KEY POINTS

  • A certain group made use of the COVID-19 virus by turning it into something profitable
  • Using a handy software, an algorithm and some musical instruments, the group produced a set of unique tracks
  • The tracks are compiled in an album called ViroMusic

It is said that for every adversity, there is an advantage and this is seemingly applicable to the feat achieved by a certain company when it turned the deadly COVID-19 genome sequence into a piece of music, which is currently being sold as a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) for $285.

"Viromusic," an exciting new NFT audio collection of songs, was produced using the process called DNA Sonification. The team behind the ingenious idea tried to make use of the virus' code sequence and translated them into sounds.  

DNA Sonification is a flashy term, which refers to the process of using nitrogenous bases patterns, to extract sounds. "The songs are made using the genetic sequence inside the Coronavirus" and "the melody in the songs is derived entirely from the viral sequence," the team revealed on its official website.

An electron microscopic image that shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 An electron microscopic image that shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 Photo: National Institutes of Health / Handout

"Every note in the melody is part of the step-by-step instructions the virus uses to make more copies of itself," they added. The algorithm then converts that RNA into musical notes, but at this point, these are not yet songs. 

The team then used a Digital Audio Workstation to transform these notes into a melody.  They also incorporated accompaniment such as bass, cello, drums and other instruments played by humans to create a piece of beautiful music. 

Most of the songs sound like ambient tracks and are largely accompanied by piano or synth with the cello. The tracks are now available on the NFT space through Rarible.com and consumers can listen and own them if they are willing to shell out some bucks. For those who just to listen to the tracks for free, there is some music available below.

"The idea for this collection was born from awe of the beauty in the code of life. We hope this project helps to raise awareness that even a virus capable of inflicting such misery is fundamentally based on the same code as every living thing on earth. We thought it would be interesting to take this code and make it play music. We hope you find it as haunting, interesting and provocative as we do," the team said.