Very Weird: Scottish Composer Makes New Music Based on DNA from Beethoven’s Hair

This is a story so unbelievable that it’s almost hard to believe that it’s true. Famous composer, Ludvig van Beethoven (never heard of him) died back in 1827. No, this isn’t the end of the story (or else this would be a terrible post). His family, for some slightly bizarre reason, kept some clippings of his hair, and have been passing it down from generation to generation ever since then. Unfortunately, the family member who ended up with the clippings during World War II ended up in Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp! Amazingly, the prisoner did what all smart prisoners do, and shoved Beethoven’s hair up his ass. Now that’s commitment!

More amazing is that both the prisoner and the hair survived the ordeal. In 2009, I guess some family member decided that passing on hair was ludicrous and sold it at an auction. Enter Scottish composer, Stuart Mitchell. Stuart got a DNA sample from the hair, with some help (since we all need help doing this), and made a musical composition from the DNA from Beethoven’s hair. The same hair that survived Auschwitz in some guy’s butt! The pieced is called Ludvig’s Last Song, and actually sounds quite good (although I cannot attest to the smell of it).

“The DNA was passed to Scots composer Stuart Mitchell, who is involved with a technique called ‘Cymatics’, which focuses on the shapes that musical frequencies make when passed through either water or a layer of sand. Mitchell pinpointed the 22 unique amino acids in Beethoven’s DNA and assigned to each one a note on a musical stave directly related to the amino acids’ resonant frequency. From these frequencies he composed a piece of music for piano and viola based on Beethoven’s DNA.” (via The Daily Mail)

Sounds like a the logical thing to do. Listen to the tune, inspired by the DNA of Beethoven’s hair from almost 200 years ago, and question what you are doing with your hair when you die. Family – you will never have to shove my hair up your ass – promise!

Stuart Mitchell / Beethoven – Ludvig’s Last Song

(via Gizmodo)

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1 Response

  1. 2012/10/10

    […] also managed to get 2 blog posts listed as Best Blog Post. Our tale of Beethoven’s hair being shoved up someone’s ass in a Nazi concentration camp, only to be sold to a Scottish […]