6 years ago
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A little about the piece:
I wrote this piece whilst reading a book called the Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. The book completely changed the way I perceive the world - there is a chapter in it that details a section of evolution we don't ever think about; specifically the bit *before* we identify our ancestors as, well, ancestors; specifically the ones that were tiny flailing little globules of life in the ocean. Dawkins explains with total clarity how before this, through a series of stable states, we evolved from the most basic thing in our Universe, energy. It happened in this order:-
- Energy - Subatomic Particles - Atoms (/Elements) - Molecules - Complex Molecules. When we arrive at complex molecules, this is where we start to identify that thing known as 'life'. We find it in a type of complex molecule that is a long strand of molecules with a zip-like structure, known to Biologists as a Replicator.
The concept of the Replicator is what gave me inspiration for this piece. A replicator structure 'unzips' itself creating 2 identical versions of itself. The 'half zips' then use surrounding atoms as food to fill up the zip, after which point it unzips again, starting the whole process again. It is worth being aware that all of this is done in a completely unconscious way, there is no 'mind' coordinating it. This incidentally, is the beginnings of what we now call DNA, and over millions of years the DNA has surrounded itself in increasingly intricate protection/reproduction systems - or, as we call it, 'life'. This is what has been passed down to us since not too soon after the big bang, and is what we continue to pass down through generations; not just us, but snails, fish, birds, monkeys, and their best friends, the Bananas. We are possibly the most complex protection/reproductive system to have developed around this DNA.
Until now, the act of replicators merely replicating has been the unthinking purpose of life in our Universe. We as humans are amazingly complex as a system now, since we have evolved into a system that experiences consciousness and self-awareness. Replicators are now just the thing that unites all life in the Universe, and sentience, or consciousness and self-awareness are a new emergent *purpose*, but a purpose that can only happen if the replicators continue to replicate within us.
Sentience was always on the cards since the beginning of time, and I like how the physicist Freeman Dyson puts it: "In some sense, the universe knew we were coming".
A sense of crystal clarity is the feeling I have when I think about life in our Universe and that is what I wanted to communicate in this piece. Thanks Dawkins! And thank YOU for actually reading all of this!
Nerdgasm over, I hope you enjoy!
-Guitar is a Stephen Hill Fusion Guitar (Prototype) with an LR Baggs iMix system fitted.
-Tuning: B F# D A B F#
-Image captured on iPhone 4S
-Recorded using an ORTF pair of SE2200a's mixed with my guitar's pickup system
-Recorded/mixed in Pro Tools LE 6.4