Happigenetics Extravaganza!

If one update wasn’t enough for you, then fret not!

This time we present you with the video you’ve all been waiting for — the Happigenetics Science Extravaganza!

The Extravaganza took place at the Erarta Contemporary Art Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia on the 13th of July, 2013.

Happigenetics Extravaganza is an experiment in the communication of science and technology through performance art. This all-ages interactive modern theater piece aims to recreate, in different phases, the atmosphere of exploration and discovery within a modern laboratory. Inspired by themes in biology, including the cycle of cell division, this piece featured live microscopy projections mixed up with performers suspended from ‘spindle fibre’ ropes and ‘checkpoint-guard’ scientist characters gently orchestrating the whole spectacle. The theatrical action was complemented by avant-garde live musical sequences. Participation from the audience was phenomenal!

We documented the whole process – from preparations to post-production – so that our message can be freely presented to an infinite audience via the Internet. The overarching goals of this project are to increase the public awareness of experimental biology and research culture, to celebrate the mystical aesthetics of the natural experimentation process, and to dissolve culturally constructed boundaries between scientific and artistic disciplines, which are often perceived as opposites.

Now, take an exclusive look at the Extravaganza, with interviews and behind-the-scenes clips:

Happigenetics Extravaganza 2013 (858 downloads)

New Song – Biggest Pimp

Greetings from New York City’s winter wonderland!

In our first update of 2014, we are excited to present a brand new creation from Sean Winbourne entitled “Biggest Pimp”. This new song is also featured on the MUSIC page. ENJOY!

Happigenetics Science Extravaganza: Where Science Meets Performance Art

Venue: Erarta – Line 29th, 2 Vasilyevsky Island, St. Petersburg, 199196 Russia

Date: July 13, 2013

Interact with us on Facebook through the Sounds Of Science group!

Happigenetics Science Extravaganza is an experiment in the public communication of science and technology through performance art. Set in the largest non-governmental museum of contemporary art in Russia, this event will present real-time scientific experimentation in the context of experimental live audio and video sequences. In addition to this performance, we will document this process – from preparations to postproductions – so that our message can be freely presented to an infinite audience via the internet.

The overarching goals of this project are to increase the public awareness of experimental biology and research culture, to celebrate the mystical aesthetics of the natural experimentation process, and to dissolve culturally constructed boundaries between scientific and artistic disciplines, which are often perceived as opposites.


We are turning to crowdfunding to financially fuel this project, and have set up a campaign on Rally.org. Our goal is to raise $5,000, which will be used toward both travel costs and video production related fees – through our partnership with DocuThesis we’ll create a short, entertaining and informative video that will allow us to present our message and the Happigenetics experience freely to the world.


Publicly funded scientific research represents a significant investment for society as the returns greatly improve our quality of life. However, despite this investment, the public is disconnected from the scientific process, including how these benefits arise. Presenting science to the public in a way that both stimulates and entertains will have positive effects on public support for scientific research.  On July 6 – 11th, the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) will hold an international conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. By staging the Happigenetics Science Extravaganza event in conjunction with this activity, we stand to raise public awareness, not only of research at large, but its presence and significance.  By recording and producing a documentary of this process, we stand to affect a global audience in much the same way.


This is a theatrical performance recreating, in different phases, the atmosphere of exploration and discovery within a modern biological laboratory. Through physical theatre and dance, we will present a program that is inspired by biological motifs and processes within the cell. Live streaming microscopy projections and other scientific videos and still images will augment the performance, as well as live electronic music with vocal sections. This performance and aspects of the preparation will be used to produce a work to reach a wider audience through Internet-based dissemination.

Here is an excerpt from one of our previous events including physical theatre: Chromosome Carnival.

About us

Alexander Kagansky, PhD is a Chancellor’s fellow at the University of Edinburgh and Head of the Laboratory of Synthetic Epigenetics at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine. His research interests center on the role of epigenetics in cancer molecular biology. In 2013 he was elected as a member of Young Academy of Scotland, established in 2011 by Royal Society. Apart from his research activities, Alexander organizes a diverse range of public outreach and science engagement activities. These include workshops at primary schools and organized and spontaneous science/arts events in the various venues and on the streets of European cities. Together with the international team of scientists and artists he put forward the ‘Science on Stage’ and ‘Happigenetics’ initiatives that were supported by grants from NESTA, ASCUS and The University of Edinburgh – that supported the Chromosome Carnival event in 2012.

John LaCava, PhD is a research associate in the Lab of Cellular and Structural Biology at The Rockefeller University in NYC. A strong proponent of science outreach and youth mentorship, LaCava aims to make science more accessible to the public through music. LaCava and collaborators have launched Sounds of Science (SoS), an initiative to transmit science and research culture through music. In conjunction with this, the SoS team has launched the first a freely available, public repository of science and engineering sounds. SoS aims to integrate with other science/art initiatives in order to experiment with and enrich outreach and science communication.

A Mad Scientist’s Circus

Chromosomes Separate, People Come Together

St. Petersburg, RussiaHappigenetics Extravaganza is an all-ages, interactive,
modern arts piece to be performed at the Erarta Modern Arts Gallery, the largest nongovernmental
museum of contemporary art in Russia. The event is heavily influenced
by themes in cell biology, including the cycle of cell division, and features baroque
costumes and people suspended from ‘spindle fibre’ ropes, with ‘checkpoint-guard’
scientist characters gently orchestrating the whole spectacle.
If you are curious how live microscopy projections mix up with 17th century
grotesque theatrical action backed-up by psychedelic avant-garde music, this event is
not to be missed.

This event will debut in conjunction with the close of The Federation of European
Biochemical Societies (FEBS) Congress, 13th July 2013. FEBS is one of Europe’s
largest life sciences organizations – and we hope to highlight the presence, actions,
and movements of life scientists to the public at large – integrating aspects of modern
science and modern art to unify them within the greater spectrum of culture.

It has been conceived and developed by scientists, artists, and musicians from
Edinburgh, New York, and St. Petersburg in combination with enthusiasts and theatre
freaks from all over the world, as a follow-up to their previous events, including
Chromosome Carnival in 2012. This, as they have called it “Bio-Physical” theatre,
imitates the events of the cell cycle, following a cell through the process of its
division using a combination of loose choreography, absurdity, and contact
improvisation, with a hint of burlesque – “to spice things up,” say the organisers.
What would happen if you’d put the “Father of Microbiology”, Anthony Van
Leeuwenhoek, into Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and set him on a course to meet two of
Chekov’s Three Sisters to the tune of Saint-Saëns’s “Dying Swan” theme? They
promise the appearance of the live gorilla with a chainsaw, but who takes them
seriously, so please don’t be afraid.

Dr Sasha Kagansky (Science on Stage, UK), in collaboration with Dr John LaCava
(Sounds of Science, US), and Coaxil Band (SPb) previously worked on a variety of
projects that have a unifying theme of experimentation in a very broad sense. They
are now attempting to bring the concept of spontaneous hypothesis-free aesthetic
research to a wider audience, and the attendees of the biggest independent modern-art
establishment in Russia are the perfect test subjects for this alternative biological
experiment. “The inspiration comes from what happens in every cell of our bodies
constantly,” says Sasha passionately, “It could be the most natural way to dance. If we
present how chromosomes behave in a familiar way – through emotions and
improvised movements – we may get new insights into what is happening on the
hidden molecular level. But people have one very important advantage over their
chromosomes, as Chromosomes Separate, People Come Together”.

– Liv Nathan

Exciting New Initiative: Happigenetics Science Extravaganza

Greetings one and all! After much anticipation, we are excited to announce an intriguing new initiative that continues to blend the worlds of art and science: the Happigenetics Science Extravaganza!

Happigenetics Science Extravaganza is a Science/Arts trans-genre outreach project – an experiment in the public communication of science through art – merging science outreach and modern theater. This event will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, on July 13th, 2013 at Erarta. We’ll fuse real-time scientific experimentation within a theatrical setting, and physical theater, accompanied by experimental live audio and video sequences. The goal of this project is to increase the public awareness of experimental biology and research culture – and to celebrate the mystical aesthetics of the natural experimentation process. Much scientific research is sponsored with public funds because it is generally beneficial for society, but how do we increase awareness of the range of research-related activities ongoing and their significance to society? Our goal is the spread the word in a way that stimulates and entertains!

Be sure to check out the initiative here, and please share with your friends, colleagues, partners-in-crime, etc.: Happigenetics Science Extravaganza

SoS Featured on ASBMB Today and Chemical & Engineering News!

Happy Spring from the SoS farm! We are thrilled to announce that the Sounds of Science project has been getting some great media attention recently. The first is on the magazine of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, ASBMB Today.


The second article is a feature in Chemical & Engineering News. Take a look!


We have some exciting projects lined up and we look forward to sharing them with you very soon!

Until then, keep the sounds of science alive!

First New SoS Song of 2012!

First New SoS Song of 2012!

Hey everyone… this is the NASA Curiosity rover updating live from the Gale Crater on Mars. One thing I wanted to draw your attention to is this great new song by Bernie Langs called, fittingly, The Sounds of Science! Bernie made great use of the sounds in our database as well as his keen musical talent to concoct this fun new tune. Without further ado, take a listen! It’s my soundtrack up here while roaming the dusty expanses on this red planet!

The Sounds of Science

More new samples added. Contact me by email through this site for an upload account, if you have sounds you want to contribute — all materials are available and free for download — contact if you have any problems with the database site: www.sosdb.net

Some of the .wav files can be previewed but the full file won’t play in our online player — however, these files download and play just fine once you have them on your system.

Freddy Hg

New Sounds in the database

New Sounds in the database

Hey y’all,
The database is getting populated bit by bit… I’ve got some sounds already uploaded and I am adding the metadata bit by bit (a very time consuming process). Each weekend I will be adding new material, until all the samples we’ve recorded are up and available. I am now able to offer user accounts to people who want to upload the sounds of their favorite scientific sounds!! We’ll host music you produce using these sounds too! Just email us and we’ll set you up.

Freddy Hg

New Sounds of Science Database… and more!

New Sounds of Science Database... and more!

Exciting things happening with Sounds of Science! We are working hard on creating a new database for users to upload sounds, clips, music and more. You will be able to collaborate, share, and play with all the media in the database here on the Sounds of Science website and forum. Once we ‘go live’ later this week, take a moment to look around the revamped website. Feedback is always welcome, so let us know what you think, and if you have any ideas that could make the site better! Stay tuned for more details and get ready to start sharing some fantastic sounds!


Captain Funkmaster, Ph.D.