Profiled in Vegas Seven Mag!

16 08 2012

Deanna Rilling, a high-school friend of mine who now writes for VEGAS SEVEN recently reached out to do an interview about all of the trouble I’ve been getting into lately.  Well, the article came out – and if you’re interested in hearing me talk about growing up in Las Vegas, the relationship between jazz improvisation and frontier science, my role on a National Geographic television series, and my high hopes for the aerospace industry in Nevada, read on!

The article link is as follows:  “Head in the Stars





Jazz in Space

27 04 2011

In space, as they say, no one can hear you.  And that may be a problem. 

While many astronauts experience what is called the “overview effect,” that is, a sense of euphoric connectedness to the Earth and all of its inhabitants brought on by the vantage of seeing the planet in a truly native context… astronauts experience  ups and downs.

Space is a stressful environment – a roller-coaster of physical and mental human experience.

So, what can we do about it?  As the increased incidence of civilian spaceflight continues to rise, bringing with it people who have not spent a lifetime training to keep their anxieties and emotions under lock-and-key on command, perhaps it’s time to introduce traditional, cultural forms of self-expression to our newest frontier… and make sure we prioritize them.

Music as a creation is unique in that it is a way to simultaneously, dynamically express and capture the influences of a time, place, and culture.  It can evoke feelings and senses of home, alter moods, and give the analytical side of the brain a chance to recouperate.

If you asked me, (coming from an American perspective,) what we’re going to need is a little jazz blues in space. 

As arguably the paramount uniquely American cultural form of music, I think we should contribute it to, and exercise it in, the new environment… and I think all cultures who venture off-world should do the same with their cultural music.

Who knows?  Like has been the case in all other new environments before it, perhaps the interaction of different musical cultures in space will lead future astronauts to create something new.  Something that seems to… fit. 

I say getting an orbital combo together is a great place to start.








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