DNA Music | Listening to a Mutation in the BRCA2 Gene & John Grinich presents Audioswarm

Talks on a mutated genetic material turned music and a Sequences pieces.
Open Lab 65, Fri Oct 20 2023
Keli, Robin, Esther, pink filter

Keli, Robin and Esther

DNA Music - Sonification Talk

DNA Music (Genatónar) is not just a piece of music, but an audio metaphor that sheds light on the role of neucleotides in the genetic material of the human body. The work will be performed on non-traditional instruments that have a great influence on both performance and creativity. The notes of the piece are already determined by genetic information, but arrangements and the performance will be in the hands of the musicians. Before the musicians create the art, the information is only in the form of letters on a piece of paper, and it will be used no more as music than as a recipe for a cake that fills a hungry gourmet’s stomach.

In this open lab we will be visited by Robin Morabito, Hrafnkell Örn Guðjónsson (Keli) and Esther Thorvalds, who are currently working on a piece where a mutated BRCA2 gene is the sheet music.

The big question in terms of musical value lies in the mutation itself. Will it be beautiful or ugly? Dissonant or does it jump from one key to another? Will the ear perhaps not notice that something is not as it should be? Just like the cell that doesn’t sense the defect in the genetic material and continues to produce useless proteins.

The work is supported by Landsbankinn Grant and Bylgjan’s Musician Foundation and will be premiered in early 2024 and published by Intelligent Instruments Records.

Man with glasses

John Grzinich

Audioswarm Reykjavik - Sound performance

John Grzinich (Estonia/US) has worked since the early 1990s as an artist and cultural coordinator with various practices combining sound, moving image, site-specificity, and collaborative social structures.

In the beginning of the talk, John will present his piece Audioswarm Reykjavik - Sound performance. After the Open Lab has finished, everyone is invited to walk down to the House of Collections (Safnahúsið). Bring a smartphone and a bluetooth speaker (if you have one)!

More about John Grzinich: