The song that is going to be sent to the outer space is “He Flies Towards the Beehive“ (“Ta lendab mesipuu poole”), composed by Peep Sarapik for the lyrics of Juhan Liiv, which was chosen by public vote out of the programme of the XII Youth Song Celebration “Here I’ll Stay.”
Estonia officially became a space country in 2013 when from the French Guiana Space Centre the first Estonian satellite ESTCube-1 was sent into Earth’s orbit. Four years later the ESTCube and TTÜ Mektory will send into the space in addition to their new satellites a song “He Flies Towards the Beehive”, chosen out of the repertoire of the XII Youth Song and Dance Celebration. Flying a song to the space is a gift from Estonian Satellites to Estonian people on the occasion of 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.
To find out, which composition would tell the faraway Galactic about Estonia in a most beautiful way, the artistic committee of the XII Youth Celebration selected eight songs out of 44 traditional and new songs that are going to be performed at the celebration. As nobody in the space has not heard anything about us or our music, it didn’t really matter whether the space song is an old, traditional and beloved melody or a new song composed specifically for this year’s celebration.
Songs that were put on the vote were viewed almost 10 000 times and more than 2000 people took part in the selection. Most of the people voted for traditional songs that belong to the classics of song celebrations and the winner turned out to be “He Flies Towards the Beehive” by Peep Sarapik, which has been in the programme of all song celebrations since 1999 and in the programme of most youth song celebrations.
The song shall be recorded during the XII Youth Song celebration, then saved in the memory of ESTCube-2 and TTÜ100 and sent in 2018 and 2019 to the outer space.
As sound waves don’t spread in vacuum, it is not however possible to hear the song directly in the space. Still it is possible to receive it digitally via satellite connection and then listen on the Earth whether it has attached some cosmic tunes or not. For that purpose, satellite teams arrange under the EV100 anniversary programme several workshops for schools all around Estonia and help to build satellite receivers.
Flying song to the space is a gift from Estonian Satellites to Estonian people on the occasion of 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.
Most of the people voted for traditional songs that belong to the classics of song celebrations.
DID YOU KNOW THAT?
- “He Flies Towards the Beehive” was first performed at a youth song celebration in 1993 by mixed choirs. Joint choirs have been singing it at the grand finale of all song celebrations since 1999.
- Peep Sarapik (1949–1994), composer of the song, never heard his song in the performance of a joint choir, let alone at the song celebration. The greater the appreciation and respect of singers and the audience towards the composer, who managed to touch deeply the soul of Estonians.
- Peep Sarapik composed the music originally for another poem by Juhan Liiv, “I Would Take a Bond of Flowers” (“Ma lillesideme võtaks”). In the process of composing he decided in favour of another poem.
- The poem “He Flies Toward the Beehive” by Juhan Liiv was first published in 1905 in a family journal “Linda”. Composers Miina Härma, Juhan Simm and Riho Päts have also used this poem for their compositions.
- Some younger people believe that “He Flies Towards the Beehive” was written by Gustav Ernesaks and published under an alias to avoid trouble with censors. This wasn’t yet the case.
- Composer Sarapik’s legacy consist of a great number of compositions for choirs (mostly for mixed and male choirs) and of some instrumental pieces (for strings and organ).
- Peep Sarapik was also a dedicated conductor – he conducted the Tallinn Teachers’ Male Choir and in frame of several projects other choirs too, amongst which for the longest period the ERKI Chamber Choir – from its foundation in 1981 till his death in December 1994.
- His friends called him Pepe and according to them he was dark-skinned, with dark hair and beard and bore a very little resemblance to a common Estonian.