We Sing the Theory of Evolution

Some 150 years after iconic naturalist Charles Darwin pondered the natural world’s mysteries, excerpts from his writings are now scored to be sung in a newly commissioned work, Missa Charles Darwin—a piece that melds the musical architecture of the traditional Catholic Mass with the fundamentally secular texts of Darwin. Using the conventions of a traditional five-movement Roman Catholic Mass to revere Darwin’s body of work, Gregory Brown, Smith’s assistant director of choral activities and a composer of choral music, is collaborating with Craig Phillips, an early music specialist and member of the classical a cappella male quartet New York Polyphony, to create the piece Missa Charles Darwin. Brown is building the work in three large-scale sections and scoring it for a male vocal quartet, which will be performed by New York Polyphony.

Read the full story in the latest edition of Insight.