Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

AIDS Through Music

  • News Image

Phillip Wozny, Winston Myers, Rachel DeLong, Michelle Moses, and Stinson Seuser
Advisor: Fumiko Futamura

Biology students, Winston Myers, Rachel Delong, and Michelle Moses collaborated with musicians, Phillip Wozny and Stinson Seuser to compose a work of music that changes over time in a manner analogous to the proliferation of HIV throughout a healthy cell. The result was HIV Through Music. The purpose of the piece is to present the complex biological mechanisms that underlie HIV mutation and proliferation in an accessible manner. 

HIV Through Music begins as a simple melody that adept musicians listen to and try to transcribe as best they can. Usually they fail and the transcription is slightly different than the original melody. The musicians then play the transcription as a new melody and the cycle repeats. Viral musicians try to insert as much change into the melody as possible, mutating the transcription until it bears no resemblance to the original melody. The process continues until the musicians are unable to keep up with the changes. HIV Through Music was performed on December 1st, Day With(out) Art, a nationwide day of recognition of the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. SU Art Association contributed student artworks for a silent auction that raised $270 for faceAIDS, a national AIDS awareness organization.