John Lane

percussionist | composer





by collaboration with botanist, Dr. Chris Randle

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that houses the genetic information for all living organisms and is derived from the ordering of four component bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. DNA sequence data is rich with information regarding the patterns and processes that have shaped the biological world. Large-scale sequencing and databasing projects such as the Human Genome Project and Genbank have facilitated advances in medicine, forensics, and our understanding of the evolutionary relationships of diverse forms of life. Like all complex systems, this information exhibits emergent properties that advance knowledge of biological processes and open doors to new concepts regarding how information is represented. With a) composer John Cage’s sensibility for using data to make compositional decisions (aleatoric composition), b) minimalistic and restrictive compositional procedural techniques concerning pitch and rhythmic structure, and c) the need for composers/performers to bring about discussions concerning societal or environmental issues, the conspiracy between music and science is not only an opportunity, but a logical progression. DNA sequences and conceptual processes are realized aurally through an artistic lens in this musical composition through the application of directed algorithms to the information inherent in the order of nucleotide sequences in real data. - Chris Randle