Sunday, August 7, 2011

A triple play - Poetry, Music and Science

Sometimes wandering aimlessly through the great halls within the Internet results in some great finds.  Symphony of Science is one of them.  The Poetry of Reality is the 5th in the Symphony of Science Music Video series and is among my favourite of the now 10 videos. They are all well worth viewing, if you have an hour to spare.

According to the Symphony of Science Website:
The Symphony of Science is a musical project headed by John Boswell, designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form. At this site you can watch music videos, download songs, read lyrics and find links relating to the messages conveyed by the music. The project owes its existence in large measure to the classic PBS Series Cosmos, by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steve Soter, as well as all the other featured figures and visuals.
I might add, it also owes its existence to the generosity of its patrons as they fund the work through donations. Downloads are available for free.
From a visit to the site and the "About the Symphony of Science" tab, John Boswell provides us with some background and his inspiration for his unique sampling technique he uses to produce these videos. The site  tells us "Inspiration from The Gregory Brothers and DJ Steve Porter, coupled with experience with remixing, composition, and auto-tune, led to experiments with remixing scientists, culminating in Carl Sagan's "A Glorious Dawn" in Fall of 2009."

Amazing to see that they have raised funds for ten of these free Videos to date. If you like this little taste, you can visit the site and enjoy a great feast for all 3 senses at the Symphony of Science website.

I intend on hooking up my iPad to my HD TV when I get home from Shangri-La this weekend and watching them in all their glory! 

Following is the first Video which was produced in the series- "A Glorious Dawn" featuring not only Carl Sagan but also Seven Hawking.  I have included the lyrics - all are available on the website.

[Carl Sagan]
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch
You must first invent the universe

Space is filled with a network of wormholes
You might emerge somewhere else in space
Some when-else in time

The sky calls to us
If we do not destroy ourselves
We will one day venture to the stars

A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way

The Cosmos is full beyond measure of elegant truths
Of exquisite interrelationships
Of the awesome machinery of nature

I believe our future depends powerfully
On how well we understand this cosmos
In which we float like a mote of dust
In the morning sky

But the brain does much more than just recollect
It inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzes
it generates abstractions

The simplest thought like the concept of the number one
Has an elaborate logical underpinning
The brain has its own language
For testing the structure and consistency of the world

For thousands of years
People have wondered about the universe
Did it stretch out forever
Or was there a limit

From the big bang to black holes
From dark matter to a possible big crunch
Our image of the universe today
Is full of strange sounding ideas

How lucky we are to live in this time
The first moment in human history
When we are in fact visiting other worlds

The surface of the earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean
Recently we've waded a little way out
And the water seems inviting

I see from their website that in July they released the newest -#10 - in the series. It is titled "Children of Africa". It is a musical celebration of humanity, its origins, and achievements, contrasted with a somber look at our environmentally destructive tendencies and deep similarities with other primates. Featuring Jacob Bronowski, Alice Roberts, Carolyn Porco, Jane Goodall, Robert Sapolsky, Neil deGrasse Tyson and David Attenborough.

Not sure why comments seem not clickable - republishing to see if I can fix that.


  1. I've been following Symphony of Science since the first video came out - LOVE it!

    I really want to get the series Carl Sagan did, Cosmos, on DVD sometime. Even though the series is 30+ years old, it's still hugely relevant and awe-inspiring. In fact, I think I know what to do with that gift certificate you bought me... :)

  2. Thanks for visiting Eric! Yes, it is fantastic, isn't it? Good idea to get the Sagan DVD with that little birthday gift!


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