Theme Tune Commission: Theoretically Speaking

23 Mar 2018


I received a commission to write a theme tune for a podcast by Oxford University on the subject of theoretical chemistry. My brother, David, is currently reading his PhD there (as he will tell you in the pod); he and his colleague, Tim, are casting said pods and interviewing lots of interesting scientists who are literally the people making new science happen at the moment.


This made me wonder: what on earth do you use for inspiration for its theme tune?


Having myself studied physics, which shares a lot of the maths and concepts theoretical chemistry (but with far less regard for what the molecules actually do in a practical, useful, real-lifey kind of way), I had an idea of the sort of feel I wanted to go for. Something interesting and intellectual, but also something reflecting the many cultures involved in a global effort to understand what goes on. I also wanted to reflect the ambition of historical scientists who largely lived as quite ordinary people, hence my choice of a slightly haphazard, folky kind of European style. Add a drizzle of chromaticism for a sense of mystery and the unknown and, hey presto, one theme tune for a theoretical chemistry podcast.


You can listen to the podcasts on Soundcloud. They really are fascinating, and the questions they discuss offer insights into some properly groundbreaking stuff. It's immensely enjoyable to discover these things.


Theoretically Speaking on Soundcloud


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