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Members of the ISO and Kid Cudi
Kid Cudi and members of the ISO on set. Image Credit: Amazon.

KID CUDI and The International Space Orchestra (ISO) come together for an immersive musical event on 17th June as part of the Amazon Prime Day Show, featuring Billie Elish & H.E.R.


June 17, 2021 - The International Space Orchestra is delighted to announce our collaboration with Kid Cudi for Amazon Prime Day 2021! On Wednesday 17th June 2021, Amazon is releasing their Prime Day show for 30 days free to anyone, taking the form of three immersive musical events. It features pop icon Billie Eilish, recent Oscar winner H.E.R and a collaboration like no other between American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer Kid Cudi and the International Space Orchestra!

The occasion called for Kid Cudi to team up with The International Space Orchestra - the world’s first orchestra of space scientists. Created in 2012, the International Space Orchestra is directed by SETI Institute Designer of Experiences Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian along with musical director Evan Price who is veteran of the world-renowned, paradigm-shifting jazz ensemble, the Turtle Island Quartet, violinist and musical director. Under Ben Hayoun-Stépanian’s leadership, The International Space Orchestra has performed sold-out shows on some of the largest Californian

stages (San Francisco Symphony Hall, the Fillmore Theater and the Hollywood Bowl) with world-renowned Grammy award-winning artists such as Bobby Womack, Damon Albarn, Beck, Sigur Rós, Maywa Denki, Savages and most recently with The Avalanches.

Stated as an ‘immersive musical event’ the collaboration will see Kid Cudi’s “biggest mission to date” as he’s depicted ditching Earth to start a new community on the Moon. The 25-minute experience will feature songs from Cudi’s 2020 album Man on the Moon III: The Chosen, all brought to life with the International Space Orchestra serving as Cudi’s backing band.


Kid Cudi and ISO Members


To celebrate the collaboration, The International Space Orchestra, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios, and the SETI Institute will host a SETI Live conversation on 1st July at 5pm BST, 9am PDT time on all the SETI Institute social channels (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Twitch). The conversation will be composed of ISO Orchestra scientists, SETI Institute scientist Dr. Janice Bishop and Director of the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) Greg Schmidt, Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian and moderated by Senior scientist Dr. Franck Marchis.

Of the collaboration, Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian, director and founder of the International Space Orchestra says:

“As plans to go to the Moon and stay are firming up, I believe that we -as humanity- have to unite and develop responsible and pluralistic moon utopias. To repeat history on our satellite -the Moon- is not the way forward. When Kid Cudi approached us with this project, it felt that the vision was different and that the opportunity to consider what these new futures, or cosmic journeys could be like through music, might just be the inspiration we all need to reflect and rethink. The International Space Orchestra is very glad to have worked with Kid Cudi from the deep dark depths of space, and thank him for inviting the International Space Orchestra to be a part of his outer-space voyage!”

About The International Space Orchestra:
The International Space Orchestra is the world’s first orchestra of space scientists. Blending space exploration, bassoons, harps and triangles; planet-poking and bluegrass-playing spacecraft operators – The International Space Orchestra’s members are individuals drawn from NASA Ames Research Center, SETI Institute, and the International Space University. The International Space Orchestra, is an experiential and hybrid research laboratory, where space scientists are implementing, deconstructing, performing, singing, mixing, modifying, and designing musical acts.

It is a provocation to action: a call to imagine and disrupt future human relations to space science; to adapt space science to our creative needs. They previously performed with The Avalanches, Sigur Rós, Beck, Damon Albarn and Bobby Womack, The Prodigy, Penguin Café, japanese composer Maywa Denki, Savages, and more... In this tangential reality, your Flight Controller conducts arias and the Payload Officer works a baritone sax, while the Capsule Communicator is on the triangle and an astronaut on percussion. Following the rules of Tragedy defined by the ancient Greeks, The International Space Orchestra chorus introduces the public to the emotional nuances of space science missions. In 2015, European Space Agency Italian Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti brought the ISO music Compact Disc to the International Space Station. Since than, the ISO record is orbiting the earth on board the International Space Station, experiencing Zero Gravity inside the Cupola. The International Space Orchestra is currently rehearsing with director and SETI Institute Designer of Experiences Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian and Two time Grammy-Award winner ISO musical director Evan Price at NASA Ames Research center, California- and online!

Watch The International Space Orchestra film here:

About The SETI Institute:
Founded in 1984, the SETI Institute is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary research and education organization whose mission is to lead humanity’s quest to understand the origins and prevalence of life and intelligence in the Universe and to share that knowledge with the world. Our research encompasses the physical and biological sciences and leverages expertise in data analytics, machine learning and advanced signal detection technologies. The SETI Institute is a distinguished research partner for industry, academia and government agencies, including NASA and NSF.

About Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun:
Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian Ph.D is an award-winning designer of experiences, a filmmaker, who creates multidimensional experiential projects at the intersection of film, science, tech, theatre, politics and design. Dr. Ben Hayoun-Stépanian is the author and director of three feature length documentaries. Her latest documentary, I am (not) a Monster – on the origins, power structures and mechanics of knowledge and the act of thinking –was nominated for the Grierson Award at the BFI London Film Festival in 2019. Previously to this her feature length documentary Disaster Playground (SXSW 2015), a film that followed the chain of command in place in the event of hazardous asteroid impacting the earth, she was awarded one of the UK largest artistic awards, The Arts Council England Exceptional Award. Her first feature length film The International Space Orchestra premiered at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam where it was acclaimed by critics as a “masterpiece” (ICO), a ‘real achievement’ (DOMUS), “as thrilling as watching a rocket launch” and “Spine Tingling” (Guardian). When she is not making films, Nelly is a keynote speaker and has spoken worldwide about the value of experiential design practices in the context of nightlife, outreach, community and education. Her design work has been exhibited at the National Museum of China, MOMA, V&A, the MET and other leading design institutions. She also founded and currently runs the charity the University of the Underground, a free, pluralistic and transnational postgraduate university based in the underground of nightclubs in London, New York City and Amsterdam. She has two doppelgangers who work with her to appear at multiple places at the same time, a Barbie doll and a Lego made of herself.

About Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd:
Founded in 2009, Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd. designs experiences for you to become an astronaut in your living room while dark energy is being created in your kitchen sink and a volcano erupts on your couch. They are an interdisciplinary design studio which devises subversive events, experiences, and feature-length films. They work on multimedia, highly ambitious projects to empower countercultures and communities by building platforms for them to challenge power structures, while also allowing for change and critical thinking through multi-faceted immersive experiences. They are pioneers in the design of experiences, their mission is to reveal meanings and power structures through experiential practices and to foster critical thinking within institutions across the world. They have consulted and worked with leading scientists, creatives, writers, brands, politicians, policymakers, musicians, and engineers worldwide and they have a track record of having successfully challenged public engagement mechanics through theatrical, experiential, and design practices. They rethink and question systems in education, design, distribution, communication, public speaking, politics, economics, history, and sociology towards further pluralistic models which we implement in their projects. The team of architects, graphic designers, textile designers, philosophers and more are based in an artist collective in a train carriage on top of a nightclub. Plurality is one of their core tenets and as a result they support the training of youths, through the University of the Underground, a tuition-free charity they founded in 2017 with board members such as Pussy Riot, Noam Chomsky, and Massive Attack; it supports free, pluralistic, and transnational education. In 2020, Dezeen shortlisted Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd. one of the world’s best design studios and in 2021 The Dots selected Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios Ltd. as one of the “Top 50 companies to work for in 2021”.


Extra Information:
Visual assets can be found here.

Social media for Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios and the International Space Orchestra:

More Links:

Rebecca McDonald
Director of Communications
SETI Institute

Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian
Director and founder of the International Space Orchestra




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