Electronic Journal of Biotechnology ISSN: 0717-3458
  © 2004 by Universidad Católica de Valparaíso -- Chile
Vol. 7 No. 2, Issue of August 15, 2004 

Table 6. Artists and scientists contributing to making of DNA, genetic and microbe musica.



Artist- Scientist Team



David Deamer -Cell, biologist/musician, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA

Researches musical messages in our genes, (Music: The Arts, OMNI Magazine, April 5)

With composer Riley McLaughlin

Produces music cassettes DNA Suite and DNA Music dealing with the translation of specific DNA sequences into music


Kenshi Hayashi and Nobuo Munakata-biochemists, National Cancer Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan

Conversion of DNA sequences to music makes recognition of specific DNA patterns easier, (Basically Musical, Nature, Vol. 310:96, 12 July); Compositions of gene music by N. Munakata available at Gene Music and Sangen Studio (http://www.toshima.ne.jp/~edogiku/)


Susumo Ohno and Midori Ohno (biologists), City of Hope Cancer Center, California, USA

Examines relationship between patterns of genetic sequence data and musical structure ("The All Pervasive Principle of Repetitious Recurrence Governs Not Only Coding Sequence Construction But Also Human Endeavor In Musical Composition", Immunogenetics, 1986, vol. 24, p. 71-78)


Composer Susan Alexjander and David W. Deamer

Start collaboration on science/art project that measures vibrational frequencies of the DNA bases -adenine. cytosine, thymine and guanine) followed by sound programming and translation into music released as SEQUENCIA in cassette version 1990, and a CD in 1994. ("Listen to your DNA", 26 November, 1998, BBC Online network) the musical sound of DNA is played)


John Dunn (pioneer artist with DNA music and programmer- Algorithmic Arts) and Kent (Kim) Bridges (botanist), University of Hawaii, Hawaii, USA

Embark upon project that uses sound to "visualize data" of DNA and results in release of CD "Inflections". First public presentation of this music was at the University of Hawaii in a concert "Inflections: Musical Interpretations of DNA Data", in January, 1991, with music composed by J. Dunn and by K. Bridges, and visuals by artist Sonia Sheridan (Dunn, J., personal communication, 2003)


John Dunn (Algorithmic Arts)

DNA music samples (Human sex hormone; Starfish, Slime mould, Sea Urchin, etc.) based on DNA data from the NIH GenBank (1992); and, of (HIV DNA, Frog Mitochondria and Alpha/Beta Folding) created in 1995 with Algorithmic Arts software can be accessed from http://algoart.com/music.htm


Linda Long (biochemist and musician), Exeter University, UK

Develops technique at Bath University to translate protein structures into music; issues CDs Music of the Plants derived from protein fro medicinal plants and herbs (i.e.Phytolacca americana; Datura stramonium) and Music of the Body derived from protein hormones in the human body; Launches Molecular MusicTM in 2001 and makes available online virtual exhibit on http://www.molecularmusic.com/ in 2002


Peter Gena (artist) and Charles Strom (medical geneticist) Nichols Institute/Quest Diagnostics, San Juan, California, USA

Demonstrate translation of DNA sequences into music (Musical Synthesis of DNA Sequences in:

1.       6th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA), Montreal, Canada, p. 83-85;

2.       X1 Colloquio di Informatica Musicale, University di Bologna, p. 203-204)


John Dunn (Algorithmic Arts) and Dr. Mary Anne Clark (biologist), Texas Wesleyan University, Texas, USA

Collaboration results in 1998 Life Music CD with 9 tracks: 1. Beta-globin; 2.Calmodulin; 3. Gamma Lens Crystallin; 4. Alcohol Dehydrogenase; 5.Lysozyme C (Clark); 6.Lysozyme C (Dunn); 7.Triose Phosphate Isomerase; 8.Spidroin; 9.Collagen.


http://algoart.com/music.htm and http://www.whozoo.org/mac/Music/CD.htm; excellent website of Dr. Clark for review of Genetic Music http://www.whozoo.org/mac/Music/Sources.htm


Ross King (biologist) University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK and Colin Angus (musician)

Develop a computer program ProteinMusic (PM) that converts DNA sequences into music with the futuristic possibility that "users could feed in their own DNA sequences and develop their own anthems". The PM software was used to produce the "track 'S2 Translation' that was generated from the DNA sequence and the amino acid characteristics of the S2 (membrane) protein" in the CD Axis Mutatis. (Protein music, Computer applications in the Biosciences, vol.12, p. 251-252)


David Lane (entrepreneur and musician)

As a student at the University of Arizona developed the transformation of genetic information (DNA, RNA, Protein) into digital sound; and founded AudioGenetics. "DNA is music. There's a musical component somehow to life. I know it's there"


Erik Jensen Diablo Valley College (DVC) and Ronald J. Rusay (Chemist), DVC and University of California, Berkeley, USA

Music by Ronald Rusay generated from protein strings (Musical Representations of the Fibonacci String and  Proteins Using Mathematica, Abstract No. 55 in International Mathematica Symposium, Hagenburg, Austria.

Musical Representations of the Fibonacci String and Proteins Using Mathematica, The Mathematica Journal, 2001, vol. 8, no. 2.

Music from: DNA/Proteins/Math which uses Bio2MIDI written by John Dunn (Algorithmic Arts) with Bio2MIDI documentation support from:Dr. Mary Anne Clark, Texas Wesleyan University: http://department.txwes.edu/bio/mclark/index.htm


Joe Davis (biologist/artist) and Katie Egan , Department of Biology,

MIT, Massachusetts, USA

Present "sound and video library" of wild protist cultures collected in their "microbial farm" in ARS ELECTRONIC 2000, Linz Austria.

1.        http://www.aec.at/festival2000/texte/artistic_molecules_2_e.htm

2.         Artistic Molecules, Microbes and the "Listening Microscope" http://www.viewingspace.com/genetics_culture/pages_genetics_culture/gc_w03/davis_j_ars_elec.htm "Experimenting with spectrum analysis, I found that slightly different acoustic signatures corresponded to slightly different species of microorganisms. The signatures of a given species however tend to be uniquely distinct to that species. So as it turns out, the two plants of the same species must indeed 'sing the same song', unless perhaps the Ecuadorian brujo knows of some exceptional organism unlike those we have observed to date" -Joe Davis: Listening to Living Cells,



Jacques (microbiologist) and Fran (computer expert) Soddell, La Trobe University, Australia

Jacques and Fran Soddell have monitored the growth of the fungus Mucor M41 in music in a mp3 file. Growth as it takes place in real time is pictorially seen onscreen with the music it generates as the fungal species grows


Aurora Sanchez Sousa(microbiologist) Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, Spain and has collaborated with Richard Krull (musician) France

Produce their CD Genoma Music released in 2001 and using the DNA sequences of various genes of Candida albicans and translating the genetic keys A (adenine), C(Cytosine), G(Guanine), T(Thymine) into musical keys, such as La, Do, Sol, Re. "Musical and genetic sequences unite to express the essence of life: sensations and feelings" - A. Sanchez Sousa


David Lindsay (writer and musician), USA

Interest in genetic music results from attempt to copyright his own DNA. See: DNA Copyright Lecture delivered at Science, Industry and Business Library, The New York Public Library, April 5, 2001. A Striking Resemblance:DNA Dissociation as a Rhythmic Event, http://www.lazslo.com/dnaarticle.html


Sirsak Teparkum (geneticist) National center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Thailand

Creates with computer specialist and music composer CD Genomic Music comprised of songs created using the genetic sequences for jasmine rice, an orchid, a cat, a dog, a shrimp, human hemoglobin, a human neurotransmitter, E. coli, and the hepatitis virus B; and which was exhibited BioThailand 2003; and which provided the musical accompaniment for a play commemorating the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA "Science for some people is difficult and hard to understand; often they avoid it as much as possible," he said. "Therefore, I just hope that my genomic music could be used as a tool to reach out between the two distinctive fields of science and music to make things look (and sound) easier." ---S. Teparkum (Discovery News, 6 August, - DNA Codes Inspire 'Genomic Music')

aAdapted from: GeneticMusic: An Annotated Source List MA Clark, Texas Wesleyan University (http://www.whozoo.org/mac/Music/); Transcriptions- The Music of Protein Sequences (http://www.whozoo.org/mac/Music/Sources.htm); and The Labs are Alive with Sound of DNA (Jeffline Forum, June-July 2002 (http://jeffline.tju.edu/Education/forum/02/06/articles/sound.html).

Supported by UNESCO / MIRCEN network