Turn Your DNA into Music

Curled up inside each of our cells is a strand of DNA.  If we unfurled every strand from every cell and put them end to end, we’d have a tiny thin rope that would extend all the way to the moon.

Much if it is junk–leftover evolutionary bits that don’t seem to serve much of a purpose–but it’s a helluvia lot of genetic information.

A firm called 23andMe, which bills itself as a “personal genetics company,” has a new service.  Using just a swab of saliva, they’ll give you a full report on your DNA.  So far, so ordinary, right?

What makes this service a little more interesting is that they have an algorithm built by a classically trained composer that will turn your DNA information into a song.  Or at least some kind of melody.

The composer, Mark Ackerly, offers this example made from his own genetic stuff:

How much?  Just $299 USD.  Read more here.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Turn Your DNA into Music

  • August 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Wasn't Pete Townshend's Lifehouse project essentially the same thing? He wanted to program people's biographical data into a synthesizer to get a tune. Not exactly DNA but close enough…


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