The Electronic Pro-Space Pop Music of ZIA

Music and art that accompany asocial movement are usually considered to be "folk art" or "folkmusic". Folk music is normally associated with acoustic guitars, vocals,and other organic timbres. However, what could be more suitable to accompanythe technology driven pro-space movement than technology driven music?

Elaine Walker is an artist andmusician who feels this way. Her all-electronic band, ZIA, debuted in 1992performing their own brand of aggressively futuristic music with an optimisticedge. It is a strange blend that parallels the pro-space movement. Theyaggressively strive to conquer each technological milestone, with the long-termgoal being an optimistic outlook for humanity.

The pro-space movement is also asocial movement. As engineers and entrepreneurs are building hardware andcarving out new markets, pro-space advocates are promoting a new outlook forhumanity on a social level. Pro-spacers are forever finding creative ways topromote the idea of a spacefaring civilization with outreach projects,magazines, local chapters, lobbying campaigns, books, art and even music. Thereare a lot of stories to tell, with a lot of potential lyrical content.

As we strive toward our goal of aspacefaring civilization, stereotypical walls are broken down to make way forfresh new ideas, such as SpaceShipOne's uniquedesign, or Pathfinder's bouncing landing gear. In the same spirit, Elaine hasbroken down walls of artistic conformity, creating her own electronic musicalinstruments such as her "Planetary" and "Chaos Controller"instruments, and has even created her own musical tunings, often deviating fromthe standard western 12-tone scale.

Pro-space music works on a fewdifferent levels. Like most folk music, it can tell the story as it'shappening. It will serve as one more record of the movement from theperspective of someone who experienced it. It also is meant to spread the wordand enlighten the pop culture and others who may have not otherwise thoughtabout the idea of a spacefaring civilization. Pro-space-music can be anadvertisement for space ventures, literally as an accompaniment to videoanimations, or as theme songs.

But more importantly for Elaine,it can be an encouraging accompaniment to the people who are accomplishing thereal milestones - the people building hardware, inching out new markets andetching out legislation. From time to time, Elaine can be found singing tothese pro-space-heroes downing margaritas during a hospitality hour at apro-space conference. These relaxed and reflective moments during our movementare highly deserved by these soldiers of space.

When Elaine became President ofthe Boston Chapter of the NSS in 1996, she decided to bring together her lovefor space and futuristic music even more than she had in the past. At RobertZubrin's urging, Elaine entered two songs, "Frontier Creatures" and"Ad Astra" into the first National Space Society song-writingcontest. After hearing these songs, Marianne Dyson invited Elaine's band, ZIA,to perform for the main banquet at the 1999 ISDC. This performance spawnedinvitations to play and sing at many other pro-space conferences in the yearsthat followed.

The electronic-pro-space-music ofElaine Walker and her band, ZIA, can be heard on their website in the MUSIC section. ZIA is currently working on amusic video featuring a song written about humans-to-Mars, with video footageof Elaine on Devon Island during the NASA Haughton-Mars Project 2003 fieldseason. ZIA is also working on a 4th album and a DVD compilation of sexy,spacey live shows, videos and interviews.

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