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COVID-19 genetic code transformed into ambient music and NFTs

"The idea for this collection was born from an awe of the beauty in the code of life"

COVID-19's genetic code has been transformed into a series of ambient tracks, which have then been made available to buy as NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. 

Viromusic, the organisation behind the project, created the tunes using only the genetic sequence inside the coronavirus. A statement from the team explained that this required "a technique called DNA Sonification", meaning "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 copies of itself," they added. Instruments including cellos and bass, were added to realise the end results. The project now spans 10,000 individual tunes, which sit in a wide range of genres. 

NFT marketplace Rarible now has the tokenised music available to buy, with each item starting at 0.07 Ethereum, or around £210 at the time of writing. Buyers receive the track itself, along with information on which part of the COVID-19 genetic sequence the arrangement corresponds to. Details on what the virus uses that specific gene for are also included. 

According to a report by NME, Viromusic explained: "Not a single note has been altered — it's a direct musical representation of the viral code," before adding: "The idea for this collection was born from an awe of the beauty in the code of life. 

"We hope this project helps raise awareness that even a virus capable of inflicting such misery is fundamentally based on the same code as every living thing on Earth." 

The project launched earlier this month, and currently just one NFT has been sold. In November, DJ Mag reported on a collection of rare Tupac Shakur photos that had been turned into NFTs by famed hip hop journalist and photographer Lawrence 'Loupy D' Dotson. Revisit our longread on what NFT's could mean for electronic music here.