September 5th marked the 40th anniversary of Nasa’s Voyager 1 launch and with it arrived the third installment of Tonio Sagan’s Voyager Records series which uses sounds curated by his grandfather, Carl Sagan, titled Diamond Rain. As the A-Side of the 7″ release, every minute sound including drums was processed from the contents of the Voyager Interstellar Records.
Liquid drops of chrome pop and lead Diamond Rain beneath a menacing bass line until an innocent voice in a foreign tongue enters. There’s an eerie ambiance like you’re lost in a celestial sea that oscillates between the thin veil of time. The glassy ocean sways with an unsettling tranquility. Synths snap and skitter across cerulean moonbeams in an endless stream that gurgles with the deep orbiting lull of crystalline rain.
Sagan further explained the vocals and inspiration behind the single:
“The vocals on this track were recorded in 1963 in a small Peruvian village. The fifteen-year-old girl, whose name is unaccredited to the best of my knowledge, is singing in Quechua, a family of languages stemming from the Inca Empire. The original record is titled “wedding song”. Since I worked a lot of Voyager’s “Sounds Of Earth” rain and bubble samples to create the percussion, and considering scientists think it may “rain” crystallized carbon on Neptune, and a diamond being a symbol of modern matrimony, “Diamond Rain” seemed fitting.”
A translation of the lyrics can be found at the Soundcloud link below.