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Around the world, millions of readers eagerly await the impending release of the new thriller ‘Origin’ by Dan Brown, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ According to Brown, the initial spark of inspiration for his highly anticipated novel struck him when he first heard a provocative piece of classical music entitled Missa Charles Darwin — a piece composed by award-winning composer Gregory W. Brown, who also happens to be the author’s brother. The composition is featured at a crucial moment in the ‘Origin’ narrative.

Missa Charles Darwin, was written for Grammy-nominated New York Polyphony and is structured on the standard liturgical Mass. Brown painstakingly translated DNA sequences and markers into musical phrases set to texts by Charles Darwin. In doing so, Brown simultaneously commemorates the scientist’s genius while interrogating the relationship between faith and reason. “For some listeners Missa Charles Darwin might seem inherently subversive,” adds Gregory W. Brown, “but that can be part of the conversation. It doesn’t take anything away from religion to also celebrate Charles Darwin.”

Missa Charles Darwin will be released as a special edition deluxe package on September 29th on PARMA Recordings/Navona Records. It will include an all-new remastering of Missa Charles Darwin as well as liner notes, biographies, and excerpts from the Darwin texts featured in the music. A select number of the deluxe packages include a limited edition photograph hand signed by the composer and author. All of Gregory’s proceeds from this release are being donated to musical education charities including Chorus America, American Choral Directors Association, and the International Society for Music Education.


“Missa Charles Darwin uses the best practices of renaissance polyphony in speaking to a modern world. It is elegant and restrained, but never boring. Brown uses a wholly original approach toward dissonance, tempered in the logical fires of modal counterpoint very fine, serious, and, I dare say, devoutly felt music.”

— Arthur Gottschalk

“Brown is the only contemporary composer I can recall who crafts vocal lines that have the same sense of independent harmonic rhythm and expressive freedom that makes the madrigals of Monteverdi and the like so powerful.”