Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Loverman of Science

I've been walking around Cambridge with Tim's blissful backing track (about James Chadwick, who discovered the neutron) in my (especially acquired) headphones for the last week or so. It's been an enjoyable process, dispersed with a few moments of epiphany (a few internal atoms were split, not easily cleared up). 

Once I managed to stop listening to the track in and of itself (it's a grabber), and get down to the business of writing something for it, I found a vocal melody pretty quickly. However, the trickiest job was that of lyrical content. I delved into the Chadwick biography looking for answers.  

It seems he was a very handsome scientist. It must have been a burden for the poor sod being so handsome and so clever (helping to create the good old atomic bomb surely must have generated its own burden, too), when the stereotype demanded that he look like an ogre with Black Death mascara.  I fathomed that he kicked up somewhat of  a fuss at Cambridge with his slick hair and slippery-looking lips (I bet he called all women "doll").  Rutherford, his more famous professor, looks like a plump duck with a moustache in comparison.

Thus, I decided to loosely allegorise Chadwick's scientific achievements in the very different world of the romantic chase, with Chadwick cast as his own neutron in a world contaminated by his own scientific enquiry. However, in order to mask my own inability to grasp the simple scientific concepts, I have pumped the narrative full of elusive imagery and stayed close to his personal as well as to his professional biography, at times totally bastardising both.  I'm hoping the result will be a rich and ambiguous retelling rather than scientific heresy or libelous fiction.

We shall see if it works. Brownio has agreed to host my endeavour on Tuesday. Thankfully, the children will be in bed.  



brownio said...

I can't wait. I'll make sure the vocal booth is suitably filled with steaming washing to warm up your chords.

Urchin the Great said...

Marvellous ... as long as there's some fabric softener on those steaming robes. I'm very sensitive.