HIV/AIDS awareness is widespread. People show their support by wearing the red ribbon, donating money to research and running marathons, but I bet you never thought that instrumental music could increase could be used to raise HIV/AIDS awareness.
While the pleasing sounds of the CD are an interesting take on the virus, Pajack said she hopes no one with the disease is offended by her music. She also hopes her musical-breakdown of the virus will give a “socially minded, human take on HIV.”
Carl Schmid, from The AIDS Institute, said he doesn’t think that HIV patients will find her music distasteful or offensive. Contrarily, because the album is so unusual, he thinks it will increase awareness of the disease.
“Anything to raise awareness and educate the public about AIDS is a good thing. By connecting AIDS to music, the album could even help reduce the stigma associated with the disease,” Schmid said. “I’ve never heard of anything quite like this. It’s very interesting.”
The 17-track, 52-minute album, which was transcribed with “DNA music,” sounds psychedelic- almost trippy.
“I stayed very loyal to the DNA. Every segment of the virus was assigned music pitches that correspond to the segment’s scientific properties.” she said. “The sounds literally reflect the nature of the virus.”
She created the music by first breaking down the basic nucleotides in the DNA, which are abbreviated A, C, T and G. She then gave them tones. And since A, C and G are musical pitches on the scale, she said that matching up the tones was easy.
“There was a lot of logic involved in this. I also broke down 20 amino acids and proteins and assigned pitches to those.” Pajak said. “I used the A-minor scale for the amino acids based on their level of attraction to water. So, when you hear this CD, you’re literally hearing the entire genome of the HIV virus. It’s pretty cool.”
After she wrote and composed all of the tracks on her keyboard, she brought in an instrumental band named Sequence Ensemble to help record the final version.
A portion of the proceeds from Pajak’s album are being donated to an AIDS research center in Atlanta called the Emory Vaccine Center.