Hiv_dna_music_sounds

Hiv_dna_music_sounds

There is no question that HIV is an ugly virus in terms of human health. Each year, it infects some 2.7 million additional people and leads to some 2 million deaths from AIDS. But a new album manages to locate some sonic beauty deep in its genome. Sounds of HIV (Azica Records) by composer Alexandra Pajak explores the patterns of the virus’ nucleotides as well as the amino acids transcribed by HIV, playing through these biologic signatures in 17 tracks.

Genetics- and science-inspired music are genres unto themselves, and everything from proteins to meteorite compositions have also been translated—if not always melodiously—at least tonally. Pajak took as her basic formula the National Institutes of Health’s record of the retrovirus’ genome and the thousands of coded letters which get transcribed by an enzyme into DNA in a cell once it’s infected. But her latest work goes a step farther than simply plunking out the nucleotide-based notes (A, C, G and D, which fills in for thymine) on the keyboard.

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