Skip to content

Viral Counterpoint Covid-19 Opus

, 2020

Experimental video made by Markus J. Buehler and Fabrizio de Potestad i Fornari

Experimental video made by Markus J. Buehler and Fabrizio de Potestad i Fornari

“Viral Counterpoint Covid-19 Opus” is an experimental video collaboration among Markus J. Buehler, Nick Cobby, Martin Krzywinski and Fabrizio de Potestad i Fornari that shows the deceiving nature of the coronavirus-19, how it hijacks our body to replicate itself, and how hurt us along the way. 

Markus J. Buehler, is a Professor of Engineering at MIT, and a composer of experimental, classical and electronic music. His artistic work explores the creation of new forms of musical expression – such as those derived from biological materials and living systems. Markus and his team at MIT has developed a self-consistent sonification method to translate amino acid sequences into musical compositions and its application in protein design using Artificial Intelligence. 

His musical composition “Viral Counterpoint of the Coronavirus Spike Protein 2019-nCoV ” [1] is a musical representation of the amino acid sequence and structure of the spike protein of the pathogen of COVID-19. 

What you hear is a multi-layered algorithmic composition featuring both the vibrational spectrum of the entire protein (expressed in sound and rhythmic elements), the sequence and folding of amino acids that compose the virus spike structure, as well as interwoven melodies – forming counterpoint music – reflecting the complex hierarchical intersecting geometry of the protein [2]. 

Then, the composition was multiplied by the average reproduction number ( R0 ) of the COVID-19 virus which is 3. [3] R0 is an indication of the transmissibility of a virus, representing the average number of new infections generated by an infectious person in a healthy population. 

Computer generated images were created and edited along the musical composition by Nick Cobby , Martin Krzywinski and Fabrizio de Potestad i Fornari. 

This video show us something about the fine line between beauty of life and death as an opposite pole.

Share this page