ROLL over Beethoven! The great German composer's genetic code has been turned into a classical composition to be premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this week.
The 15-minute piece, written for piano and cello, has been produced by Scottish composer Stuart Mitchell, who used software that he claims translates amino acid DNA sequences into melodic tones.

"Every one expected to here it in the style of Beethovan but the melody is almost tragic," said 45-year-old Mitchell. "To me it sounds like somebody fighting, struggling, a really sympathetic melody with a great deal of soul." Mitchell's reputation as a composer is growing. His Seven Wonders Suite was recorded by The Prague Symphony Orchestra, while he and his father and fellow musician Thomas Mitchell once claimed to have deciphered a musical code hidden in the Freemasons-inspired ceiling design of Rosslyn Chapel. 

But boasting the kind of outlandish claim that matches the mood of the Edinburgh Fringe, the work will premiere as part of the Festival of Spirituality and Peace. 

Mitchell's company, Your DNA Song, offers the service of translating amino acid sequences into "musical poems". "You are a beautiful song waiting to be heard," the website advertises. "Your DNA carries the expression of who you are." About two clients a month, he said, pay about £800 to have their DNA sequenced and turned into music in its programme.

The DNA sequence for Beethoven comes from the generation of families in and around Bonn in northwest Germany, where Beethoven was born, a region that prides itself on its musical culture and history.

"It is the group of the family that he came from, less than a 1,000 people," Mitchell said. 

The company has considered trying to secure access to a lock of Beethoven's hair - one was famously sold at Sotheby's in 1994 - but it has so far proved impossible. The software relies on DNA to produce "beautiful melodic chains", he said. 

"Something in the genetic makeup from certain areas of the world have produced Mozarts, Beethovens, Ravels, even Jimi Hendrix. There's some interaction between the soul and DNA that brings out some genius."


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