Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shooting for the Moon: Sylvia Martens and "Fliegen wie Neil Armstrong"

Fliegen wie Neil Armstrong by Sylvia Martens on Grooveshark

When I was in kindergarten way back in the fall of 1969, my favorite piece of vinyl was a recording of the Apollo 11 moon shot and landing. I listened to that record over and over again. My parents got sick of it. It seemed that nobody but me was interested in this recording. The recording began with the communications between Houston and the Apollo command capsule sitting on top of the giant Saturn V rocket, through launch, the hundreds of thousands of miles to the moon, the detachment of the Eagle lander from the Columbia command module, the touchdown of the Eagle, and the descent of Neil Armstrong to the moon's surface. I loved it all. When I brought it to my kindergarten class, it bored the tears out of my classmates (literally - some of my classmates started crying as I insisted that we keep playing it instead of putting on Yellow Submarine). For a while, I had a scale model of the Saturn V rocket. To me the moon was wonder, and the fact that someone walked on it (the closest that we have come to setting foot on another planet) was nothing short of miraculous to my five year old mind. I don't know where that record is now, but I wish I had it - I might even listen to it again.

In late August of 2012, Neil Armstrong died. This trailblazer among trailblazers, who touched what still remains the edge of the frontier for humanity, went walking into the yet another unfathomable mystery. For our show in September I decided to try and see if I could get some global music commemorating the first man to walk on the moon. This song, Fliegen wie Neil Armstrong (Flying like Neil Armstrong)," was was one of my finds. The performer is Sylvia Martens, a German pop singer who made her debut in 2005 singing "Schlager" music, pop or electronic music that are either sentimental ballads or light pop with lyrics about love and relationships and feelings. Fliegen wie Neil Armstrong can be found on her 2011 album Spiel Mich! (Play Me!).