Sunday with Zin: A Capella Series 2012 – part 2

Hello I am Zin and it is time for two more a capellas!

Wait – do not go! Please… the first one is very funny! And the Christmas one is very beautiful!

Rolling in the Higgs

Are you still there?

See, back in July, there was a lot of excitement because the scientists running the large hadron collider in Switzerland (aka CERN) announced they had discovered the Higgs Bosun! This is one of those things like the speed of light or relativity, it is a huge deal (but do not ask me to explain it to you, read what the New York Times had to say instead!

So physics student and “harmony addict” Tim Blais wrote a song! Well, he wrote lyrics to “Rolling in the Deep” which is a song Adele wrote! And he called it “Rolling in the Higgs!”

There’s a collider under Geneva
Reaching new energies that we’ve never achieved before
Finally we can see with this machine
A brand new data peak at 125 GeV
See how gluons and vector bosons fuse
Muons and gamma rays emerge from something new
There’s a collider under Geneva
Making one particle that we’ve never seen before

The complex scalar
Elusive boson
Escaped detection by the LEP and Tevatron
The complex scalar
What is its purpose?
It’s got me thinking

We could have had a model (Particle breakthrough, at the LHC)
Without a scalar field (5-sigma result, could it be the Higgs)
But symmetry requires no mass (Particle breakthrough, at the LHC)
So we break it, with the Higgs (5-sigma result, could it be the Higgs)

And then there is Verse Two!

But the valiant Mr. Blais was not done yet!

He sang this song in… I do not know, four, six, eight part harmony? All by himself! And put it on video! And he is pretty good though his percussion could use some work! If this physics thing does not work out for him he can become a professional a cappelist!

He got a writeup on the Scientific American blog so his lyrics are legit! But I think it is just funny! And if you go all the way to the end, you will find just a snippet of what might be his next video, to “Bohemian Rhapsody” – “Is string theory right? Is it just fantasy? Caught in the landscape out of touch with reality?”

Merry Christmas Music

And now for our Christmas a capella: Everyone knows the Praetorius ” Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” (“Lo How a Rose Ere Blooming”) but that was not good enough for composer Hugo Distler (he has a very sad story! He lived in Germany at the worst possible time! His music was declared “degenerate” by the Nazis and he killed himself rather than end up in the army fighting for a regime he despised, so even though he was a straight white Caucasian Christian, he too was a victim of the Third Reich) so he composed a Bach-style cantata called “Die Weihnachtsgeschichte” (“The Christmas Story”) which included variations of the Praetorius scattered throughout! And they are so beautiful! The whole cantata is about 45 minutes, but I am just using one of the variations for my purposes here, my favorite!

Two more next week! In honor of the cancelled Sing-Off!


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