Terra Lumina

by Terra Lumina

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From melodysheep, the creator of Symphony of Science, comes an original album focused on the most awe-inspiring aspects of the natural world. Terra Lumina is a collection of folk/rock songs with themes including gravity, geology, photons, and the Doppler effect. A unique musical take on some of science's most amazing discoveries, from John D. Boswell and vocalist William Crowley.


released December 18, 2012

TERRA LUMINA is John D. Boswell and William Crowley

All songs written, performed and recorded by TERRA LUMINA

Female vocals by Cara Alboucq // Cello by Zach Brown
Additional lyrics by Peter Pearsall // Additional guitar by Jordan Vessels

Artwork by Mat Hudson (Orphan Elliot) & Shogo Ota (Tireman Studio); layout by John D. Boswell

A melodysheep production

Produced by John D. Boswell, William Crowley, Brandon Sanders, Awakening Science Foundation, The SolSeed Movement, Ken Austin, Howard Herrick, Dr. Jon Cleland Host, David Staurset Mindresunde, Ben Tristem, Edouard Volle, & Simon & Tracey West
Mastered by Sage Audio

Special thanks to all our Kickstarter supporters,
friends, and family who made this project possible



all rights reserved



Terra Lumina Bellingham, Washington

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Track Name: Return to the Sky
Within the heart of every cloud
And each and every cell
There's a molecule
With long and wild tales it can tell

The basis of all life
It's found in earth and sky and in ourselves

Water's in the sky
Where ever-hanging clouds float by
Tilt your head back, free your mind
To all the wondrous shapes you'll find

Water's in the air
It takes its form as vapor there
Or in dew drops on the grass
Solid, liquid, or a gas

From the sky above our heads
To the earth beneath our feet
Over rocky river beds and to the sea

Flowing through our bodies
And within our every cell
Absorbing heat
Ascending to the sky from which it fell

Return to the sky, evaporate and rise
Bring life down to us all, precipitate and fall

Throughout the universe we see
This molecule's abundancy
In planetary atmospheres
In vapor clouds so far from here

If all of life on this depends
It's wonderful to comprehend
The thought that we are not alone
On this planet we call home

Water flows with ease
Making rivers, oceans, lakes, and streams
But over time it can erode
And help all things on Earth to grow

Water's part of all
Living things both great and small
Any creature you can see
Needs water just like you and me
Track Name: Shifting Light
Have you ever pondered the movement of a star
A planet or a galaxy up in the night sky
Have you ever wondered why the sound of a siren
Is constantly changing as it passes you by

It's good to have many questions
About the world that you face
That's how all of human kind's
Discoveries are made

The sound of that siren and light of that star
Both are ever changing, it depends on where you are
In relation to the source of sound or light alike
The frequency that you receive very well might

Cause sound to become lower in pitch
Or light to red-shift
This change in observed frequency
Found by Doppler, the physicist

Just as the sounds of sirens change
As they come and go
The light from other galaxies
Helps us come to know

The universe is vast in size
Growing all the time
As shown by red-shifting light
That's come to meet our eyes
Track Name: If I Were a Lowly Photon
If I were a lowly photon
I wouldn't weigh a single ounce
I'd be a tiny massless little particle
The smallest nature will allow

And I'd be born within a stellar furnace
In a far away star
Sailing through the endless darkness
Straight to where you are

If I were a humble photon
I'd be the smallest little thing
If you tried to subdivide me
You'll find I'm not made of anything

And I'd be born within a stellar furnace
In a far away star
Sailing through the endless darkness
Straight to where you are

And I'd fly at the speed of light
For a million years
Before I finally arrived
Through the atmosphere to land upon your eye

If I were a lowly photon
I wouldn't carry any charge
Although you might confuse me with a proton
They don't carry light from stars

I'd be a gamma ray or x ray
Or just a microwave
Or infrared, or radio
Or the light that we all know

At times I'd act just like a particle
Sometimes like a wave
Plants could photosynthesize me
I never would decay
Track Name: Rocks
The rock known as...

Igneous is formed by molten magma
As it cools, it could be
Plutonic, intrusive
Where magma's slowly coolin'
Beneath the Earth's surface

Or it could be volcanic, extrusive
Red hot substance is blown from a mountain

Felsic rock, ultrapotassic,
Peraluminous, ultramafic

Rocks are formed in so many different ways
It just takes a couple hundred million days
So next time you're out walking around
Try to classify all the rocks that you have found

The rock known as...

Sedimentary tends to hold and carry
All the resources that we use daily
It's made of detritus, just dead organic matter and
Evaporates, then compacted harder

The rock known as...

Metamorphic comes from other rocks
It's smashed and heated under Earth's surface
Caused by collision of tectonic plates
Marble, gneiss, quartzite and slate
Track Name: Breathe In
Breathe in, breathe out
We're still alive because O2's throughout
Air due to plants and algae

Water, light, and a breath
Is all it takes for plants to make
Their food and the air that we breathe

From lowly grass to lofty trees
All plants on Earth hold the key
To all we eat, and all we breathe
The source of all our energy

Not all that we have
On this Earth is what meets the eye
Because all that's green keeps us alive
Track Name: A Dance of Light
Let's begin with the solar wind
With photons sailing through the void
A lonely vacuum where few have been
From sun to earth where the dance begins

A dance of light across the sky
A vivid flowing glow on high

A curtain drapes the mighty earth
Sets the sky ablaze
A wondrous incandescent burst
Born from stellar rays

A glow of green, or brown, or red
From colliding oxygen
A brilliant show of blue or red
From energetic nitrogen

Magnetospheric particles
Colliding with this stream of light
Ionizing molecules
To bring about a wild sight
Track Name: From Old Creating New
When an aging massive star
Has emptied all its store
We witness from afar
The power of the collapsing of its core

The expansion that ensues
Causes elements to fuse
Sending them into the void
From old creating new
Track Name: A Beautiful Thing
You've kept me down my whole life through
But you've kept the earth spherical, too
Well I could just fly to the moon
If I could just overrule you

But since you ain't goin' nowhere
I'll make the best of your grip on me
And everything
'Cause wherever I go you'll be waiting for me

Gravity won't set you free
But she forms all the planets and stars that we see
Gravity's a beautiful thing
That you cannot escape
And I'd rather keep it that way

Well you've got a hold of this delicate globe
And it's quite a sight to behold
To watch as it circles around
Our sun as we're glued to the ground

Well I've heard that you're slowing down time
Curving space and then bending the light
That's trying to keep a straight line
On its journey to light up the sky

If it weren't for you there wouldn't be stars
No light in the darkness that travels so far
Although we could fly so free
Inside we would weaken and atrophy
Track Name: The Tree of Life
It all started with a molecule
Four billion years ago
In the early open oceans and tidepools

Before the life that we have come to know
Insects, trees, and animals
Life began in a soup of chemicals

If you let millions and millions of years pass
Through the tree of life you'll come to us at last

Evolution takes its time and slowly
Works its wild ways with endless beauty
Evolution tells the greatest story
It's the way all life on earth has come to be

A simple start to everything
A single-cell would come to bring
Trilobites and other living things

In the time of Cambrian
Life saw an explosion

From single-cell to multi-cell
And multi-cell to animal
And animals began to crawl the land

Then came the dinosaurs
With dominance and mighty roars
Who ruled the land for a hundred million years
Then came an asteroid
Almost all life was destroyed

A quarter million years ago
The ancestors of you and I
The people you have grown to know
Had finally arrived

With our eyes and with our minds
We learned so many things
Looked deep within our past to learn
Of how we came to be
Track Name: The Smallest Things of All
To understand the world around us
And know the cosmos with less doubt
To comprehend that there is something
Instead of nothingness throughout

If we're to make sense of it all
Ask the "why" that matters most
We should turn our focus inward
To the smallest things that we can know

For centuries great thinkers pondered
How this world could be comprised
Is there an underlying constant
To the world before our eyes

Ancient Greeks proposed a particle
So infinitely small
And they called these constructs atoms
The smallest things of all

From the structure of the atom
All the elements are known
And from elements come molecules
As chemistry has shown

First a nucleus sits densely
In the center of a sphere
And its core is protons bound to neutrons
The atom's mass is mainly here

About the nucleus buzz particles
That are vastly smaller still
Electrons with their minus charge
In their orbitals they spin at large
Track Name: Ode to Pluto
You were found in 1930
But you've been around long before
And everyone seemed to know your name

A dwarf they now are calling you
But you're still hung up in most kids' rooms
We think of you very much the same

Pluto, don't get too down
Words are only words
And you'll always be around
Pluto, keep circling around the sun
A couple hundred years and you'll be back where you'd begun

Consider yourself lucky
Five moons to keep you company
With Charon to lead the whole crew

Your days are six times longer
And mass a fraction of our moon
But that's what really makes you, you

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