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Listen to Mvt. 5 of From the Grotto in a recording by the composer on New World Records

 

An important part of Currier's career has been the oratorio Gaian Variations, his largest work - and the most controversial.

Gaia theory was itself long wrapped in controversy, since receiving negative reception from neo-Darwinists starting in the 1980s. As Currier was in the middle of working on his score, however, more than 1,000 scientists from over 100 countries came together under the auspices of the United Nations to sign a Declaration which states at the outset,"The Earth System behaves as a single, self-regulating system." Lovelock's primary assertion of planetary-scale self-regulation had gradually become the accepted wisdom of science, despite the relentless criticism of figures like neo-Darwinist Richard Dawkins.

It is ironic then, that Currier's work sparked controversy having no direct bearing on the scientific controversy, when the orchestra stopped playing in the middle of the concert, claiming that it was heading into overtime. The interrupted premiere gave rise to litigation, some of which is still ongoing.

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Left, the score of Gaian Variations sits quietly behind glass, from 2014 through 2015, at one of the world's most prestigious museums, the London Science Museum. A decade earlier, it had been called "mostly pseudoscientific" in the the New York Times, by critic Allan Kozinn.

 
Since his troubles with Gaian Variations Currier has led a more varied career: his artistic life has become broader, as in his recently engaging in an ongoing collaborative effort with painter Suzan Woodruff on a series of what they call "moving paintings," painting-films in which Currier makes films from footage of Woodruff painting, and sets his own music to the visual imagery.

This moving painting, Looming Atmospheres, uses the theme of Gaian Variations

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