A spoken symphony of science

From the internet that brought you the Star Wars Kid, piano playing kittens, the evolution of dance, and the Numa Numa Guy, a whole new viral experience has arrived. An amateur channel over at YouTube has created what is called the “Symphony of Science” – a series of music videos (four so far) with science as its subject and scientists as its cast.
The aim of this music project, according to the website, is “to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form.” This pretty much sums up what the videos are about, the merging of scientific truths with music. It may sound like a lame attempt by uncool authorities to get kids more excited about science but I can assure you that the videos are seriously awesome. Amassing almost five million views between them the YouTube community has clearly taken a liking to the Symphony.
So what are the videos about and why are they super? Well, firstly the videos are more of an opera than a symphony in the technical sense of the term.  This probably is not adding to the appeal but keep reading. Clips of cosmology and evolution are set to electronic musical backing while audio-visual excerpts of notable science heroes such as Carl Sagan are manipulated to conform to the background music. The videos make use of sight and sound and everything spoken is in song. A neat little tool called Auto-tune achieves the transformation from spoken word to sung song. Clips from Sagan’s Cosmos television series are included, along with quotes from other greats such as Richard Feynman, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, and even Bill Nye the Science Guy.  These clips are all compiled into about four minutes of pure informative awe-inspiring sensual pleasure. All you have to do is sit back and listen.
Spoken dialogue has been transformed into musical videos before, but what makes this music video distinct is the pairing of powerful scientific ideas, where we come from and all that, with a fun, accessible and artistic form. Not only does the viewer get the sublime power of Sagan telling us that, “We are a way for the cosmos to know itself,” or Feynman discussing “the inconceivable nature of nature” but now it is available in musical verse.
The effect is remarkable: scientific profundities through music highlights and amplifies the sublime power of science resulting in an almost spiritual experience. Some recent comments on the videos include, “gives me the shivers!”, “Sexual and sensual scientific sounds”, and one that makes you want to give it a thumbs down for being a tad lame, “I shed manly tears”.  While the videos may not procure tears, manly or otherwise, from your eyes they will surely leave some degree of impression upon you.
As citizens of the modern age, science is where we can best gain access to the sublime. To get your fix check out the Symphony of Science videos.  You may find that you get lost somewhere between eternity and infinity.