The Avalanches have teased new music converted from the 1974 Arecibo message broadcast into space in the hopes of contacting intelligent life.
On Instagram today (June 18), the Australian plunderphonics group detailed how they were contacted by Frank Drake, the 90-year-old astronomer and astrophysicist responsible for the creation of the Arecibo message in 1974.
According to the SETI Institute, the Arecibo message carried information about humanity to the distant galaxy M13, and was broadcast using two different radio frequencies from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico on November 16, 1974. It remains the most powerful broadcast ever deliberately beamed into space.
“Frank found [the message] in his archives and was kind enough to share with us. Over the last few weeks [Nelly Ben Hayoun] and Franck Marchis at the [SETI Institute] have helped us digitalise the message using AI-based software to convert the original file provided by Frank,” The Avalanches wrote.
“It’s now a string of 0’s and 1’s, ready for conversion into a MIDI sequence, and perhaps, shortly, for your listening pleasure. Stay tuned!”
Alongside their note, The Avalanches posted an image of the “never before seen” code which, as promised, is a binary assortment of zeros and ones. See it here:
View this post on Instagram
We were blessed to receive an email recently from astronomer and astrophysicist Frank Drake, creator of the famous Drake equation, supervisor of the Voyager Golden Record project and all round great guy. Frank turns 90 this year! In 1974 Frank created the Arecibo message, an interstellar radio signal carrying information about humanity which was sent to galaxy M13 over 25,000 light years away. The message was broadcast using two different radio frequencies at a rate of 10 characters per second from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico on the 16th of November 1974. The hope was to contact intelligent life. Above is the original never before seen code from the Arecibo message, which Frank found in his archives and was kind enough to share with us. Over the last few weeks @nellybenhayounstudios and Franck Marchis at the @setiinstitute have helped us digitalize the message using AI-based software to convert the original file provided by Frank. It’s now a string of 0’s and 1’s, ready for conversion into a midi sequence, and perhaps, shortly, for your listening pleasure. stay tuned !.. 📡🎶👽. . . . . Endless love to @nellybenhayounstudios without whom this project would not have been possible
The Avalanches did not specify when this new piece of music would see the light of day. The band have been releasing singles from their forthcoming third studio album. So far, they’ve released ‘We Will Always Love You’ featuring Blood Orange and the Rivers Cuomo-assisted ‘Running Red Lights’.
Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, they’ve also released two significant DJ mixes: their two-hour 2016 BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, and a back-to-back mix with Jamie xx for his monthly NTS radio show.