Saturday, May 02, 2009

Blues for Kalpana

This is an instrumental song i wrote while the Space Shuttle Columbia was exploding on its re-entry to earth the 1 February 2003 and it's not a typical blues.
Here's the story of the birth of this song.

It was saturday morning in Italy, I woke up late (as usual) and started playing some random chords on my piano. Very soon I found myself playing 4 chords which seemed to me as if they were floating on air . I kept on playing, waiting for a variation in the melody to come out my fingers, I was fascinated by that slight change of tone of the intro. It reminded me of the stars and of the outer space. Closing my eyes I could see black sky and silvery lights. After a while I turned on the television without sound (I often do), and saw what seemed to me a normal re-entry of a Space Shuttle : I was amazed at the coincidence and I went on playing without looking at the television again, wondering about the stellar correspondence and synchronicity.

Soon I found the missing piece of the song. It fitted perfectly with the intro and seemed to have a bit of an epic touch, giving to the whole song the sensation of a sad triumphal march. I kept on playing. When I was sure that I had the whole song memorized in my mind I lit up a cigarette, looked up at the television again and saw the images of the exploding Shuttle.

I was shocked; I felt shivers up and down my spine, really got the creeps. I was thinking of synchronicity, feeling like I'd just been connected to other people's lives. I remembered a girl I had noticed before, she was in the shuttle. She was the same age as me, I saw her before on the news, she had impressed me for her beauty, intelligence and courage . I felt so sorry for her.

I finished recording "Blues for Kalpana" on the same day of the shuttle explosion.
I am honored to dedicate this song to the brave astronauts who lost their lives for all of us, and, particularly, to :

Kalpana Chawla ,41 , aerospace engineer, FAA Certified Flight Instructor and Mission Specialist for STS-107. Kalpana Chawla was responsible for more than twelve scientific experiments on the Shuttle Columbia. It was her second trip into space, the first one was in 1997. She described the earth view from space as very beautiful, and said she wished everyone could see it as she had.
Kalpana Chawla was born forty-one years ago in Karnal, about one-hundred-thirty kilometers north of New Delhi. Her friends say she always had the dream to fly. She moved to the United States in the nineteen-eighties, after graduating from Punjab Engineering College. She studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Texas in Arlington and the University of Colorado at Boulder. She became an astronaut in 1994. After Kalpana became an American citizen, she continued to stay in touch with students at her school in her hometown. Every year, she invited two of them to visit her at the American space agency. Students say she told them to follow their dreams, and that she would help them if their dreams could not come true in India. Hundreds of students had gathered at the school when the Columbia astronauts were expected to return to Earth. They prayed together when they learned the news that the shuttle had broken apart. Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian-born woman in space. But she told Indian reporters that she did not feel Indian when flying. She said that looking at the stars made her feel that she was from the solar system, not from one area of land on Earth. Millions of people in India, the United States and other nations mourned the loss of Kalpana and the other six Columbia astronauts.


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