Viromusic is an exciting new NFT audio collection of songs that are created by the virus itself! The songs are made using the genetic sequence inside the Coronavirus. Using a technique called DNA Sonification, the melody in the songs is derived entirely from the viral sequence. Every note in the melody is part of the step-by-step instructions the virus uses to make more copies of itself.
For a video version, please visit: ViroMusic - How It's Made.
First, the genetic code inside the virus is read using a DNA sequencer. DNA uses four letters: A, T, C and G, strung together in a long list that looks like this:
In the Coronavirus, this list is over 30,000 letters long. The code contains instructions for how to make more copies of the virus.
Most living things use the same type of code. It's broken up into sections of three letters called codons. There are only 21 different codons, each with its own signature.
We wrote software to assign a musical note to every codon. For example:
GCT = A
CGT = A#
AAT = B
ATT = C
Our software then searches through the entire code of the virus to find sections that sound musical.
10,000 individual melodies are extracted in this way, by using a combination of code location and codon-to-note assignment.
The notes are turned into music using a Digital Audio Workstation, and become the melody of the song.
Other instruments are added as an accompaniment (for example cello, bass, drums). These extra instruments are played by humans ;)
Every song in the collection has a unique viral melody, making it one-of-a kind!
There are five song styles in the collection, ranging from slow, melodic songs to energetic rock.