Generation After Generation

Some random net-surfing a few weeks ago brought me to Pharyngula, a blog by Dr. P. Z. Myers consisting mainly of “random biological ejaculations from a godless liberal.” Most of the blog deals with evolution and anti-creationism and related subjects, which isn’t really my area of expertise. So I was kind of surprised when Dr. Myers veered unexpectedly into modern art music in this post here. But, of course, the piece in question bears directly on his area of interest.

The piece in question is called Generation After Generation by Australian composer Rob Davidson. It’s a “speech-melody” piece, in which he took recorded speech, transcribed it into musical notation, and wrote an ensemble piece incorporating the original speech treated as an instrument in the ensemble. Cool stuff, which has to be heard to be believed.

The speech in this case is from Ken Ham, creationist and perpetrator of the Creation Museum, and apparently Pharyngula’s arch nemisis, or one of them.

Listen to it below:


I enjoyed it tremendously, but I was a little nonplussed when I read some of the responses to Myers’ original post. A few people got it, but a surprising number missed the point entirely, even though it seemed painfully obvious to me. Typical comments:
Is this what we’ve been building up to here? Getting us to listen to Ham’s nonsense by accompanying it with cheesy music?
The song itself it’s an abomination, musically and content-wise. This should have never been created.
I lasted a whole ten seconds before turning it off!

The people who participate in Pharyngula seem to be mostly pretty intelligent and scientifically literate. I suppose it would be too much to expect them to be musically sophisticated as well.

The last response in the thread (as of today) is actually by the composer, but I guess he got wind of it too late. By the time he wrote in, everybody else had lost interest and moved on. Sad. But at least Rob Davidson got one more fan out of it! I hope to hear more of his music one day.

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