Electronic artist Mikael Hwang (AKA Psients), who also works as a scientist, has created the world’s first electronic record filled with living yeast cells.
‘Signal’ is the first playable, live music medium in the world to both include and be mediated by a microorganism. The EP release has been accompanied by an art exhibition, which debuted at South Korea’s Paradise Art Lab Festival in 2022.
The record boasts a custom hybridised petri dish, including hidden material within the record that made it easier to record the vibrations of the yeast cells and consequently relay them as audio.
Speaking to Art Style about his inspiration for the project, Hwang explained: “Clubs and dance floors are essential spaces for people to dance and enjoy music – that’s where my love of electronic music blossomed,” says Hwang in Art Style.
“I want to evolve from these places to exhibitions or galleries where music and sound can take on a different role; where people can listen, think, and reflect on their environments, rather than react to the immediacy of spaces, such as a club.”
You can listen to the ‘Signal’ EP below.
The record, which uses a completely different manufacturing method than conventional vinyl records, has the music physically etched onto it.
Hwang has spoken of his desire to advance scientific research on living instruments and believes that electronic music will have a biological future – including the ability to hear expression from non-human lifeforms (per Mixmag).
Hwang is now expanding his work, and continues to sample and take recordings of organisms to transform into electronic music. You can follow him on his artist page here.