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Baker's Dozen

Hurtling Through The Void: Roly Porter's Favourite Space Records
Theo Darton-Moore , February 24th, 2016 10:52

Following the release of Third Law, the producer talks Theo Darton-Moore through his favourite records associated with space travel and exploration, pieces of music that "look at things outside our own existence"


Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5, second movement
Because I understand very little about both maths and music theory, I can indulge in romantic ideas about them which aren't tied to having to be true. When I first heard this piece I literally stopped dead in the street. I remember walking along the Bristol to Bath cycle path and feeling like some kind of mathematical truth had just been explained to me. The piano melodies weren't just musically pleasing – it wasn't a matter of taste that I liked them, they were correct in some kind of universal way that I couldn't put into words. I know how that sounds but I just can't describe it in any other way. Listening to Beethoven is the thing which makes me question what music actually is the most.

There is a great scene in the otherwise awful Day The Earth Stood Still remake, where the alien who is sent to destroy us is convinced there is hope when John Cleese plays him a piece by Bach... It demonstrates some higher mathematical or philosophical understanding that we had otherwise failed to convey as a species. It's a crap film but a good idea. I should check out the original.