The Franklin Effect

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Frances-Hoad,Plowman,Thompson,Whitley
LABELS: First Hand Records
ALBUM TITLE: The Franklin Effect
WORKS: Works by Frances-Hoad, Plowman, Thompson and Whitley
PERFORMER: Electric Voice Theatre
CATALOGUE NO: FHR51

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Here’s a novel recording idea – part musical experience, part science lesson. The Franklin Effect showcases music inspired by the work of early-20th-century Rosalind Franklin,
an X-ray crystallographer without whose work Francis Crick and James Watson might not have made their landmark discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA. It’s a celebration of women’s research and creativity, too: as part of Electric Voice Theatre’s Minerva Scientifics Project, four scientists met with four composers and four singers to create the works on this excellently-performed, mind-stretching disc.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard the words ‘biological properties of dioxypentosencuelic acid’ or ‘Kirsten ras oncogene homolog’ set to music before – and there’s plenty of technical terminology that’ll have you heading to Google. But all the composers have brought imagination to their works, and there are fascinating sounds aplenty, from unusual vocalisations to barbershop nonchalance, traditional Bulgarian singing and cool Medieval beauty.

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Rebecca Franks