A saxophone among the stars

16 levers de soleil et un saxophone au milieu des étoiles
The documentary "16 levers de soleil" (16 sunrises) tells the story of French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, also an amateur saxophonist, during his stay in space. A dreamlike experience with an original soundtrack by Guillaume Perret.

An intimate and realistic documentary

In November 2016, Thomas Pesquet takes off for a six-and-a-half month mission to the International Space Station (ISS). For more than a year now, director Pierre-Emmanuel Le Goff has been following the astronaut's preparation in order to retrace his adventure with an intimate and realistic approach. For example, we see the astronaut having the last meal with his colleagues and family before liftoff, or in moments of daily life aboard the ISS. The director exchanged with him by email throughout his stay aboard the ISS about the sequences to be shot.

Produced by La Vingt-Cinquième Heure, the film 16 levers de soleil tells the story of the spaceman's adventure, from his scientific experiments to his philosophical reflections, and of course his musical flights on the saxophone. Although he could not take his instrument with him because of the weight limits applied, his relatives sent it to him for his birthday by space freighter, with the complicity of the European Space Agency. The astronaut then starts playing his Axos alto saxophone in the dome of the space station during a surrealist scene...

Thomas Pesquet is scheduled to return to the International Space Station in 2021 ! You can follow Thomas Pesquet's official Facebook page to stay informed about his space activities.

An original soundtrack by Guillaume Perret

For the soundtrack of the film, Pierre-Emmanuel Le Goff called upon saxophonist Guillaume Perret. Composer and arranger multiplying musical experiences and projects for nearly twenty years, Guillaume Perret is known for his energy, his taste for exploration and electric sounds.

The musician was inspired by images of the station, space and the sensation of weightlessness to compose the music for the film and made this work into a full-blown album: Elevation. The songs were composed from real space station sounds and recordings of the frequencies emitted by the planets.

I was asked to make music that would represent the song of the Earth, one that would be the dialogue between Thomas and the planet, to create tension…” explains Guillaume Perret in an interview with the CNC. “The American agency sent communications and other elements. For my part, I had a certain number of recordings, files… It was a real desire on my part to put sounds of planets and atmospheres from the International Space Station.”

Faithful to his style mixing jazz and electric sounds, Guillaume Perret offers us a cosmic and bewitching album.

Photo & video credit : © La Vingt-Cinquième Heure

► Watch the film in streaming
► Buy the DVD/BLURAY

► Buy Guillaume Perret's album