Life, The Universe and Snowboarding

Year of composition
2008
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
5 minutes
Genre
Classical music
Instrumentation
Solo instrument + piano (Solo Violin)
Instrumental parts

This piece for Violin and Piano was inspired by an article in the November 2007 issue New Scientist magazine in which a potential new "theory of everything" was posited. The theory was very elegant and simple (well relatively simple, I didn’t understand it!) and was accompanied by a diagram showing the interrelationships of the various fundamental particles.

This piece is based on the ideas contained in this theory (such as I could fathom them) and the diagram that was used. It is supposed to also illustrate the mysterious and possible unknowability of how the universe works.

It’s basically a three-part structure. The first is an extended introduction from which the subsequent material is made. This is calm but unsettled with the the violin and piano playing essentially tonal material across each other’s path. The second is more of a duet, with interactions between the two instruments, and finally ending in a lot of "Feynmen diagrams" which are used to illustrate subatomic reactions. The piano here plays a chain reaction of ’particles’ whose emissions are illustrated (not very accurately) by the violin

If there are quantum physicists reading this, please don’t try to poke holes in my use of the material - there are probably thousands!

The title refers to the one of the jobs (snowboarding instructor) of the theory’s creator, Garrett Lisi, combined with the obligatory allusion to Douglas Adams.

page one of Life, The Universe and SnowboardingASALTTEXT

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