What Does Insulin Sound Like?

Insulin_model OK, this is nutty. I just discovered that a serious composer released a serious score that puts to music various biochemicals intrinsic to our bodies. Todd Barton has recorded “Insulin,” “Antibody” (HIV), and “Trypsin” (enzymes), to name a few.

His “Genome 1composition, which put sound to DNA, was presented at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC, as part of the Human Genome Project a few years ago.

So what does insulin sound like? Unlucky for me, I could not get the @#$! play link to work. But the description sounds very ethereal: “From ambient harmonies to tinkly waterfalls to beatboxes of complex rhythm, Barton’s compositions reveal our molecular selves in a new way… Turning molecules into music offers us a new way to experience rhythm and patterns that are foundations of life itself. Listen closely. Do you hear your cells singing?”


If you also have trouble downloading the score, maybe one of us will take a leap of faith and purchase the CD for $15 including postage (?)

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2 Responses

  1. Simon
    Simon April 13, 2006 at 12:53 am | | Reply

    Nice idea – a sort of molecular version of Holst’s ‘The Planets!’ I’ve managed to listen to it and would describe it as ambient, very serene and quite pleasant, if a touch soporific. I have to say though, that if someone had played this to me and asked me which biochemical it represented, insulin would not have sprung to mind. Having said that, I have no idea what insulin should sound like! Maybe something more unpredictable like freeform jazz???

  2. Jamie
    Jamie April 13, 2006 at 11:31 am | | Reply

    You know, it made me sad to listen to it (I obviously got it to work lol). Seeing as that is the sound of life … the life of insulin … it is a song my daughters body doesn’t sing anymore.

    And that made me sad.

    Interesting link ….. thanks for sharing it.

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