Matt Molloy’s flute heading into space

Nasa astronaut Catherine Coleman. Photograph: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

American Nasa astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman, who blasts off today from Kazakhstan for a six-month stint on the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting the Earth, will be bringing Matt Molloy’s flute with her.

“We had done a concert and as always we had a tune afterwards with local musicians,” said the Westport-based musician. “It transpired she played the flute and we have been friends ever since.”

On a previous trip into space, she packed his Shadows on Stone CD in her space suit. “Cady told me: ‘Your music always brings me to a special place, so I thought I’d bring yours to one’. I was really moved,” said Molloy. “She told me she was going to be heading there for six months and asked me if I had a flute that she could play while on the station.” While joking that his response may have been “a moment of weakness”, Molloy gave her one of his most prized possessions, his E-flat flute, which he played on his first solo album made with Dónal Lunny in 1976. (Irish Times) >>>

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