. Changes in brightness (light flux) were translated into changes in sound pitch. A day of data was compressed into a second of sound.

See also: Star Sounds page

Listen to the sounds of Kepler
...a visualization based on open source data available from Kepler mission.
For each planet, a note with the pitch relative to the object's radius is played.
For small objects, higher pitches are played, and large objects have low pitches.

Song: Kepler, by John A. Marmie.
Play the song Kepler (mp3; 3 Mb).
Lyrics to KEPLER:

Like another science fiction novel
curiosity has left me in suspense
Could there ever be another planet like Earth
Could there ever be another you...I doubt it
I keep searchin' for clues that you exist.
One more time around and I think I might have found you baby.
And I gaze
deep inside a our galaxy
to a world I've been imagining
a glimpse of paradise.
Amazing possibilities
Could you be...smiling right back at me
thru this looking glass in time…
A good planet is hard to find.

Like the swirls in the sky of a Van Gogh Masterpiece
I stare in space and swear he traced distant galaxies
Did he close his eyes when he brushed the canvas
Did he think of you and smile when he made the planets
picture perfect cosmic harmony
A starry night reveals your face, I think he might found you baby.

Through Kepler’s eyes I see the light and all the world around me...all the worlds around me
Mesmerized, hypnotized, I call your name and I call your name and feel your warmth surround me

© 2011 John Marmie
Performed by: John Marmie/Jeffrey S. Petro

The AstroCappella song "Shoulders of Giants"
written and arranged by Padi Boyd, performed by The Chromatics,
and produced by the Johannes Kepler Project specifically
for the International Year of Astronomy (IYA--2009)
is freely available for use in IYA projects and events,
provided that the appropriate credits be given to the composer (Padi Boyd),
the performers (The Chromatics/AstroCappella), and the Johannes Kepler Project.
(use of the song as part of a commercial project will require a copyright release from the Project.)

Listen also to the AstroCappella song Dance of the Planets - about extrasolar planets, by The Chromatics

The Kepler Mission (band)

A band is named The Kepler Mission
Dave Koch and The Kepler Mission band

Dave Koch, Deputy PI for the NASA Kepler Mission, meets The Kepler Mission band members.

See also The Kepler Mission myspace page.

The Harmony of the World by the Willie Ruff/Mitchell Ruff Duo

Kepler's Blues by Patrick Campbell (high school teacher)

Kepler is an opera by Philip Glass set to a libretto in German and Latin by Martina Winkel. It premiered on 20 September 2009 at the Landestheater in the Austrian city of Linz with Dennis Russell Davies conducting the Bruckner Orchestra. Its libretto is based on the life and work of Johannes Kepler, the 16th and 17th century mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. The work was commissioned by the Linz Landestheater and Linz09 (a programme celebrating the city's designation as a European Capital of Culture). This is the third opera by Glass to be inspired by a physicist, after Einstein on the Beach (1976) and Galileo Galilei (2002).

Update 2012 Oct 15: "World of Opera" this week is bringing to its subscribing NPR stations around the country the American staged premiere of Philip Glass's opera Kepler which took place this past summer at the Spoletto Festival in Charleston, S.C. The cast consists of Kepler, a baritone, six of his scholars (2 sopranos, mezzo, tenor, baritone, and bass) and the other students (chorus) which in this case is the Westminster Choir. Anyone can listen to it online at the "World of Opera" website until November 10th at

Super Earth! by Jim and Kathy Ocean.
A new song inspired by the Kepler Mission, the SETI Institute, and early 70's funk and soul music.