19 June 2020

#AGURocks: Bromide Hill

Posted by Shane Hanlon

#AGURocks is a series of posts by musicians who create science-inspired music and explain their process and inspiration while also showcasing their pieces. Learn more about contributing. The views and lyrics expressed in this post and song do not reflect those of Sharing Science and AGU. This week, Tracy Feldman.

Tracey Feldman. Credit: Melissanne Hale Dixon

I’m a biology professor who teaches ecology-related topics and conduct research on biodiversity. I’ve also played music for most of my life–first violin and then guitar. I’ve been writing and performing songs since the early 1990s, and while most of my songs are not science-related, a few cross the boundaries.  

The song “Bromide Hill” was inspired by the strange and tragic history of Oklahoma, which is also inextricably tied with the energy industry. I found Oklahoma amazingly beautiful as well, with very interesting geology as well as ecology. I wanted to write something personal, but also rooted in the history of this place (beyond just human history). I spent many weeks working on the lyrics, and several days figuring out the melody. I recorded it in a studio in Oklahoma in 2007-9, and the album “Middle of the Road” came out in 2009. Hope you enjoy!

-Tracy Feldman is an Assistant Professor of Biology at St. Andrews University. Check out his music on his website and Facebook