Electronic artist Mikael Hwang (AKA Psients), who also works as a scientist, has created the world’s first electronic disc filled with living yeast cells.
“Signal” is the world’s first playable live music medium to include and be mediated by a microorganism. The release of the EP was accompanied by an art exhibition, which debuted at South Korea’s Paradise Art Lab Festival in 2022.
The disc features a custom hybrid petri dish, including hardware hidden within the disc that made it easy to record yeast cell vibrations and therefore relay them in audio form.
Talk to artistic style about his inspiration for the project, Hwang explained, “Clubs and dance floors are essential spaces for dancing and listening to music – that’s where my love of electronic music blossomed,” says Hwang in Art Style.
“I want to move from these places to exhibitions or galleries where music and sound can play a different role; where people can listen, think and reflect on their surroundings, rather than reacting to the immediacy of spaces, like a club.
You can listen to the ‘Signal’ EP below.
The disc, which uses a completely different manufacturing method than conventional vinyl records, has the music physically etched onto it.
Hwang spoke of his desire to advance scientific research into living instruments and believes that electronic music will have a biological future – including the ability to hear the expression of non-human life forms (for Mixmag).
Hwang is now expanding his work and continues to sample and take recordings from organisms and turn them into electronic music. You can follow him on his artist page here.