Korean violinist Won Hyung-joon records piece based on structure of Covid antibody

Violinist Won Hyung-joon, left, records “Molecular Intersection of Nucleocapsid Antibody and SARS-CoV-2 (for Piano, Violin and Cello)″ with cellist Alex Wooju Lim, right, and pianist Yun Yoo-jung on Tuesday at Audioguy Studio in central Seoul.

Korean violinist Won Hyung-joon announced Wednesday that he has completed recording a trio piece called “Molecular Intersection of Nucleocapsid Antibody and SARS-CoV-2 (for Piano, Violin and Cello).”

This six-minute-long piece with a strangely long title is composed by Markus Buehler, a materials scientist and engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he holds the endowed McAfee Professorship of Engineering chair.

For the recording of this fresh new score, Won played the violin, Yun Yoo-jung played the piano and Alex Wooju Lim played the cello.

Why is an engineering professor writing music?

This piece is in fact the third part of Buehler’s project that began last year by translating the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the appendage that makes the novel coronavirus so contagious, into sound. By giving this lethal virus a melody, Buehler’s team believed they could use artificial intelligence (AI) to try to find a protein antibody that is its counterpoint. In March, Buehler finally came up with the music for the coronavirus’ antibody.

Part of the score of “Molecular Intersection of Nucleocapsid Antibody and SARS-CoV-2 (for Piano, Violin and Cello),″ composed by Markus Buehler. [MARKUS BUEHLER]

This latest piece, according to Won, is the structure of the antibody of a Covid-19 patient bound to this protein expressed through music. Won world premiered both music for the coronavirus and the antibody.

“Movement is life and life is movement. In this musical expression of the dance of antibodies with the nucleocapsid protein, we can hear the molecular mechanics of music of healing play out as humanity hopes to grow resilient and strong against the threat of the virus,” said Buehler as he introduced his music. “Music heals, brings us together and let’s us understand the elementary mechanics of life and our shared humanity.”

“We are currently discussing ways to world premiere this piece online and share it with the world,” said Won.