Case Study: Creating music with any organism! (week 4)

GMP3What I found really interesting this week in lecture was the example of the Bitter Taste Perception. In the previous week I was just talking about the 23 and me website and this week I found it so interesting how genetic coding could be used into a music project. The genetic code ACGT (Adenosine, Cytosine, Guanine, and Thymidine) can be transformed into a musical form. Mullen then used her genetic codes and turned them into the music notes ACGT to a note, c note, g note, and F sharp for Thymidine. Mullen also thought about expanding the project with genetic markers and assign different instruments to each gene marker and different notes to the nucleotides within each genetic marker and then playing in parallel form. I thought creating music through the use of genetics is brilliant because of so many possibilities and inventions people could create.

I was so fascinated by the form of this kind of art so I explored the genetic music project further on their website. One of my favorites that I have listened to is the In the Club, 2nd Shot. This piece is related to alcohol dependence. This piece demonstrated artist’s love-hate relation to the club and the drinking culture. The artist played around with the “T” in this music piece by delaying it and which creates the beats clap. To me it feels like this could definitely be a genre of music in the future where people just collect DNA data and turned them into music notes. The way beats and rhythm collaborates is so interesting just as if the ecosystem and organisms all had their unique sound. Another music project I found interesting is Mind of a Catfish. This artist found the DNA sequence for a catfish and created this musical piece with each letter representing a different sound. The percussion added into this music piece adds a lot of emphasis in the pattern.

These music projects bring out the question of how a society sees its relation to organisms in this world. There are so many things that do not make a sound, but we could create their unique sound by utilizing what we already know, their DNA make up. There is so much people could explore with different organisms and play with different rhythms and beats according to their own personal feelings.

Genetic music project is a collaborative work of different artists exploring different organisms and their genetic code. These music projects are different yet they share this amazing sound of “life”. Not only do these music show the DNA of a certain organism, it also brings these organisms to life. I am fascinated by these different works and would love to try out a project myself too!


Another project I discovered is the Codon Table song:


-Wen Kuo


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