Biota was founded in 1979 in Fort Collins, Colorado, as the Mnemonist Orchestra. They were a collective of avantgarde musicians, lead by Mark Debyshire and William Sharp. Their music is a mixture of modern classical, experimental sounds, noise, industrial, avantgarde and free jazz. Over the years, the Mnemonist Orchestra developed into Biota (the musical contingent) and Mnemonists (the visual contingent). Both Biota and Mnemonists work as one on productions of musical and visual components.