Jill Barber's music blasts off for the final frontier

When Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Jill Barber was growing up, she was fascinated by the planets and the stars—but little did she know that one day her music would end up on the International Space Station. When the space shuttle Endeavour blasts off on Saturday (June 13), among the items onboard will be a copy of Barber’s latest release, Chances. The album was one of several selected by Canadian astronaut Julie Payette to bring along for the ride, and the Canadian Space Agency contacted Barber’s management asking for a copy.

“It’s not the kind of e-mail you receive every day,” said Barber, who was thrilled when she got the request. “It’s a great honour, and it’s wonderful that a Canadian astronaut is thinking about Canadian independent music.” Other Canadian artists whose music will make the trek include East Coast Celtic favourites Great Big Sea, opera star Measha Brueggergosman, aboriginal artist Susan Aglukark, and Vancouver rockers Theory of a Deadman. When Payette returns from space, the CD will be returned to Barber as a memento.

“It’s pretty cool,” she said. “And I’m one step closer to a universal release in the truest sense.”