Legendary Bristol duo Massive Attack are bringing their music where it has never gone before. In fact, music has never been stored in such a way. Daddy G and 3D are encoding their seminal album Mezzanine in DNA to celebrate the iconic record’s 20th anniversary. Assisted by scientists at ETH Zurich, led by Professor Robert Grass, magnetic nanocarrier manufacturer Turbobeads, and US-based company CustomArray, the band actually managed to seal their most successful release to date into DNA molecules.
The microscopic DNA strands carrying the album are collectively stored inside 5,000 nano-sized glass spheres. Then the DNA is transferred to a small bottle filled with water, where it will be preserved. Professor Grass describes the unique storage process as a way to potentially “store music for hundred of thousands of years,” explaining,
“Compared to traditional storage systems, it is quite complex and expensive to store information on DNA. However, once information is stored on DNA, we can make millions of copies quickly and cost-effectively with minimal effort.”
An album was never been encoded into DNA before, though with methods of combining synthesized DNA with ink, and even now music, perhaps Mezzanine will be just the first of many classics to be commemorated in this way.