Some Mad Scientists is approximately 90 minutes in length. Listening to it in instalments will likely work best, so we have separated it into four files for easy downloading. Act synopses and files are below.

Here is a download of the entire piece.

ACT ONE [22'12"; 4 tracks, 47.6 MB]

The action begins on the crowded streets of the ancient city of Abdera, with an encounter between two artisans and a mysterious woman who speaks in slogans and laughs for no reason. The artisans discuss rumours spreading through the city about the madness of Abdera's most famous citizen, the philosopher Democritus. They bring the woman to City Council, interrupting a debate. Confronted with what may be the danger of a contagious illness, the Council decides to invite Hippocrates, the physician of Cos, to come to Abdera and cure Democritus.

The scene shifts to Cos and Hippocrates' medical laboratory. The daily business conducted there by the doctor and his slave/apprentice, Malamet, is interrupted by an ambassador from Abdera who has traveled to issue the city's invitation. Hippocrates accepts with considerable pomp.


ACT TWO [21'40"; 5 tracks, 46 MB]

Back in Abdera, the woman who calls herself Denocritus is being held in quarantine. She almost kills her captor, but instead engages in a close meditation on anger, after which she escapes and visits the cobbler from whom she seeks guidance. They make an arrangement that might be mutually beneficial. Meanwhile, onboard the ship that carries Hippocrates and Malamet, the physician engages in drink and conversation with the ship's captain. Retiring below deck for the night, Hippocrates consoles a suddenly fearful Malamet. That night the physician's sleep is interrupted by a dream, which he interprets as a good omen, although Malamet has misgivings.


ACT THREE [20'36"; 3 tracks, 46.5 MB]

Fanfare greets the pair's arrival in Abdera where Hippocrates is immediately brought to Democritus' residence on the outskirts of the city. He finds the philosopher surrounded by heaps of dissected animals: Democritus is writing a treatise on insanity and seeks its cause, the center of bile, in the animal bodies strewn around him. The two men engage in a lengthy discussion in which Democritus explains his philosophy of laughter, which takes the form of a diatribe directed at the meanness and stupidity of his fellow townspeople. Hippocrates leaves, convinced of Democritus' wisdom.


ACT FOUR [26'; 7 tracks, 55.7 MB]

The final act begins during city festival. A chance encounter at the docks between Malamet and the woman who calls herself Denocritus leads Malamet to a sudden decision: he will demand his freedom from his master, Hippocrates. The woman agrees to help him, and he conceals her onboard the ship that sails from Abdera back to Cos. Malamet's impassioned request from Hippocrates leaves the physician in a state of confusion. After a long, wakeful night, Hippocrates decides Malamet's fate. The play ends at sea.