"The same thrill, the same awe and mystery, comes again and again when we look at any question deeply enough. With more knowledge comes a deeper, more wonderful mystery, luring one on to penetrate deeper still. Never concerned that the answer may prove disappointing, with pleasure and confidence we turn over each new stone to find unimagined strangeness leading on to more wonderful questions and mysteries - certainly a grand adventure!
It is true that few unscientific people have this particular type of religious experience. Our poets do not write about it; our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. I don't know why. Is nobody inspired by our present picture of the universe? This value of science remains unsung by singers. You are reduced to hearing not a song or a poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age." - Richard Feynman, The Value of Science (1955)
A curious thing happened after I finished reading this essay at the end of a Feynman anthology; an old friend of ours, Brandon Brown, mentioned that he was completing a book on Max Planck. Intrigued, I asked Brandon if he'd be so good as to pass along to me a draft and he did just that. Almost immediately I was sucked into the book. It's with a bit of shame that I admit that I wasn't very familiar with Planck before reading the book but Brandon's style was fluid and accessible for a dope such as myself. I discovered that not only a new world of science opened up before me, but that I had also gained a better understanding of Planck and the world he lived in
Perhaps with Feynman's words still echoing in my brain, I took to the idea of writing a song about Planck to accompany the book. I asked Brandon if he wanted to collaborate on the lyrics and Brandon, the kind of person who isn't afraid to take a chance, was more than happy to have a go at it with us. A few months of work later, Brandon, Clinton, and I had the song completed. In the studio, each member of the band added their own little flair to the song as well. The result of all this work now lays before you.
The words reflect a mixture of Max's scientific work as well a meditation on the great loss to history of his correspondence and scientific records under allied bombing during World War II. The lyrics are largely Brandon's with contributions by myself and Clinton though we do take Planck's own words during the bridge when we sing "Du musst glauben." For those curious as to a full context:
Über den Toren des Tempels der Wissenschaft stehen die Worte geschrieben: Du musst glauben. Max Planck, (1858-1947), deutscher Physiker
Or, roughly translated on Wikipedia "Over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: Ye must have faith." It's that faith in science and Planck's contribution to our understanding of the world around us that we try to celebrate here, and we hope that you are equally intrigued enough to grab a copy of Brandon's book (see below). If you would like a short primer on Planck's scientific contribution, we invite you to check out this short video below that Brandon made at our request.
Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War
by Brandon R. Brown
Oxford University Press USA
280 pages | With 20 illustrations | 235x156mm
978-0-19-021947-5 | Hardback
FOR MORE ON THIS BOOK PLEASE VISIT:
From the Linus Pauling Quartet's forthcoming album, "Ampalanche"
Available Winter 2015 on Vincebus Eruptum Recordings
More information on this single:
released June 1, 2015
(c) 2015 The Linus Pauling Quartet/Brandon R. Brown
Music & Lyrics by the Linus Pauling Quartet and Brandon R. Brown
Stephen Finley - Bass
Clinton Heider - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitars
Larry Liska - Batterie
Ramon Medina - Electric, Classical, Lead (coda) Guitar, Backing Vocals
Charlie Naked - Rhythm and first lead guitar, Backing vocals
Recorded, Engineered and Mastered by Stephen Finley @ Digital Warehaus Productions
Assistant Engineer: Sean Cook