Welcome to EvoLucien (cool name isn't it?). This album is very exciting for me because it covers two of my most passionate subjects Jazz / Fusion (to play and perform) and human evolution (to study). I have been a Fusion guitar player for many years. For those that are not familiar with Jazz / Fusion, it mixes the complexity of jazz and the energy of rock. The most important adjectives that could be used for it are high energy, complex melodies and time signatures, groovin, progressive, artistic and usually has conceptual album content. EvoLucien is just that.
The concept of EvoLucien joins the subject of human evolution and the writings that are now available from the ancient people that lived in the land of Mesopotamia, the Sumerians. It combines it all together; why and how we are here on planet earth. The concept of the album is enhanced by some incredible artwork from my extremely talented wife, Sheri. Her artistry with Pointillism ink work (completely done in small, distinct dots) is unique, intense and breathtaking. She was able to bring my images to life, and we have included several of her pieces here, adding to this concept album.
EvoLucien is a musical backdrop of our evolutionary process from one of the first known hominid species Australopithecus to us, Homo Sapien Sapien. It explores some of the most important hominids (any of the modern or extinct bipedal primates of the family hominidae) in the evolutionary chain and possible real life scenarios and or ideas about their journey. It also corroborates with the ancient texts of the Sumerians and other high civilized cultures to add an interesting scenario regarding our origins. And lastly, it is about our genetic journey, and what the human genome has on record that is hidden in our DNA sequence.
I believe that we Homo Sapien Sapien came into existence from one of the hominid species but more importantly from the DNA make up of one of these hominids as opposed from a gradual evolutionary process. Not to say that Charles Darwin and others to follow in his footsteps were and are wrong in the fact we humans are a product of gradual evolution but the fact that we came along very sudden on a very, very long time line which definitely needs to be questioned. I believe that Darwin and scholars to follow are correct in the fact that we evolved from an ape ancestor split about 5 million years ago and the progression of various species evolved from them up to a certain point in our evolutionary time line. There is no doubt that in Darwin’s time he was a genius in his field and the crazy thing is how accurate his visions were without the involvement of genetics.
New scientific discoveries and advancements especially in the field of genetics add new intriguing information to our human story. In our human genome lies our DNA which holds the recorded data of our past. It tells us when we lost our fur / body hair (Homo Ergaster) as we evolved away from our ancestor split. It tells us when we possibly spoke our first words, when we left Africa and much more vital information that changed us from being a bipedal ape like species to modern humans. The worlds of archeology, anthropology and paleoanthropology support all of these genetic findings and corroborate, bringing our evolutionary process to light.
To move on with our story we need to shift on over to our long lost friends the Sumerians (the people from the land of Sumer) which existed around 6,000 years ago. They tell the most fascinating and remarkable story of our existence which we could never have imagined unless it was written down for all to see, and it was. The Sumerians did write (in cuneiform) our story of how we humans came into existence. They express that it was by genetic engineering by the "Gods". They had a library containing thousands of clay tablets which not only tell our story, but also of detailed celestial facts about our solar system, politics, schools, economy, laws, mathematics, medicine, and many other advanced topics for the time. When considering these Sumerian writings, especially the Atrahasis Epic and the Enuma Elish Epic of Creation, ancient mythology, other ancient writings (including the bible), new genetic and archaeological discoveries, together answer many questions regarding our past. Again, Charles Darwin, I believe, was correct in the fact that our hominid ancestors existed up to a certain point until our sudden emergence. But we came along very suddenly, maybe too suddenly for natural evolution.
Microevolution is the evolutionary change involving the gradual accumulation of mutations leading to new varieties within a species. Macroevolution (major evolutionary transition from one organism to another or in this case species into a higher species) is what Darwin believed was how we transformed from ape to man. However, myself and others that could be called Logicalists in the world of alternative history, propose that humans evolved too sudden for macroevolution. Not only was it too sudden, but the fossil record and the genetic information available tells a different story. It was probably next to impossible that our human genome could and did not have the years that evolution would need to change a hominid species into a human being. So, Darwin could be right with microevolution (minor changes) and wrong with macroevolution (major changes) with humans because we are so different in the animal world. There is good supported evidence that some species come close, or actually become a changed species from macroevolution, but with humans the sheer logic cannot be justified.
I believe that there is truth in almost everything we read and hear, unless it was intended to be fiction. If all history and alternative history is powerful enough to be written or talked about in the first place, then there has to be some truth within. I believe there is truth in everything that peoples of long ago have written down and passed down by tradition which now is considered to be myths and legends.
We need to weed out the wrong or misguided facts within those truths and continue to use those writings and the passed down knowledge to find the truth.
Life Beyond The Trees
Around 6 million years ago the global climate had cooled. Sea levels dropped because of massive amounts of water being locked up in glaciers. Africa became drier and cooler because of the lack of moisture and the equatorial forests shrank, opening the land up with large gaps between the trees. Walking on two feet had many advantages like being able to carry offspring, food and other resources needed to cover more ground. Most forest apes had to spend more time on the ground to survive in the conditions that prevailed. Over the course of time these creatures evolved into one of the first walking apelike species Australopithecines and being bipedal (upright walking on two feet) they were on their way to becoming human by living "Life Beyond the Trees".
As the opening track, Life Beyond the Trees is a musical sound scape that depicts Australopithecines surviving in the elements. The main melody theme and feel of the composition begins with them living their everyday life peacefully. It gradually grows a little more tense with the first guitar solo as life becomes more difficult as they would of been continuously scampering about and dodging ferocious animals to survive. It conveys the ups and downs of life of Australopithecines as they learn to adapt to their changing surroundings.
The next important phase in our story takes us to about 2.5 million years ago. Climate was shifting and changing again to a cool and drier environment which made the Australopithecines change the way they had been surviving. This new change was depleting the area of the lush green vegetation that the Australopithecines were accustomed to eating, forcing them change their diet. Evolution, as complicated it may seem, has very logical solutions to problems and in this case "eat meat". Meat eating reportedly produces more protein for the brain. Brain volume began getting larger over time and made way for the next hominid to join the album, Homo Habilis. It used the most valuable commodity that was never seen before, stone tools. Homo Habilis is considered the first stone tool makers. The tool kit they used is named Oldowan. These tools were first found in Olduvai Gorge in east Africa. Although Homo Habilis was more ape like than human, they set the stage for better things to come.
There is no better way to introduce this track than with Homo Habilis manufacturing stone tools, shaping them, sharpening them as if they were at some tool making factory. The odd time signature of 7/8 adds jaggedness to the overall feel of the composition. Right out of the gate, the melody is hard core Jazz Fusion. Throughout the piece, you get the feel of Homo Habilis working and slaving over their craft of tool making.
Lake Turkana often called the “cradle of mankind” is in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. This lake to me is probably the most inspirational because in evolutionary terms, it has supported most of the hominids we think about when it comes to evolution in Africa, were we all came from "genetically speaking". When I think of Lake Turkana, the first hominid that comes to my mind is Homo Ergaster. This species lived about 1.7 million years ago and is next in line of importance in the evolutionary line of descent. I might bring up at this point that all of the species discussed and are written about especially in my album content, are the most accepted as individual species in the field of human evolution. There are however other species that lived along side and became extinct along the way that are not part of this story. I’ve included a list of references at the end of the booklet which lists my recourses and can be read for more information and further studies.
Homo Ergaster was the first species to have some human features even though its brain size was not like that of modern humans. Their arms and other physical features were more human like, as well as their social organization. They were probably the first species that didn't use the trees as much or at all, and the first species to have an external nose due to the hot and dry places they lived in Africa. Ergaster was probably the first to lose its body hair because of the need to sweat in the dry, hot environment. In Africa, at the time when Homo Ergaster was alive, taking refuge from the sun was a necessity. Having the cool breeze and the flowing waters from Lake Turkana, would have made these conditions easier to live with. I have often wondered and tried to imagine Ergaster sitting at the shore of Lake Turkana peering into the water, looking out and wondering, what was life like past the horizon.
Lake Turkana projects a calm and relaxed theme, as Ergaster rests by the shores looking for refuge from the elements. Natural sounds throughout this piece are highlighted with flowing waters and tides. Tension builds as thunderstorms roll in adding drama to his peaceful afternoon.
Out of Africa
- First Migration
- Second Migration
FIRST MIGRATION - When we think of hominids leaving Africa the first thing that comes to mind is the original hypothesis of Homo Erectus leaving Africa and evolving into Homo Sapien Sapien, "us". It is now confirmed that we did not evolve from the hominid species Homo Erectus. Homo Erectus was presumably a descendant of Homo Ergaster and lived about roughly 1.5 million years ago. Some speculate that Homo Ergaster and Homo Erectus are the same classified species.
There is now evidence that they were indeed two separate species and I like to simplify that confusion with the idea that some of Homo Ergasters population left Africa while some stayed. Upon leaving and adapting to different environments, those that left Africa evolved into the species Homo Erectus. Homo Erectus reached Asia about a million years ago, maybe earlier. To venture so far without any reservation, continue to keep moving and taking significant survival risks is completely remarkable for any species that was not close to being human. Or was it?
The composition begins very triumphant as you would think of Homo Erectus leaving Africa with no fear as if they had some goal to achieve. I like to think of this part of the composition as the dominating forge forward in their mission to conquer.
SECOND MIGRATION – Another migration out of Africa occurred about 500,000 years ago. Still, however, not be confused with our direct ancestors' exodus which left Africa about 50,000 years ago. This second migration was of another presumable descendant of Homo Ergaster known as Homo Heildelbergensis. I believe and it is speculated that Heildelbergensis was already evolved from Ergaster at the point in which they left in this second migration and was occupying both ends, to the north and south of Africa. The most fascinating aspect of this migration ends up with the most talked about and studied archaic human ever, the Neanderthals. While Homo Heildelbergensis is on route to the north heading towards Europe into very cold climates and harsh glacial conditions about 300,000 years ago, evolutionary changes start to take place to help them conform to those conditions and they ultimately evolve into the Neanderthals.
This section of the composition takes us on the Neanderthals journey of evolving from Homo Heidelbergensis. The Neanderthals changed dramatically in appearance as well as genetically, as they adapted to cold harsh climates. It expresses more of a wondering, slower moving theme, as they would have experienced during the ice age conditions of Europe. Also in this section one can experience the sounds of this cold harsh environment with blistering wind, snow and wild wolves.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I think the most important thing for people to keep in mind when dealing with human evolution is to really understand what and who our predecessors were. When the archaics left Africa (Homo Erectus and the Neanderthals) in the first and second migration, they missed out on what our predecessors didn't, the ingredients to become human. We are not a product of evolution from Homo Erectus or the Neanderthals. Our predecessors presumably are from the population of Homo Heidelbergensis. It is that species that stayed in Africa and ultimately became human with a little help from intervention.
Tones of Stones and Bones
There is no doubt that if hominids were able to use stone tools and other such implements, they were able to carve and hollow out the bones of certain animals and make bone flutes of various types. Some of these musical instruments were found scattered about in different areas of the world to confirm this. Between the flutes and other various types of musical instruments like some types of drums, wood blocks, shells on a string, the wonderful gift of music was probably a very big part of their life.
I created this theme as if our ancestors were playing the musical instruments that they might of had at the time in a hominid jam session. Along side the campfire one could hear these authentic instruments that I was was lucky to get my hands on. “Tones of Stones and Bones” and the next track, “Intervention” go into each other, so listen for the distinct sounds of "Intervention" to signal the beginning of the next track.
For me, the most fascinating aspect of human evolution was our leap of becoming human. When and how that happened is still the greatest debate of all time. It is probably, in my view, the single most important fact we should be searching for with greatest detail. To know how we became human surprisingly is not a big deal for most humans alive today. This is something that should be looked at from every angle possible in genetics, archeology, paleoanthropology and all forms of science and physics as well as the resources from other texts such as the bible and translated texts from ancient civilizations. I believe it was a multiple stage process of Divine Interventions that occurred over time. The reference "Divine Intervention" I refer to as the divine "ingredient" of genetic engineering we received or better put, as our predecessors received. This major intervention / upgrade began with either Homo Heildelbergensis or a later species of Homo Ergaster that has not been identified yet, but at this point my eggs are in Heildbergs basket.
It is in the cuneiform writings from the first, or one of the first, highly civilized people from the land called Sumer (located in Mesopotamia “the land between the rivers”) which is today called Iraq. The Sumerians were the civilization which many would describe as the civilization with many firsts. There have been thousands of clay tablets found in the ancient land of Mesopotamia. Found on these tablets are basically the life and times of the Sumerians.
There were many more civilizations that were later established in that area such as the Babylonians, Akkadians, the Assyrians and later the Hittites, and many more. All of these civilizations believed and worshipped gods in their respectable regions and all have the similar theme, all stemming from a single source passed down directly from the Sumerians. This also includes the Egyptians, later on the Greeks and the Romans. Not only did these other civilizations borrow their "gods" from the Sumerians but also their myths and legends. The Sumerians were a special people. Their creation story is now being accepted as fact instead of myth to many people in the alternative history department in your favorite book store. New light is being shed on this subject and I have been corroborating the facts between these creation myths, genetics, human evolution from the archeology and paleoanthropology worlds, the book of Genesis (in the Bible), and many other resources which are included in the resource list in this booklet. The story would take many hours to write but if you check out the list of resources you could get the whole story. It might take some time to understand and process the information, but a fascinating journey it will be. It all has to do with our predecessors being genetically tampered with over the course of time. The guilty ones of this charge are either of two scenarios. The first and most popular of the two is that of a race of extraterrestrial beings called the "Anunnaki". According to author Zecharia Sitchin the Sumerians documented that the Anunnaki are from the planet Nibiru which visited earth about 450 thousand years ago and genetically created man from an early hominid species for various reasons, about 300,000 years ago. There is a huge mound of information that goes along with this that is worth diving into if one has the time and an open mind. The second scenario is that the writings from the Sumerians could also be translated that the Annunaki (referred to as Anannage) were an advanced race of people, not of extraterrestrial origin who genetically created man. Then years later, revisiting the land that is now Lebanon to reestablish their civilization. This translation comes from authors Christian and Barbara Joy O’Brien.
Slowly entering from a distance, the Annunaki begin their decent via high pitched, staccato picking “hyper dimensional aircraft” guitars. Startled and mesmerized our ancestors slowly become calm submissive to the visitors. The process of genetic engineering begins with slow melodic doses of intervention intensifying to arpeggiated doses. The process completes in beautiful harmonic union between Annunaki and hominid genes, before the decent of the visitors back into the night sky. The intervention sounds heard on this track are all done with guitars and my cool array of effects. No keyboards or sampled effects, just normal everyday pedal effects. I can't tell you what the sounds are you will have to just listen.
A strange name indeed, FOXP2 (forkhead box P2) is a relatively new discovery of a gene discovered in 1990.
It tells geneticists that sometime during our evolutionary process and upgrades, the gene mutated and put in place the last
component to facilitate our ability to speak.
Just as FOXP2 was the building block of speech and language, straight ahead Jazz was the building block of Jazz / Fusion and Rock and other genres. In that sense, I felt that this composition should express traditional Jazz. Throughout the piece, listen close and you can hear my guitars through a wah pedal talking among themselves in a primitive tongue.
Since there was genetic engineering performed on various species along the human evolution timeline, this was the most "mitochondrial" important one. This was the upgrade that ultimately created the female mother “Eve”.
Expanding upon the Intervention theme, you can hear the similar genetic upgrade process in a smaller dose,
tweaking the mitochondrial side of our genome.
- Mitochondrial Eve
- Y Chromosomal Adam
The biblical Adam and Eve story is known to all. It is speculated that the Adam and Eve tale was an event that ultimately lasted longer than originally interpreted. It is a tale that tells us about how Adam was created then was placed in the Garden to tend it. It tells us how Eve was created, it tells us of the tree of knowing incident which was considered to be the fall of man. It tells us because of this incident, it could be interpreted, that it was when men and women were able to procreate on their own. The book of Genesis tells profound information which is parallel to the Mesopotamian texts written by the Sumerians.
From genetics we know that everybody alive today is descended from two individuals that did not live at the same time, Mitochondrial Eve and Y Chromosomal Adam. All Mitochondrial DNA was passed down from a single woman who is now estimated to have lived about 150,000 years ago. All Y Chromosomal DNA was passed down from Y Chromosomal Adam about 60,000 years ago. Geneticists tell us that there have been many “Adam and Eve's” throughout human history (roughly about 2,500 of each). As miraculous as that may seem, it would be more miraculous that one male passed down his Y chromosome and one female her mitochondria to us at two different time periods in history. It’s a long process indeed to reach the final destination of our ancestral modern human beings.
This composition is a musical depiction of Adam and Eve’s romance over time. It’s their meeting, but strangely not ever meeting, and becoming the progenitors of us all. It is a soundscape that covers many years in the making, but keeping the theme as if they were the very first couple.
Usually when I incorporate two different beings or people in a composition, two different guitars are used to identify each member. In this case the acoustic nylon string guitar is Eve and the acoustic steel string represents Adam. Hear how it starts out with Eve (nylon string) as she creates the sensual theme. I chose her first because in the genetic sense, she was alive before genetic Adam. She creates the main theme before encountering the infamous serpent (bass guitar solo), then there is another genetic upgrade which creates Adam. The interwoven guitar solo represents the passionate meeting of our two main characters combining both acoustic lead guitars. And so we have in place the group of individuals, our progenitors, the ancestral modern humans.
March of the Ancestral Modern Humans /
Discovering New Lands
Exodus from Africa was definitely a momentous event in human evolution. When we think of human evolution we don't really think about the circumstances that are actually involved with the subject, we kind of think we evolved somehow from primitive Hominidae (anthropoid) ape and that is that. Even after final exodus from Africa we continued to evolve. The group of individuals that made that momentous step to leave the homeland was only about 150 members. Some stayed in Africa and continued to evolve and obtain their own genetic traits, and that is how we get our genetic differences between the different lineages of our human species. This exodus should not be confused with our earlier migrations "out of Africa". Those migrations were unfortunately evolutionary dead ends for those species of hominids, with the Neanderthals being the most successful. When we left, our bone structure was heavier and we were more primitive like. All of the components of being contemporary modern humans were in place including language, sociality, bonds of kinship, even the most dangerous aspect, war.
Our ancestral modern humans marched out and discovered new lands about 50,000 years ago. After their march out of Africa, I like to imagine our ancestral modern humans discovering many situations that they were not accustomed to. Climates, new terrain and different food sources are just a few of the circumstances that they had to deal with. One of the most puzzling situations for them was their encounters with their more primitive cousins, the Neanderthals. There is no doubt that the ancestral modern humans were living side by side with the Neanderthals. Genetics, with it’s increasingly more accurate technology of dating DNA, tell us when the Neanderthals died out. This date is roughly 30,000 years ago, a date that would put them living among the ancestral modern human (at this point referred to as Cro-Magnon). There is now genetic information that could possibly reveal that Neanderthals and our ancestral moderns "Cro-Magnon" interbred, a debate that still continues.
This composition begins with the march out of Africa led by a strong rhythmic marching drum beat. The full drum beat gives the cue to go out and discover new lands. The main theme is a straight forward melody expressing the confidence of our ancestors as they journeyed into the world. In this track I like to think of the Neanderthals as the acoustic guitar players and the moderns as the electric guitar players. Upon encountering each other, the result is a dueling guitar solo as the two species battle for their own existence, until finally the Neanderthals can no longer keep up or evolve any longer. The second guitar solo soars in a triumphant rock feel as the modern humans win the ultimate game of survival.
- Natural Selection
- Genetic Drift
Geneticists tell us that evolution is made up of a few main components that help us understand the process. Those key components are mutation, natural selection and genetic drift. Mutations are basically changes that are made in the chemical units of our DNA. This is what makes the difference between why we look the way we do, what skin color we have etc. Natural selection is retaining the changes (traits) by choosing to keep them and ensuring they continue in succeeding generations or rejecting them by simply not having them passed down from generation to generation. Genetic drift is the process in which the genetic changes sweep through the populations and makes them permanent.
Since there is no real image one could grasp of genetics and our genome, creating a musical composition about genetics is even more difficult. Since evolutions’ components comprise of mutation, natural selection and genetic drift, the most logical thing to do was to create a repetitive theme then slightly change one important musical note, to represent the mutation (see if you could find musical note). Then hear how natural selection chooses to keep that new note within the songs content. Finally, hear how genetic drift keeps that mutation permanent within the melody.
For this project I took into consideration theories and facts from the following sources:
ALTERNATIVE HISTORY REFERENCES