"Exogenesis: Symphony", commonly known as simply "Exogenesis", is a song by English alternative rock band Muse, featured on their 2009 fifth studio album The Resistance. Written by lead vocalist, guitarist and pianist Matthew Bellamy over the course of a number of years, the song is presented as a symphony in three movements entitled "Overture", "Cross-Pollination" and "Redemption" respectively, each occupying a separate track at the end of the album and spanning almost 13 minutes in total. "Exogenesis" was released as a single in the United States on 19 April 2010, with 500 copies to be made available by import in the United Kingdom through the band's official website.
Before the release of the album, Bellamy explained more about the symphonic song, which he revealed would be in three parts on the album:" There is a new song in three parts, more of a symphony than a song, which I have been working on sporadically for many years [...] As a large percentage of the composition is orchestral, I have never wanted to collaborate with a string arranger as they may make it 'theirs'. So I have been arranging the orchestral elements myself, which is taking a long time. It should hopefully make the next album as the final three tracks."
With the presence of "Exogenesis", among other songs, Bellamy hinted at the classical direction taken by the band in writing and recording The Resistance, describing the record as "A symphonic album" and joking that "We'll be knocking on Classic FM's door, you know?"
Speaking for the iTunes LP feature for The Resistance, Bellamy said the following about the inspirations and meanings of "Exogenesis":
" ["Exogenesis: Symphony"] is influenced by Rachmaninov, Richard Strauss, Chopin and Pink Floyd. It looks at the concept of 'panspermia'. It is a story of humanity coming to an end and everyone pinning their hopes on a group of astronauts who go out to explore space and spread humanity to another planet. Part 1 is a jaded acceptance that civilization will end. Part 2 is a desperate hope that sending the astronauts to find and populate other planets will be successful alongside the recognition that this is the last hope. Finally, Part 3 is when the astronauts realize that it is just one big cycle, and recognize that unless humanity can change it will happen all over again."
"Exogenesis" are called the final three tracks of the album, with the three parts being dubbed "Overture", "Cross-Pollination" and "Redemption", respectively.
French media source JudeBox reviewed the album before its release, comparing Bellamy's vocal performance to that of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and identifying classical composers Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt as influences for the symphony. Mojo quoted Bellamy as revealing that the song features an orchestra of over 40 musicians, while NME praised the "classical piece [...] put together by Matthew Bellamy over the course of many years" as the "Most astonishing and over-the-top of all" the songs on The Resistance. The feature article quoted bassist and backing vocalist Christopher Wolstenholme as saying the following on the song:" You can always just take the band away from that track and just have the orchestral bit and it would still be beautiful. I just think it's a stunning piece of music and we've never done something like that before, where you've got all these songs that are in different movements. The orchestra were the main bit of the song and the band was more of a backdrop. The strings were at the forefront. It's fucking astonishing."
Drummer Dominic Howard was quoted as adding the following to the description of "Exogenesis":" It's a real journey that song as well. It's kind of... you can't really hear what Matt's singing in the first part much, but the whole song is about leaving the destructive planet we've created, leaving it behind to go populate somewhere else in the universe. So it's a big journey anyway, it's a big kind of filmic, visual journey as well."
On possibly performing the song live, Bellamy was quoted simply as enthusiastically declaring that "We'll give it a go!" For most shows of The Resistance Tour, "Overture" has been a staple and is usually played at the start of an encore, leading into "Stockholm Syndrome". So far however, "Cross-Pollination" and "Redemption" are yet to be played.
Exogenesis was released on 19 April 2010 in the US on 12" vinyl only.