sábado, 22 de agosto de 2009

Origin of Species in Dub: The Video Mix Track 10: I-nternational Grandeur

Rationale for the track

This track celebrates the closing words of Origin of Species while simultaneously highlighting the international and universal nature of Darwin’s insights. The closing words are repeated in over a dozen languages, which represent much of the planet’s linguistic diversity (Darwin himself noted the parallels between linguistic and biological evolution):


Germanic: English, German

Romance: French, Spanish, Romanian

Slavic: Russian

Indo-Iranian: Hindi

Ural-Altaic languages: Finnish

Afro-asiatic languages: Hebrew, Arabic

Niger-Congo languages

Bantu: Xhosa (just love those clicks!!)

Atlantic-Congo: Ga

Sino-Tibetan: Chinese

Artificial (but clearly Indo-European): Esperanto

The melody is a theme taken from Offenbach’s Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld (the same piece later contains the melody usually associated with the Can Can).


“With a book, as with a fine day, one likes it to end with a glorious sunset”
Charles Darwin, Letter 164. to T.H. HUXLEY. Down, 1863.

“There is grandeur in this view of life with its several powers having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one, and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful, have been and are being evolved.”
Closing words of Origin of Species

“I-nternational Grandeur” “I-nternational!”
A Rasta-style play on words, emphasising the word “I”.

“Darwin no fi one time, fi one country, but fi all time, fi all country!”
Darwin is not for one time or one country, but for all time, for all countries
(echoing Ben Jonson’s description of Shakespeare)

"Big it up fi Darwin inna Euopean stylee, seen!"
Let’s heap praise on Darwin in a European style!

N'y a-t-il pas une véritable grandeur dans cette manière d'envisager la vie, avec ses puissances diverses attribuées primitivement à un petit nombre de formes, ou même à une seule ? Or, tandis que notre planète, obéissant à la loi fixe de la gravitation, continue à tourner dans son orbite, une quantité infinie de belles et admirables formes, sorties d'un commencement si simple, n'ont pas cessé de se développer et se développent encore !
Read by Mickael Desvaux

Es ist wahrhaftig eine grossartige Einsicht, dass das Leben wurde ins nur wenigen oder einer einzigen Form eingehaucht, und dass, während unser Planet den strengsten Gesetzen der Schwerkraft folgend sich im Kreise geschwungen, aus so einfachem Einfange sich eine endlose Reihe der schönsten und wundervollsten Formen entwickelt hat und noch immer entwickelt.
Read by Klaus Fütterer

Hay grandeza en esta concepción de que la vida, con sus diferentes fuerzas, ha sido alentada en un corto número de formas o en una sola, y que, mientras este planeta ha ido girando según la constante ley de la gravitación, se han desarrollado y se están desarrollando, a partir de un principio tan sencillo, infinidad de formas las más bellas y portentosas.
Read by Jorge Caamano

Read and translated by Emil Toescu

Jotakin suurenmoista on siinä ajatuksessa,että luoja on puhaltanut elämän ja sen voimat aluksi vain muutamiin harvoihin tai yhteen ainoaan muotoon ja että kiertotähtemme kiertäessä rataansa järkähtämättömän painolain mukaisesti tuosta yksinkertaisesta alusta on kehittynyt ja edelleen kehittyy mitä kauneimpia ja ihmeellisimpiä muotoja. (translated by A.R. Koskimies 1917)
Read by Jouni Jaakkola
We thank Susanna Valanne with help in finding the translation


Read by Andrey Karlyshev.

“Mek wi forward ‘pon Africa”

Let’s move forward to Africa!

West Africa: Ga
[translated and read in Ga, by Martin Antonio]

South Africa: Xhosa
[translated and read in Xhosa by Maphasa A TIoti (also known as "KK")]

“Bring in mi Asian bredren-dem and sistren!”

Bring in my Asian brothers and sisters.
Note plural marker “-dem” in Jamaican Creole for animate nouns.

Read and translated by Vibhor Gupta

Translated by Xin Yao and his students; read by Lihong Zhang.

Translated by Salwa El-Awa; read by Rasha Younis.

Translated by Ilan Rosenshine and his students; read by Uri Gophna.

"Dub it up for Darwin" "Dub it up, dub it up!" "Give ‘im more, give ‘im less, give ‘im brawta!"
[brawta is a Jamaicanism meaning “a little extra”]

Various samples from previous readings follow in the dub section.

"Take it away!"

Translated by Cleve Lendon (with minor modifications from Mark Pallen). Read by Mark Pallen. Available online from http://www4.vc-net.ne.jp/~klivo/origino/

“There is grandeur in this view of life with its several powers having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one, and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful, have been and are being evolved.”

"Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together fi Charles Robert Darwin, 1809-1882."

Notes on the Video

NASA movies of Earth and Mars and same text in different languages throughout. Martian images speak to the hypothesis that life may have originated there and then spread to Earth. See http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0403049

Video starts with Jamaican sunset by Dominic White. Images of Dominic White. Images of possible Martian bacterial fossils from meteorite ALH 84001 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALH_84001). Images of Paris. Fractal movie showing Mandelbrot set. Images of Berlin. Images of anthrax bacilli as visualized by German microbiologist Robert Koch. Haeckel’s Pedigree of Man. Romanian churches. Map of Romania. Screen grab of Darwin wikipedia entry in Romanian. Phylogram illustrating descent of Romance languages, especially Romanian. Jamaican landscape. Images of Jorge Caamano reading Darwin in Spanish. Finnish flag and landscape. Images of Masai Mara. Ghanaian people, places, tree. Martin Antonio reading Darwin in Ga. Cape Province landscape from NASA. Screen grab of Xhosa page from Wikipedia. Southern African animals and fossil hominid. Ancient Hindu temple. Hindi characters for “Charles Darwin”. Taj Mahal. Great Panda. Chinese characters for evolution. Satellite view of Iraq; boat on Euphrates river. Western or Wailing wall in Jerusalem. Desert cactus (origin of the term Sabra for native born Israelis). Martian fly-though featuring Valles Marineris and Olympus Mons. Church organ. Then multiple images of Darwin and the Origin leading to grand finale.
Credits: numerous images were obtained from Wikimedia commons. We thank all those who have made them available.

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