The great Jethro Tull are currently gearing up for a brief Australian tour scheduled for the end of April, including an appearance at this year’s Bluesfest in Byron Bay. But Ian Anderson and his cronies have more ambitious plans, with the news that the music of ‘The Tull’ is to be premiered in outer space.
The Guardian reports that today (Tuesday April 12), American astronaut Catherine Coleman will play the flute 250 miles above the earth, in a duet via video link with Anderson playing from planet earth. The bizarre event marks the 50th anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned flight in space.
Coleman is on the International Space Station while Anderson will contribute his part whilst on stage at Perm, Russia. The duet was Coleman’s idea, a Tull fan who got in touch with Anderson with a mutual friend, DJ Dayna Steele.
Steel is quoted by AOL News as saying, “Kate thought it would be fun to do a duet in space and asked me if I knew how to get in touch with Ian since I’ve been part of that world… So I tracked him down.”
The pair will perform Jethro Tull’s famous 1969 reworking of Bach’s Bourree In E Minor, though such an ambitious plan will inevitably have a few technical problems. “I imagine playing music together might be tough,” said Steele. “There is usually a four-second delay when you’re talking to someone from the space station. It’s a challenge trying to talk with someone.”
Coleman has been rehearsing for the ‘show’ for weeks, and was even able to take one of Anderson’s flutes into space with her. The whole thing might be awful, but either way lets hope it ends up on YouTube soon. For now, here are Jethro Tull’s Australian dates, along with a classic rendition of Bouree from 1969. After the Australian dates the band head to the US for a special tour marking the 40th anniversary of their landmark album, Aqualung.
Monday April 25, Bluesfest, Byron Bay NSW
Tuesday April 26, State Theatre, Sydney NSW
Wednesday, April 27, State Theatre, Sydney NSW
Thursday April 28, Palais Theatre, Melbourne NSW