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Deborah Thurlow & Turn On The Music | The Darwin Effect

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The Darwin Effect

by Deborah Thurlow & Turn On The Music

The french horn collides with a collage of captivating musical colors and textures evolving around a universe energized by Deborah Thurlow, Arthur Hernandez, Kali Z. Fasteau, Kevin Kim, Bruce McKinney and Clive Smith.
Genre: Classical: New Music Ensemble
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Enlightenment of Cells
Deborah Thurlow
5:01 $0.99
2. And God Created... Darwin
Deborah Thurlow & Turn On The Music
10:29 $0.99
3. Evolution (feat. Bruce McKinney on trumpet)
Deborah Thurlow
9:46 $0.99
4. Timelapse
Deborah Thurlow & Turn On The Music
8:09 $0.99
5. Cosmology
Deborah Thurlow & Turn On The Music
8:50 $0.99
6. Particles
Deborah Thurlow & Turn On The Music
7:03 $0.99
7. The Darwin Effect
Deborah Thurlow & Turn On The Music
20:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
I am happy to annouce that, The Darwin Effect, was being considered for a 2009 Grammy Nomination!

Thurlow's project entitled, In The Beginning...BANG!, was the catalyst for Turn On The Music to join forces with composers to perform newly composed works with percussion (live, recorded or synthesized) dedicated to the Earth, from its embryonic stage to its manifestation, and the surrounding universal life force in time and space.

Deborah Thurlow, horn & music director
Gregor Kitzis, violin*** + ++
Clive Smith, electric guitar, laptop
David Grego, electric bass* +
Nicola Stemmer, electric bass*** + ++

Kali Z. Fasteau, drum set++
Julie Goodale, violin* +
Bruce McKinney, trumpet* ++
Susan Schneider, Hebraic chant**
Bill Solomon, percussion*
Aleksander Sternfeld-Dunn, conductor*
Michael Thurlow, narrator **
Peter Wilson, percussion***

*And God Created...Darwin
**The Darwin Effect
***Particles and The Darwin Effect


Enlightenment of Cells - Deborah Thurlow
This work envisions the cellular activity of the life force at the moment of creating a soul, which is encoded in the DNA molecule. The pre-recorded music consists of a complete set of the nine Holy Harmony Tuning Forks, Tibetan singing bowl with water creating a dolphin effect, cuica, hand percussion from Vietnam, along with a twelve-tone piece first played simultaneously at two different tempos (quarter notes equal 120 and 240) using a liquid-dry texture, then played separately. The resulting soundscape layers sustained tones from the tuning forks, with active and percussive textures bouncing off each other, waking up the spirit and soul. The horn plays the twelve-tone piece at various tempos, interacting with the soundscape. The sustained C-sharp heard throughout the soundscape is the pitch that the DNA molecule responds to among the 16 frequencies that a nucleotide responds to, as measured by an infrared spectrophotometer. Every time this note is played by the horn the player improvises and experiments with different articulations and effects giving a sense of evolution.

Note for horn players:
Enlightenment of Cells is a 10 minute work (10:16 with the applause) played along with the soundscape. This version was shortened to keep the recording under 74 minutes which is becoming a recording industry standard. If you are interested in hearing the full performance and also interested in performing this work. Please email me from this site or dt@nni.com.

And God Created...Darwin - Arthur Hernandez
The title is meant to tweak the sensibilities of both sides of the Creation versus Evolution debate, causing both sides to think with open minds. The work is atmospheric, spatial, timbral in nature and should be approached in this manner. The instrumentalists are free to use different sound effects they feel might aesthetically contribute to effectively shape the sound world of this piece.

Evolution - Bruce McKinney
So much of what human beings create is anthropomorphic. Engines are hearts, computers are brains, etcetera. So too with music, musical motives can divide, sequence, and mutate. Schoenberg's concept of developing variation suggests evolution to me. Thus, in this piece, the material presented by a computer program is developed by the trumpet and horn, and the melodic and rhythmic material sequences, mutate, and...evolve.

Timelapse - Clive Smith
Imagining our universe from its earliest period, Clive Smith envisioned Timelapse as a series of sonic/musical snapshots equivalent to time-lapse photography in the visual realm - snapshots which captured each evolutionary phase as a step away from apparent chaos (or perhaps implicit order) and towards greater (explicit) order and coherence. The theme of form arising from seemingly formless clouds of possibility (or perhaps order removing its disguise as chaos) has always been of interest to the composer, and Timelapse provides him the opportunity to further explore this area of interest.

Cosmology - Kali Z.Fasteau
This work portrays the "Big Bang" theory of creation through sound. Sound, in truth, does shape matter. If one places sand on a drum head, and causes the drum head to vibrate with sound, the sand will move and its particles will form concentric rings on the drum head. Sound is energy. This piece begins in the eerie ether-void, whence comes the Big Bang, setting forth the harmonic rings of sound. Then comes the differentiation of things, individuation, spiraling further from the source, and leading eventually toward entropy.

Particles - Kevin Kim
Kevin Kim's Particles uses a suspended cymbal crash and four intricate melodic lines to depict the after effect of the "Big Bang." At the point of the explosion, the force creates a motion of stellar particles that disperse throughout the universe, interconnecting and forming the elements that will be the planet Earth.

The Darwin Effect - Deborah Thurlow
The setting for The Darwin Effect is a sermon entitled, Evolution and Religion, by the well known Reform Rabbi, Kaufman Kohler (1843 - 1926). Kohler interweaves Darwin's theory of evolution with religious beliefs. He applies the evolution principles metaphorically to the development of religion. The other setting is the Hebrew chanting of passages from the creation story from the Book of Genesis (1:1-13 & 1:24-2:3).

Soundscape of the Soul is a pre-recorded accompaniment heard throughout the work and fading out at the end. It is played by tuning forks selected from a set called Holy Harmony Tuning Forks, based on the original solfeggio tones. I chose six forks from the set that are associated with the pitches from the piyyut (liturgical poem) Yedid Nefesh (Beloved Soul). The pitches also appear in the aleatoric improvisation, played by the violin, arranged in different octaves to form a curvy line representing the double helix of the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) molecule…the blueprint of life. These pitches appear again, rearranged as an aleatoric tone row, for both the electric guitar and electric bass accompanying the narration.

The horn plays Hebraic melody fragments from the prayers introducing the Torah reader and following the aleatoric violin solo. The actual melody of Yedid Nefesh is played by the horn in between the narration and suspended cymbal. There is free improvisation with the narration and throughout the work, the longest occurring after the narrator says, "…the unbroken revelation of God first in endless varieties of matter, then in marvelous productions of the conscious mind." The textures and timbres are amazingly creative and intense.

Technical Information

Enlightenment of Cells, The Darwin Effect, pre-recorded material and overall CD mastering done by James Manno at Jamman Productions Recording Studio. The Darwin Effect, Cosmology and Particles mixed by Steve Weiss. And God Created...Darwin mixed by Owen Shearer. Bruce McKinney and Clive Smith mixed their own works.

All performances recorded live at The Puffin in Teaneck, New Jersey, The Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City and Capital Community College in Hartford, Connecticut.



to write a review

Reviewer, Calvin Smith - The Horn Call

I heard new sounds, clearer forms to the compositions instrumental interplay and a musical expression that was emotional and expressive. Deborah Thurlow and her colleagues are doing what we all should try to do - create and "say something" through the music. Horn, violins, electric guitar, electric bass, drum set, trumpet, percussion, narrator, pre-recorded soundscapes, computer generated music, and Hebraic chant all combine to create a new dimension for the listener to enter.