UPDATE: Each Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition vinyl box set (pledges of $98 or more) now includes the high-quality enamel pin of the Golden Record diagram and a custom turntable slipmat featuring NASA/JPL-Caltech's heliocentric view of the Voyager spacecrafts' trajectories across the solar system! Thank you so much for your support!
The Voyager Golden Record was a gift from humanity to the cosmos. And it is also a gift to humanity.
In 1977, NASA launched two spacecraft, Voyager I and II, on a grand tour of the solar system and beyond, into the mysteries of interstellar space. Mounted to each of these spacecraft is a stunning golden phonograph record, an interstellar message to introduce our civilization to extraterrestrials who might encounter the probes, perhaps billions of years from now.
The Voyager Golden Record contains the story of Earth expressed in sounds, images, and science: Earth's greatest music from myriad cultures and eras, from Bach and Beethoven to Blind Willie Johnson and Chuck Berry, Senegalese percussion to Solomon Island panpipes. Dozens of natural sounds of our planet -- birds, a train, a baby's cry -- are collaged into a lovely audio poem called Sounds of Earth. There are spoken greetings in 55 human languages, and one whale language, and more than one hundred images encoded in analog that depict who, and what, we are. (To hear those greetings and Sounds of Earth and see a handful of the images, visit NASA/JPL-Caltech's Voyager site!)
Etched on the record’s gold-plated aluminum jacket is a diagram explaining where it came from, and how to play it.
Astronomer and science educator Carl Sagan chaired the visionary committee that created the original Voyager Golden Record forty years ago. Astronomer and SETI pioneer Frank Drake was the technical director, writer Ann Druyan was creative director, science writer Timothy Ferris produced the record, artist Jon Lomberg designed it, and artist Linda Salzman Sagan organized the greetings.
Voyager I entered interstellar space in 2013. It’s almost 13 billion miles away from Earth, and in about 40,000 years it will be within 1.6 light years of a star in the constellation of Camelopardalis. Voyager II is right on its tail. We may never know whether an extraterrestrial civilization ever listens to the Golden Record.
But now for the first time in history, to celebrate Voyager's 40th anniversary next year, you'll be able to experience it for yourself the way it was meant to be played.
An exquisitely-designed objet d'art, this limited edition Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition vinyl box set will only be available through this Kickstarter. It is the ultimate album package of the ultimate album package.
The cloth-covered box with gold foil inlay will house three, heavyweight translucent gold vinyl LPs protected by poly-lined paper sleeves. The LPs will contain all of the same magnificent music, greetings, and sounds as contained on the original Voyager Golden Record, nearly two hours of audio. (Track list below.) Those records will slip into old style tip on, black ink and gold foil jackets. The audio will be complemented by a beautifully-designed hardbound book of captivating images from the original interstellar message, glorious photos of the planets returned to Earth from the Voyager probes, compelling essays, and ephemera from the project's history.
Each set will include a color, plastic digital download card with a code to access all of the audio in MP3 or FLAC format. A lithograph of the iconic Golden Record cover diagram, printed with gold metallic ink on archival paper, high-quality enamel pin of that same diagram, and a custom turntable slipmat featuring NASA/JPL-Caltech's heliocentric view of the Voyager spacecrafts' trajectories across the solar system will complete the box set.
We are honored that Timothy Ferris, the original producer of the Golden Record, will be in the recording studio with us to remaster the audio for vinyl, drawing from the highest-quality sources we can access.
The overwhelming majority of the funds raised from this historic reissue will go directly to the high production costs, licensing, and royalties incurred in creating this lavish box set. All manufacturing, except perhaps the vinyl pressing, will take place in North America at highly-respected facilities using the finest materials.
We are excited about some very special plans we have for the net proceeds from this project. Please click here!
The creation and launch of the Voyager Golden Record was a testament to the power of science and art to ignite humanity’s sense of curiosity, delight, and wonder. That is the mindset with which as we approach this effort to publicly release the Voyager Golden Record as actual phonograph records for the very first time. It is as relevant now as it was in 1977. Perhaps even more so.
Our hope is that The Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition will provoke questions about our place in the universe, open our minds to possibility, and serve as a reminder that the future is really up to all of us.
Your support means the world(s) to us.
David, Tim, and Lawrence
David Pescovitz is editor/managing partner of Boing Boing, the technology and culture web site with more than 5 million readers, and a research director at the nonprofit Institute for the Future. A career science and technology journalist, he has written for the New York Times, Scientific American, Popular Science, and many other publications.
Timothy Daly is a manager at the iconic Amoeba Music in San Francisco. A veteran of the music industry for 18 years, he also owned and operated the label Yik Yak (2003-2010), specializing in limited edition LP releases of experimental and avant-garde music.
Lawrence Azerrad has created graphic design and comprehensive visual identity systems for clients such as The Clinton Foundation, The Beach Boys, Miles Davis, Sting and seven album packages for alternative rock band Wilco. Azerrad’s work is included in the book The Greatest Album Covers of All Time and he is the author of a design history of the supersonic luxury airliner Concorde.
Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition audio tracks:
- Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor
- Java, court gamelan, "Kinds of Flowers," recorded by Robert Brown
- Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle
- Zaire, Pygmy girls' initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull
- Australia, Aborigine songs, "Morning Star" and "Devil Bird," recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes
- Mexico, "El Cascabel," performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México
- "Johnny B. Goode," written and performed by Chuck Berry
- New Guinea, men's house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan
- Japan, Shakuhachi, "Tsuru No Sugomori" ("Crane's Nest,") performed by Goro Yamaguch
- Bach, "Gavotte en rondeaux" from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux
- Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor
- Georgian S.S.R., chorus, "Tchakrulo," collected by Radio Moscow
- Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima
- "Melancholy Blues," performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven
- Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow
- Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor
- Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano
- Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor
- Bulgaria, "Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin," sung by Valya Balkanska
- Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes
- Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, "The Fairie Round," performed by David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London
- Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service
- Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen
- China, ch'in, "Flowing Streams," performed by Kuan P'ing-hu
- India, raga, "Jaat Kahan Ho," sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar
- "Dark Was the Night," written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson
- Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet
- Greetings from the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim
- Greetings in 55 languages
- United Nations greetings
- Whale greetings
- The Sounds of Earth: “Music of the Spheres” by Laurie Spiegel, Volcanoes, Earthquake, Thunder, Mud Pots, Wind, Rain, Surf, Crickets, Frogs, Birds, Hyena, Elephant, Chimpanzee, Wild Dog, Footstepts, Heartbeat, Laughter, Fire, Speech, The First Tools, Tame Dog, Herding Sheep, Blacksmith, Sawing, Tractor, Riveter, Morse Code, Ships, Horse and Cart, Train, Tractor, Bus, Auto, F-111 Flyby, Saturn 5 Lift-off, Kiss, Mother and Child, Life Signs, Pulsar
Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition project credits:
David Pescovitz and Timothy Daly
Lawrence Azerrad, David Pescovitz, Timothy Daly
Lawrence Azerrad (LAD Design)
Rights and clearances
The Rights Workshop
Timothy Ferris, Jon Lomberg, Ann Druyan, Frank Drake, Linda Salzman Sagan, Nick Sagan, Nadia Drake, Scott Compton, Chris Valente, Joel White, Lou Weinert, Dave Wendlinger, Aubrey Wynn, Luke Shock, Mike Lowe, James Gibson/SFSU Hagar Planetarium, Blake Lewin, Benjamin Grimes, Ed Szylko/EJMS, Tom Andres, MJ "Bo" Bogatin, James Marion, Kelly Sparks, Hollie Retzinger, Julie Muncy, David Katznelson, Seth Shostak, Ariel Waldman, David Kostiner, Mill Valley Music, Light In The Attic Records, Boing Boing, Amoeba Music, and Institute for the Future.
Watch the video in HD here.
Product images above are mock-ups and subject to change as the design evolves. Photos and artwork from the original Voyager Golden Record project by NASA/JPL-Caltech; NAIC Arecibo Observatory, a facility of the NSF; Jon Lomberg; Frank Drake; J. Arthur Herrick; Peter Kunstadter; Jay Pasachoff.
The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition is not sponsored or endorsed by NASA. For more information on the Voyager mission and the original Voyager Golden Record, please visit: http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov
Every effort has been made to trace and contact copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyrighted material. If you believe you hold the copyright on material that was included on the Voyager Golden Record launched in 1977 and you have not yet heard from us, please do get in touch.
The Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition is a production of Ozma Records LLC, a new record label and publisher focused on the intersection of science, art, and music to spark the imagination.
Risks and challenges
From a production perspective, there are myriad moving parts that will require careful planning and management to ensure the quality is exceptional and the deadline is met. We have selected US manufacturers that we will monitor closely, and visit, for quality assurance. We've also built extra time into the production timeline to handle any unexpected issues.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter