HIV & Cell Death Through Music

A work of music that changes over time in a manner analogous to the proliferation of HIV throughout a healthy cell.  The purpose of the piece is to present the complex biological mechanism that underlies HIV overtaking a human cell and the catastrophic effects.


Celluloid Melody

HIV & Cell Death Through Music begins as a simple pre-written melody played by a ‘cell’ of musicians, whom adept composers listen to and try to transcribe. The musicians then play the transcription as a new melody and the cycle repeats. Admittedly, the new transcription is often slightly different than the original melody, signifying how our DNA mutates over time.

Viral Cacophony

Viral musicians begin to play, trying to insert their own song into the melody as much as possible, mutating the transcription until it bears little resemblance to the original melody. The process continues until the musicians are unable to keep up with the changes and the cell dies as the concert ends.

HIV & Cell Death Through Music was first performed on December 1st, 2012 – Day With(out) Art, a nationwide day of recognition of the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. SU Art Association contributed student artworks for a silent auction that raised $270 for faceAIDS, a national AIDS awareness organization.

Conceptual Design

  • Winston Myers
  • Phillip Wozny
  • Rachel DeLong
  • Michelle Moses
  • Stinson Seuser


  • Stinson Seuser
  • Julius Young

  • Erika Sells
  • Paul Glasheen
  • Riley Webb
  • John Lind
  • Laura Brackney
  • Taylor Hutchison
  • Ben Galindo
  • Michael Martinez
  • Jeffrey McKenzie
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