The Equation

The Equation

Monday, June 25, 2012

GZA and Neil DeGrasse Tyson team up

In the past I've blogged about the relatively weak, but existent, link between popular music and science. The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about a legendary rapper's attempt to reconcile the two, in two forthcoming albums. Will GZA, formerly of the Wu-Tang Clan, be able to mine science for silver, gold, or platinum? Will it fall mostly on uninterested ears? Will he be able to create something fitting the scope of "the Universe"? Like a good scientist, GZA seems to be asking the right questions, enlisting the proper collaborators for Dark Matter, due out this fall.

Composer and producer Marco Vitali, a Juilliard-trained violinist, is helping to score "Dark Matter." He recalled a recent meeting in which GZA explained the images that the music should convey.
"We talked about frenetic energy, outer space, molecules crashing into each other, organized chaos," Mr. Vitali said. "The grandeur of the fact that the universe was born in a millionth of a second, in this explosion that created billions of stars, these overpowering ideas that are bigger than we can conceive. How do we make the record feel like that?"

I find it illuminating that a high school dropout has, years later, embraced a curiosity for science. According to the article, the project was born out of an experience with a model of Saturn at the American Museum of Natural History; a simple rhyme begets a multi-album project. Hopefully his lyricism and NDT's capacity to elucidate the cosmos are able to create an album worthy of the subject. Either way, he deserves credit for tackling subjects that most most artists can't, or won't. 

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