Reflection of Infection (for Piano)

This composition is the musical reflection of infection, the moment during which the virus interacts with the cell, a microscope into the details of molecular motions of attachment and release.


This piece is a representation of part of the protein structure with identifier 6m17 (the2019-nCoV RBD/ACE2-B0AT1 complex), representing the coronoavirus (COVID-19) spike protein bound to the human cell receptor ACE2. What you hear is an evolution that reflects the genetic and structural details of the protein interactions that occur during the virus infection. Notably, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the cellular receptor for SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that is causing COVID-19.

In the track image, the very left pieces are the tips of the virus spike protein, and towards the right you see the ACE2 receptor, as well as part of B0AT.

This composition is part of a series of pieces that explore various biomolecular stages of the pandemic, featuring multiscale assessments of the virus spike protein, pandemic progression, and infection mechanisms (this piece).


While we cannot see small nanoscopic objects like proteins or other molecules that make up virtually all living matter including our cells, tissues, as well as pathogens such as viruses, our computational algorithm allows us to make its material manifestation audible.


What you hear is a multi-layered algorithmic composition, for piano, that reflects the protein structure of the spike protein attached to the human cell receptor ACE2. Details see [1-3].

Scientific references:

[1] Wrapp et al., “Cryo-EM structure of the 2019-nCoV spike in the prefusion conformation,” Science, 2020, DOI: 10.1126/science.abb2507

[2] Buehler et al., “A Self-Consistent Sonification Method to Translate Amino Acid Sequences into Musical Compositions and Application in Protein Design Using Artificial Intelligence,” ACS Nano, 2019, DOI:

[3] R. Yan, Y. Zhang, Y. Li, L. Xia, Y. Guo, Q. Zhou, Structural basis for the recognition of the SARS-CoV-2 by full-length human ACE2., Science. 367 (2020) 1444–1448. doi:10.1126/science.abb2762.