New Organs of Creation

Burton Nitta

Can a voice speak to us on a cellular level and create a new anthem to bridge a future of national divides?

Newly commissioned work New Organs of Creation presents a hypothetical development of the human larynx (voice box), using tissue engineering, to extend the ability of the voice as a transformational instrument. The resulting voice attempts to enable a singer to talk directly to the body’s cells. With this voice, the singer performs an anthem expressing a national identity for the future of what many are calling “Britain's divided nation”. 

Research has shown that sound can help direct the eventual form of stem cells. For instance, low sound frequencies in the range of 50Hz to 100Hz can help coax stem cells into bone cells, instead of other forms such as heart or skin cells. The synthetic larynx is designed to produce these low sound ranges, taking anatomical inspiration from the koala, cat and a man with a record-breaking bass voice.

With a voice that can reach these frequencies, a new anthem (composer, Matt Rogers) aims to go beyond national divides, sung by a voice (mezzo-soprano, Louise Ashcroft) able to talk to us on a cellular level and change the state of the physical world.

In the development of the piece, Burton Nitta has recorded public voices and voice experts from around the country. These discussions ask for visions of where we are heading as a nation and explore the power of the voice as an instrument for change.

The project is made in collaboration with Lucy Di-Silvio and Trevor Coward from the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences at King’s College London.

About the contributor(s) 

Burton Nitta (comprised of Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta) is an transdisciplinary art and design studio based in London collaborating with science and technology to investigate our future world and human evolution.

Lucy Di-Silvio is Professor of Tissue Engineering at the Centre of Oral, Clinical and Translational Science, Faculty of Dentistry, Oral and Craniofacial Sciences at King’s College London. Her research is based on the regeneration of tissues using stem cell technology and its translation and application for specific clinical problems related largely to oral, craniofacial and orthopaedics. 

Trevor Coward is Consultant in Maxillofacial and Craniofacial Rehabilitation at King's College London. He has over thirty years of experience rehabilitating patients with facial/body prostheses. The aim of his research, is to rebuild faces using innovative prostheses based on novel technologies. The main focus of his research is based upon the use of digital technology in the planning and provision of facial prostheses.


New Organs of Creation is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

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