Symphony No2 | Andrew Francis | 2001
This is the story of this planet, from the first dawn to our present day. It takes the form of 22 symphonic ‘songs’, originally one continuous movement, now split for convenient downloading. Each song tells a stage in the development of life or of the planet itself.My symphony orchestra comes in the shape of a Yamaha tone generator (not as expressive but easier to feed) but I have stuck to the parameters laid down by a modern orchestra and have tried not to be seduced by all the whiz-bangs at our disposal these days. I hope you enjoy it.
Remastered (2013) – crisper, louder, stereophonicier…
Debris from the big bang is shot ever outward, coalescing into discreet sun-building regions.
As gravity gives form to the dust, a core develops. When the mass becomes critical, the sun is born.
The solar system develops spin. Large concretions begin to sweep up the dust. Planets form, crash, shatter, reform and stabilise.
The earth’s surface forms a crust. Volcanic activity produces an atmosphere that protects the planet from further bombardment.
The oceans are formed as more and more steam is disgorged into the air from magma flows.
Minerals washed into the seas provide the raw material for building complex organic chemicals.
An organism evolves that can reproduce itself. Life begins.
The sea becomes the nursery of life as the new replicators spread and diversify.
All non replicating organic material is locked into the cycle of life as the replicators exploit their environment. The cell develops and colonies of cells emerge in mutual cooperation. The organism is born.
Organisms evolve that reproduce by exchanging genetic material with other individuals. Some species divide into sexes.
Animals arrive. New architectures develop in the many-celled organisms. Shells and carapaces are followed by bones and skeletons. Fish fill the oceans.
Water retaining protective cells allow plants and animals to colonise the land. All genera evolve in stages to exploit the new environment.
Plant-life transforms the atmosphere and the stable oxygen-nitrogen mixture is established. Insects fill air.
A series of mass extinctions purges the earth and new biota develop to fill the gaps.
Land animals diverge into reptiles and mammals. The age of dinosaurs sees creatures of great diversity exploiting every environmental niche.
The last extinction carries away the dinosaurs and leaves the stage for mammals.
The climate in East Africa begins to break up the rain forest. Some arboreal primates move out on the plains. In time, they become bipedal.
Families of hominines emerge and decline. Most develop the use of tools to exploit their habitats.
A single hominine species emerges. It becomes conscious of its surroundings and its own identity.
The hominine’s communications become formalised as speech.
Homo Sapiens dominates the planet. Speech and writing allow the transmission of ideas and passing down of knowledge.
Homo Sapiens develop technology to the point where the species’ future development is dependant on the infrastructures and industries it has developed. A new symbiosis arrives.
© Andrew Francis 2001