It had to happen: the virus turned into two hours of sleepy music for relaxation. As the friend who sent it to me said, the perfect music for “the searchers of the light to meditate to on their way to the energetic equilibrium with brother Corona”. At least no one has said “this is what the virus sounds like”, or any nonsense of the kind we are used to hearing. In the second half of the track there were even moments I found interesting, and they have at least avoided the equal temperament. But the explanation about its possible application to future biomedical research is, to say the least, puzzling. Because those who have done it are none other than researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. According to the press these researchers “turned the amino acid sequence and structure of the spike protein of the pathogen of COVID-19 into a musical score […]; each amino acid was converted to a unique note in a musical scale, converting the entire protein spike into a musical composition”. The old old story: composition as just a matter of pitch. OK. But then… why so slow? Is this tempo also related to the structure of the spike protein of COVID-19? Dynamics too? And the “oriental” scent of the instrumentation? A tribute to its Chinese origin, I guess. In addition, I’m not a scientist but I stay plaid when I read that “some might find this approach more intuitive than other conventional methods of studying proteins” and right after the same source tells me that “the sonic sequence of the coronavirus spike protein could be run through a database of other sonified proteins in order to find common backdoors that could be turned into a drug or vaccine.” Really? What do we actually need? Intuition? Or a comprehensive database? At MIT they may be leaders in many fields, but when it comes to music it seems that everyone’s brain gets a bit foggy.

This is so much the case that, if we have to talk about viruses, I prefer the tragicomic humour of Arno Lücker and his Corona-Version of Für Elise. Do we need distancing to avoid contagion? Let the minimum distance be … a major third!