The project combines the latest scientific research with a musical and compositional performance which is realized through conventional as well as progressive means.
The resulting work enables us to experience the same biological life process as a continuum which takes place inside of us approximately 70 billion times at any instant.
The Berlin-based composer Thilo Thomas Krigar has been working on his project, the "Symphony of Life" since the year 2000. He has been cooperating with the molecular biologist Dr. C. Charlé of Focusgenomics and received significant support from scientists specialized in the respective topic.
First, a musical translation of the DNA structure was created. This structure had to fulfil the necessary conditions for a musical depiction of the cellular network.
Furthermore the version that will be performed describes the flow of genetic information in its phases transcription and translation and offers a short introduction to the phases metabolism and replication.
DNA in Concert on the one hand has the aspiration of giving people who are interested in music an intuitive access to the scientific insights on the basic conditions of life through the sound experience.
On the other hand the project also provides an acoustic representation of the cellular processes to scientists and doctors who enjoy music. Since numerous visual representations already exist.
Throughout the history of science and technology artistic processes have contributed significantly to the most important discoveries and inventions: The musician Pythagoras of Samos provided a basis for modern physics through the discovery of the harmonic series and its numeric proportions. Due to his incredible imagination Leonardo da Vinci designed airplanes and submarines as early as the times of the Italian renaissance. James Watson and Francis Crick mentioned that a painter friend had helped them interpret the x-ray diffraction data that led to the discovery of the double helix. Goethe, Helmholtz, Heisenberg, Einstein and many others knew how to profit from this interdisciplinary exchange.
Nowadays, the processing, analysis and interpretation of the vast amount of data resulting from the Human Genome Project and the experiments with DNA chips pose a great challenge to bioinformatics, which is the only scientific discipline exploring this subject.
One significant realization of the last years is the fact that the regulation of the cellular processes, which are almost exclusively performed by proteins, forms a functioning network.
Outside of the context of this network there is little sense in looking at functions of individual proteins or cellular functions.
Once again the different disciplines such as bioinformatics or visual arts are confronted with the next to impossible, huge task of creating a complex three-dimensional construction which is readable to scientists.
Most importantly, the impact of a change in just one place of the system on the entire system has to be modelled convincingly. The project will prove that sound as a medium can come closest to fulfilling the requirements of depicting a functioning network.
The exact theoretical background of the project "DNA in concert" will be published world-wide in the magazine "Nature" on May 19, 2005.
The composition which is developed in cooperation with scientists is intended to offer a sensual experience to the listener. This experience will enable the listener to deal with the themes life, genetics and biotechnology on a logical and emotional level.
The project is supposed to inform music-loving laypersons about molecular biology and relieve fears at the same time as encouraging scientists and doctors to perceive familiar objects of their research in an alternative way.
The unity of science and art will be communicated as a highly differentiated aesthetic over-all experience. It presents an adequate means of communication for an information-based society.
The metaphoric links facilitate our path to an emerging information society which fulfils future demands.
The processes which are presented can be predisposed as the basis for creation and creativity.
The author assumes that the understanding of these conditions of our existence is not only beneficial in a medical way. If conveyed adequately this process can serve as a key to self-realization in human beings by making them conscious of their permanent autopoesis.
The principle of DNA has proven itself over billions of years. The project would like to bring to attention to the perfection and potential of our inherent life processes as a balance to the deficit needs of people. The awareness of this potential can be seen as one of the conditions for creative activity.