Music and art that accompany a social movement are usually considered to be "folk art" or "folk music". Folk music is normally associated with acoustic guitars, vocals, and other organic timbres. However, what could be more suitable to accompany the technology driven pro-space movement than technology driven music?
Elaine Walker is an artist and musician who feels this way. Her all-electronic band, ZIA, debuted in 1992 performing their own brand of aggressively futuristic music with an optimistic edge. It is a strange blend that parallels the pro-space movement. They aggressively strive to conquer each technological milestone, with the long-term goal being an optimistic outlook for humanity.
The pro-space movement is also a social movement. As engineers and entrepreneurs are building hardware and carving out new markets, pro-space advocates are promoting a new outlook for humanity on a social level. Pro-spacers are forever finding creative ways to promote the idea of a spacefaring civilization with outreach projects, magazines, local chapters, lobbying campaigns, books, art and even music. There are a lot of stories to tell, with a lot of potential lyrical content.
As we strive toward our goal of a spacefaring civilization, stereotypical walls are broken down to make way for fresh new ideas, such as SpaceShipOne's unique design, or Pathfinder's bouncing landing gear. In the same spirit, Elaine has broken down walls of artistic conformity, creating her own electronic musical instruments such as her "Planetary" and "Chaos Controller" instruments, and has even created her own musical tunings, often deviating from the standard western 12-tone scale.
Pro-space music works on a few different levels. Like most folk music, it can tell the story as it's happening. It will serve as one more record of the movement from the perspective of someone who experienced it. It also is meant to spread the word and enlighten the pop culture and others who may have not otherwise thought about the idea of a spacefaring civilization. Pro-space-music can be an advertisement for space ventures, literally as an accompaniment to video animations, or as theme songs.
But more importantly for Elaine, it can be an encouraging accompaniment to the people who are accomplishing the real milestones - the people building hardware, inching out new markets and etching out legislation. From time to time, Elaine can be found singing to these pro-space-heroes downing margaritas during a hospitality hour at a pro-space conference. These relaxed and reflective moments during our movement are highly deserved by these soldiers of space.
When Elaine became President of the Boston Chapter of the NSS in 1996, she decided to bring together her love for space and futuristic music even more than she had in the past. At Robert Zubrin's urging, Elaine entered two songs, "Frontier Creatures" and "Ad Astra" into the first National Space Society song-writing contest. After hearing these songs, Marianne Dyson invited Elaine's band, ZIA, to perform for the main banquet at the 1999 ISDC. This performance spawned invitations to play and sing at many other pro-space conferences in the years that followed.
The electronic-pro-space-music of Elaine Walker and her band, ZIA, can be heard on their website http://www.ziaspace.com/ZIA in the MUSIC section. ZIA is currently working on a music video featuring a song written about humans-to-Mars, with video footage of Elaine on Devon Island during the NASA Haughton-Mars Project 2003 field season. ZIA is also working on a 4th album and a DVD compilation of sexy, spacey live shows, videos and interviews.