General musical inspiration, relatively speaking

A century since Einstein’s published his General Theory of Relativity and the launch date of the new track from Diagrams, the artistic moniker of Sheffield-based Sam Genders on which I played a tiny advisory role on a nanoscopic part of the lyrics.

“I’m fascinated by science and had been reading Einstein’s biography on the last European tour,” says Genders. “When I read that the centenary of the theory was approaching I was inspired to write a song to commemorate it.”

Swirling atmospherics reflect the cosmic subject matter, which inspired the track as synthesizers hum and whirl; yet these textures are juxtaposed with Genders’ rich, subtle vocal delivery and pastoral horn arrangements. The overall effect is wistful, but cautiously optimistic, drawing parallels between the incomprehensibility of universal matters, and, as Genders puts it, “the cosmos that we each have inside our heads.

The imagery included in Bates’ animation alludes to these parallel themes, as two figures seek to be reunited as they float through the void. They drift past intricate, intertwining concentric patterns while Genders sings of dancing “like two electrons held in the orbit of a radium ion”.