Jeffrey Zeigler/Golden Hornet
The Sound of Science (National Sawdust Tracks)
Reviewed by Jeremy Steinberger, Fri., Nov. 30, 2018
Cello-led neoclassical arrangements modulated by modern electro grooves, The Sound of Science implores the dystopia of a world led by science deniers. Dexterous cellist formerly of the Kronos Quartet, Jeffrey Zeigler preforms an eight-track project produced by Graham Reynolds and his local chamber music laboratory, Golden Hornet. The two principals enlist renowned composers from around the globe to meld soundscapes inspired by a scientist of their choosing. Opener "The Brain" conveys chaotic neuron firings as Reynolds interprets UT neuroscientist Kristen Harris through a buzzing barrage of cosmic synths, scissoring snares, reverb-gated kicks, and swarming cello reminiscent of Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Flight of the Bumblebee." Tragic strings on Sarah Lipstate's "Radiation in Moderation" paint an isotopic apocalypse inspired by Marie Curie, while Paola Prestini and climatologist Andrew Kruczkiewicz's "From Bones to Fossils" employs meandering strums devolving from life to death in imagining climate change's drowning potential. Earth no longer habitable, Zeigler's ethereal playing on Felipe Pérez Santiago's "Quest" fuels an intergalactic journey interrupted by meteor showers of industrial kicks and space invader statics influenced by astronomer Jill Tarter. If R&B can prime us for love, punk for rebellion, and rock for revolution, The Sound of Science confirms that music can help us cope with and challenge the ongoing attack on scientific fact. Accompanied by methodical visuals, Zeigler plans on completing the entire experience live here at Fusebox Festival in April.