HUGO hat TöneDeutsche Version




DNA sequences -
transposed into music

At first sight improvised music and biological research seem to have little in common. However the terms "creativity/creation" have meanings and even similar basic rules in both areas. The genetic information DNA is central to natural creativity. As sheet music determines the sequence of tones, DNA guarantees the species-specific development of an organism, all the while permitting various adjustments to environmental conditions (interpretations).

Additionally the DNA code is somewhat like the modelling mass of evolution and thus a kind of artwork in itself. Like an often corrected manuscript, it contains all the modifications and adjustments which have led to today's variety in species and forms.

To allow this art character of the DNA to be perceived with our senses, "HUGO hat Töne" transform DNA sequences with the help of computer programs into a musical form. Thus transformed, the natural artwork is further reflected by free and structured improvisations on conventional instruments. The similarities and differences should not be discussed but rather "heard out".

The project "HUGO hat Töne" includes concert-like performances as well as sound installations. It was conceived for the Switzerland-wide "Festival Science et Cité" of May 2001 and first presented in the context of this festival in Bern.

Pevious and planned performances:
2001: May 5, 8 and 10, performances at BTM Medienhaus and permanent sound installation on Bärenplatz, Bern in the context of the Festival Science et Cité.
2002: April 28, sunday music, Paulus Church, Bern / May 14 PINC.3 Festival, Zeist, NL.
2003: Swiss «Days of Genetic Research 2003» (May 20, Biozentrum Basel / May 23, Restaurant «Turbine», Zürich Oerlikon) / November 28, Signer DNA Symposium, University of Bern (sound installation).
2006: August 27 at ONO Bern / September 8 during the opening of the Science Festival «WONDERS/Spaceship Earth» in Vilnius (Lithuania) / December 8 at the Final von WONDERS finals in the Finnish Science Centre HEUREKA at Vantaa near Helsinki.

March 11 at the Zentrum Paul Klee Bern in the context of the exhibition "GENESIS - The Art of Creation" / Announcement of the concert.

2009: March 11 & 14, opening ceremony (Konzert- und Kultur-Casino) and Day of the Science Faculty (Institute for Exact Sciences) during the 175 year jubilee of the University of Bern.


A radio program about the project was broadcast on 18.9.2002 under the title «Singende Genetik» (singing genetics) in the series «Chrüzuquer» (criss-cross) and can be ordered on CD at

Radio broadcasts about the exhibition "GENESIS - The Art of Creation" at the Zentrum Paul Klee and the consert of "HUGO hat Töne" on March 11 2008.
Program Impatience of 22.01.2008 (RSR1, french)
Program Dare-Dare of 11.02.2008 (RSR2, french)
Program DRS2 aktuell of 11.03.2008 (DRS2, german)

On February 24 2008 at 9h00 the program GENESIS II: Sphärenmusik aus der Unendlichkeit des Raums und dem Innersten der Elemente und Teilchen. Kinder erforschen neue Klangwelten was broadcast by "hoermal/chrüz und quer" on Radio Rabe Bern.


CD «HUGO hat Töne - Live Performances 2002-2006»
(25 sFr. domestic, 30 sFr. abroad)



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MP3 Files:       medley (5 MB)