|Numinous The Music of Joseph C. Phillips Jr.|
The Numinosum Blog
Thousands of years ago on the plains of Africa, one of our human ancestors gazed upward toward the night sky and began to wonder what those flickering lights were and how they came to be. Such thoughts on the origin of the universe (and humans’ place in it) have enraptured philosophers, theologians, and scientists since that first ancestor’s gaze skyward. Every society and culture has a creation story to explain how they and their world began. From the creation chants of the Maori people of New Zealand, to Hindi and Buddhist texts, to the Christian Bible, thoughts on the origin of the universe are usually sacred in nature. Elegant and sublime, these religious thoughts were the prevailing doctrine of the West until the rise of the scientific method in the seventeenth century. The twentieth century saw science develop its’ own elegant, sublime, and often exotic, thoughts on the origins of the universe.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, quantum theory was developed: a by-product of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. While the general theory of relativity describes the force of gravity on a large scale, quantum theory describes the universe on an extremely small scale. Neither theory, however, completely and accurately describes the observable universe, so today physicists search for a complete unified theory, one that weds the general theory of relativity with quantum theory.
Quantum theory is a foundation of cosmology, the study of the origins of the universe. In 1926, Werner Heisenberg unveiled his uncertainty principle: “the more accurately you measure the position of a particle (of matter), the less accurately can you measure its speed” and vice versa. An observer can never really know the 'true' position of a particle. A particle can be in no place, all places, or even in two places at once! Thus 'empty space' can never be called empty. Subatomic particles can come in and out of existence by borrowing energy from energy fields. This quantum fluctuation takes place in a cloud or 'foam' of probability, which may have lead to an inflation of space and resulted in the big bang and the beginning of the universe.
My Quantum Fluctuations opens with the percussion and bass laying down a high energy drum and bass type groove with Ernest Stuart's trombone soloing over top (the bass line here comes from Miles Davis' "Helen Butte" from the album On the Corner). Soon various 'quanta' bleep and blip in and out of the texture, while the solo continues. Eventually a melodic figure enters, is repeated, and built to a 'big bang' moment. Coming out of this event horizon another slower groove begins to emerge eventually surrounded by various clouds of intervalic structures leading to Ben Kono's non-chordal based alto saxophone solo. The alto solo is joined at the end with the trombone and Jared Soldiviero's percussion until climaxing with a unison melodic figure.
May 24, 2010
837 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215-1308
Donations (please be generous!)
Ben Kono, Dan Willis, Ed Xiques (woodwinds); Stephanie Richards (trumpet); Ernest Stuart (trombone); Tom Beckham (vibraphone); Andrew Green (guitar); Megan Levin (harp); Jared Soldiviero (percussion); Ana Milosavljevic, Scott Tixier (violins); Will Martina, Lauren Riley-Rigby (cellos); Shawn Conley (bass)
Be prepared, check back later for more...
(Photo credits: talklikeaphysicist.com; map.gsfc.nasa.gov; NASA from firstgalaxies.ucolick.org)
POSTED BY NUMINOUS AT 2:50 PM
To all things that create a sense of wonder and beauty that inspires and enlightens.