Science Rocks with Passion
On February 25th the Minneapolis alternative rock band Airship Caravan will release the first of a series of songs based on lyrics by Howard Bloom, the man Britain’s Channel 4 TV calls the Einstein, Newton, Darwin and Freud of the 21st Century.
Airship Caravan’s first Bloomian composition is based on Bloom’s “Attraction and Repulsion,” a poem that Bloom regards as his best summation of his scientific life’s work, his Grand Unified Theory of Everything in the Universe Including Sex, Violence, and the Human Soul. Says Ryan Begin, an officer of the Howard Bloom Institute, Attraction and Repulsion is “the Bohemian Rhapsody of Bloom’s Grand Unified Theory”
Airship Caravan vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Jack Wald explains how this remarkable piece of music came to be.
“The project started with Bloom’s connection to our label, King’s Rest Records. We were already aware of the Howard Bloom Institute and excited to be a part of what Bloom does. We chatted with Howard for a while one day over the phone, discussing the context and the meaning of the Attraction and Repulsion poem, as well as his experiences in the music business, which was fascinating, since he was such an influential player in the industry back in the day when he was a publicist for people like Michael Jackson, Prince, and Bob Marley. Back in the day when he was on what he calls his ‘scientific expedition into the forces of history.’”
Wald Saw the art in Bloom’s science.
“I read the poem and thought it was a beautiful artistic take on a scientific subject, and a brilliant encapsulation of Howard’s ideas. There were some challenges adapting such a poem to music. For one, the text is much longer than a typical song would be. It is also for the most part non-repetitive, which made us quickly realize that a traditional verse/chorus song structure probably wouldn’t work. Finally, it was always in the back of our minds that we didn’t want it to come across as cold or detached. Although there is some scientific language in the poem, there is also a great deal of emotion, and we wanted to make sure that came through in the music.
“Theodore Stai, the head of King’s Rest (and a former member of Airship Caravan!) spent a day with me in the studio back in November, where we composed most of the music. After that, it was up to DJ (lead vocalist for Airship Caravan) to deliver the poem over the music. He came up with this incredibly moving mixture of spoken word and sung vocals, which I think portrays just how emotional the poem is. We stretched and squeezed the music to make sure that the lyrics aligned with the music and with the passion, and I think what we ended up with is really cool! It was a blast taking on this challenge, and we’re so proud to be a part of the preservation of Howard Bloom’s work!”