Edd Blakeley was so inspired by the Rosetta space mission that he composed an album of orchestral music charting the highs and lows of the journey to comet 67P.
Entirely crowd-funded, Edd’s Rosetta Suite has attracted not only local support, but support from all over the UK and Europe, including those involved directly with the European Space Agency’s mission, which saw a probe touch down on the comet in November 2014 ten years after the launch.
It was the televised coverage of this moment, and the outpourings of emotion from the scientists involved that sparked Edd’s imagination.
In particular Professor Monica Grady, who was shown crying tears of joy and hugging the BBC’s Science Editor as the landing module Philae became the first man-made object to land on a comet.
“She was clearly so full of emotion about it, it was amazing, and it touched me seeing the emotion of the scientists who had spent their lives working on this,” explains Edd.
“I was looking for something to write for myself, and following this I wrote a lot of sketches which formed the basis of the Rosetta Suite.”
Twenty-six year old Edd, son of local fiddle player Garry Blakeley, is very active in the Hastings and Sussex live music scene, but also writes and produces his own music.
“I have family roots in folk music - we are a musical family - but orchestral music, much less.
“It’s an interest of mine that has been brewing since I was about six years old.
“With this album it came out in full bloom.
“It came as a surprise to me that I chose to make an album of orchestral music.”
Edd enlisted the help of his father, among other Sussex-based musicians, for the recording of The Rosetta Suite, which is arranged into six movements, each one a chapter in the life of the Rosetta mission.
From the lift-off to the touchdown of landing module Philae, the suite describes the characters, successes and setbacks of the Rosetta mission, all of it painted in vivid orchestral colour.
“If you’re a fan of works like The Planets suite by Holst, you’re likely to enjoy the style I've gone for with the Rosetta Suite,” says Edd.
Edd launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project, and was overwhelmed with the support he received.
The original fundraising target of £2,500 was quickly surpassed, with the total raised reaching an impressive £4,362 “You never know how these things are going to go, and there’s no telling what people will be interested in,” he says.
“There was a lot of support from around town, and around the country, and indeed Europe, particularly The Netherlands.
“I can't thank my backers enough - it's been such a journey and a learning experience writing this new music. Now I just want everyone to hear it!”
He received a huge boost when the Rosetta mission Twitter account tweeted the Kickstarter link to its 350,000 followers.
Since Edd has been sending out copies of the album to those who backed the campaign, he says he has received emails from several supporters who it turns out are directly involved with Rosetta mission.
Almost exactly a year since the probe landed on comet 67P, what is Edd’s first solo album is to have its official launch.
The Rosetta Suite launch party will take place on Sunday, November 15, upstairs at The Jenny Lind, in the High Street, from 1.30pm to 5pm, and copies of the album will be available. For more information visit edwardblakeley.com