How to leave a mark in the infinite void of space and time…

Welcome and thank-you for stopping by.

I’ve been interviewing people, with varying degrees of success, since 1993. More than 50,000 lives. I have found that each individual has a story to tell. What if I could record some of these stories, present them to the world, leave a mark…

The idea driving Inside the Heliosphere is to give my friends and acquaintances the time and space to talk about their memories, opinions and the things that matter most in their lives, facilitated through the universal panacea of music.

I ask each interviewee to consider which seven songs (from seven albums) they would choose to have with them while stranded, with scant hope of rescue, more than 18 billion kilometres (or 123 Astronomical Units) from Earth. I use these choices to inform a conversation about their thoughts and their lives. I want to hear their stories and I want these stories to be heard. And it’s my space so I’ve invented a new gas. With Nitrous Roxide you’ll never get tired of a favourite song again…

It seems to me that the internet is a good place to learn. A stunning invention that gives us all the chance to listen, read, watch and reflect. I like to learn and, if I’m paying attention, I can.

The barking of the social media/celebrity Cerberus can dilute these opportunities, although perhaps it’s an ancient human malady feeding these modern obsessions. The dread of the flicker of existence. What drove Napoleon, Rachmaninov, Douglas Adams, Peter Cook and Hemingway? What made Redgrave get back into the boat? What’s the difference between drive and ambition? Is there a connection with this obsession with fame and a fear of missing out? With this desire to share hourly images and thoughts before we reach that final (hopefully business class) departure lounge?

Perhaps we would all seek to make a mark, some fragile note pinned to the ticking clock of infinity.

With consciousness comes the awful realisation of mortality. We need distraction and comfort, denial as we ‘whistle past the graveyard’. We look down at our feet as to look up is to see space, in both senses of the word, and the unfathomable distances in its path. We can choose (more easily with the internet) to look to science, to relativity and astrophysics and quantum mechanics. We can search for God. Even the true believers find more questions than answers.

When I was 14 I began writing a daily journal, or ‘diary’. Its purpose was, as I re-call, that I would not forget a single day of my life, however mundane. It was also to be a kind of living time capsule to my future self (not for public consumption!). My own personal howl at infinity.

It has been a millstone around my neck, a place of refuge, handwriting practice (when did you last write a letter?), a frustration (where the hell is 1993?!) but above all a companion. A daily reminder that time is passing and that I should try and cherish every single moment, for these make a life.

So here we are, ants on a rock spinning in infinity. In my own tiny way, I seek to make something that entertains me, entertains my interviewees, entertains you, and above all helps us all feel that we matter, and that we’re not so very alone.

Remember, every word that was ever spoken through our history, every song that was sung, the energy in those sound waves hasn’t disappeared, it’s dissipating…

I hope you find in here some peace.