The sculpture is a site-specific installation commissioned by a biotech company in South San Francisco. Its location determined the choice of music translated in the sculpture—the 1987 single "A Touch of Gray" by the iconic Bay Area band the Grateful Dead, as well as the choice of color and physical configuration of the work.
Appropriately, given the band, the sculpture’s colors are based on the 60s psychodelia posters, but with a double entendre of “a touch of grey” in the pure color, referencing both the title of the song and the often grey sky of the location.
The distancing of the poles which represent individual notes was determined by the preexisting amphitheater where the sculpture was to be installed. To relate the sculpture to the amphitheater geometrically, the poles were arranged in a shape of the golden spiral—a pattern that repeats in nature in many forms. Among the better-known manifestations of the golden spiral is a shape of a seashell, one of several references to the marine setting.
The golden spiral of the sculpture also references helix formation of the DNA—the subject of research of the biotech company which commissioned the work. Similar to a DNA sequence, the poles form a chain of coda. But the coda, in this case is of a song, and a progression of the cord changes throughout the song. Every bar the cords change, waxing and waning into a pattern. The idea of a chain of coda is what determines the placement and the relationship between the poles, and their color.