ORCID

Abstract

This paper introduces GeMS, a system for music composition informed by Synthetic Biology. GeMS generates music with simulations of genetic processes, such as transcription, translation and protein folding, with which biological systems render chains of amino acids from DNA strands. The system comprises the following components: the Miranda Machine, the Rhythmator and the Pitch Processor. The Miranda Machine is an abstract Turing Machine-like processor, which manipulates a sequence of DNA symbols according to a set of programming instructions. This process generates a pool of new DNA strands, which are subsequently translated into rhythms. GeMS represents the musical equivalent of amino acids in terms of rhythms, referred to as rhythmic codons. This enables the Rhythmator to convert DNA sequences into rhythmic sequences. The Pitch Processor generates pitches for such rhythmic sequences. It is inspired by the phenomenon of protein folding. The Pitch Processor considers orientation information of DNA instructions yielded by the Miranda Machine in order to activate algorithms for generating pitches. A musical composition, entitled Artibiotics, for percussion ensemble and electronic instruments, is presented to demonstrate the system.

DOI

10.1162/artl_a_00325

Publication Date

2020-06-12

Publication Title

Artificial Life

Volume

26

Issue

3

First Page

1

Last Page

27

ISSN

1064-5462

Embargo Period

2020-09-05

Organisational Unit

School of Art, Design and Architecture

Keywords

Artificial Life, generative music, Miranda machine, DNA music, genetic music

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