A BIG congratulations to Micheal Francis and Sohyun Bang for winning second place at the University Libraries Capturing Science Contest!
Name: Michael Francis Year: Third-year PhD Major: Bioinformatics
Name: Sohyun Bang Year: First-year PhD Major: Integrated Life Sciences
Submission: The Music of Life – Musical Composition
Commentary: In their entry “Music of Life”, Michael Francis and Sohyun Bang take the code of living things and re-codify it as musical notation. That is, they turn a DNA sequence into a song. Using the Python programming language and music production software Ableton Live, Michael and Sohyun transform the sterile string of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts (letters that represent the nucleotides that make up DNA) into an auditory experience reminiscent of the compositions of the 1960s foremost minimalist Steve Reich. Our judges were delighted by their playful artistic choices, like extracting the DNA sequence from AVPR1A, the gene associated with musical ability. To complement the song, the entrants offer another video wherein they explain their creative process, which could serve as a helpful starting point for other researchers who are interested in sonifying their own data. Written by contest judge Ariel Ackerly