Anne Cabrera

the Columbia album

Columbia: We Dare to Dream

the music tribute to space shuttle Columbia

“I had a lot of hours out there on the road to think and to listen. One of the best things I listened to was your music. I thought it was wonderful and captured so well the magnificence of our space program and the men and women who keep it going.”

—  Homer Hickam, author of “Rocket Boys”

When you're ready to add this album to your music collection, we highly recommend CD Baby for CDs or downloads. They're a great company, and will ship to whatever place you call home. Anne's music is also available through iTunes, Amazon.com, and many other major online distributors as well. View the right column for links.

cover of audio CD Columbia: We Dare to Dream (NASA archive photo)

about the Columbia: We Dare to Dream compact disc

When NASA space shuttle Columbia STS-107 was lost on reentry in February of 2003, composer and performer Anne Cabrera felt immediately compelled to pay tribute to the shuttle's crew in the most heartfelt way that she knew: through music.

Through this audio CD, Anne both mourns and celebrates those lost astronauts. Her celebration extends to the countless individuals who spend their days and nights working to turn the dreams of space exploration and humanitarian science into realities; and also to those supportive NASA families who, despite their understandable fears, continue to stand behind their astronauts.

This album presents more than one hour of music. Accented with images from NASA's archives, the included full-color 24-page booklet is filled with both poetry and prose written by Anne to lend some insight into each of these instrumental pieces. All tracks were composed by Anne, and all parts were performed by her on synthesizer: sometimes emulating traditional orchestral instruments, and at other times producing those unusual electronic sounds and textures more commonly associated with the synthesizer.

Though the album follows the highs and (sadly and unavoidably) the lows of the Columbia mission, its larger aim is to revere the depth of the human spirit, and the willingness of some to risk all for the chance to bring benefit to the rest of us.

from Anne's perspective

Anne was sitting next to her piano the morning of February 1, 2003 when she heard the news: after a magnificent 17-day scientific mission in space, the space shuttle Columbia had just met with disaster upon reentering Earth's atmosphere. The shuttle and its seven great crewmembers were lost, high in the skies over Texas, only 16 minutes from scheduled touchdown at Kennedy Space Center, only 16 minutes from home. Like so many people the world over, Anne sat in horror upon hearing the news; it was impossible not to think of the families of those astronauts—the children, spouses and friends—waiting on the tarmac for the space shuttle that never appeared.

As Anne describes it:

“At first, in the hours that followed the tragedy, there was no music anywhere—just silence and tears. But in the afternoon, I touched the keys of my magic piano… and music poured out like a flood. It seemed to come from nowhere, this music; never had such music poured through me so intensely and quickly. I sat at the piano until late into the night, playing for those seven astronauts and their families, playing for those who had been in Mission Control… and I was still there the next day, and the next, still playing in tribute to them.

Months later, the music was still coming out: horns and brass that embodied the courage of space explorers, symphonic strings that melodically seemed to defy gravity, bells that rang and twinkled like the stars overhead, choir voices that sang of the human spirit. Months later, what had emerged were the musical seeds for an entire CD of electronic symphonic music about the Columbia astronauts, and dedicated to them and to all space explorers. And so was born the CD Columbia.”

a couple more notes

Several years have now passed between the shuttle accident and the ripening of this album. We hope that you'll be able to hear in this end result a celebration of some of the best qualities of men and women everywhere; and we hope that this music speaks to your heart as it does to ours.

If you like, please add your name to Anne's e-mail list so that we can let you know about her next CD project which, by the way, is presently being written.

And finally, while we're of course hoping that the fine people at NASA will appreciate our project and what it tries to communicate, we want to make it clear that this project is in no way connected with nor has it been endorsed by NASA, but is solely Anne's expression of her support, admiration, and appreciation. All photos we've used here and within the CD package are used with the kind permission of the people at NASA's Media Services Department.

where to buy it:

Anne Cabrera: Columbia: We Dare to Dream

CD Baby will ship internationally and also provides digital downloads

Anne Cabrera on iTunes
buy album at Amazon.com
Columbia STS-107 launch (NASA archive photo)

launch of Columbia STS-107 from Pad 39A of Kennedy Space Center, Florida (image from the NASA photo archive)