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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "

Coleridge

Plusic – Music made by Plants

November 21st, 2008

In October Stephanie and I witnessed an avocado plant making music in a tree-house in Italy with the Damanhur community. It was a moving experience.

I’ve discovered that a musician called Mileece has been experimenting with the same idea. Here’s a glimpse of her bio:

24-year-old Mileece has had a remarkable life. When she was growing up, her parents ran a recording studio in Covent Garden, and started an early music video company. Later her father became a director of television programmes such as Fraggle Rock and Countdown, whilst her mum ran a record label.

In early life she lived in various parts of the world including “The crystal garden” where she encountered counter-culture figures such as Timothy Leary and Charles Lucy – the inventor of the Lucytune microtonal scale.

After this, she moved to a large house full of animals in rural France to escape and learn about classical music. On top of this, her grandfather Max Matthews programmed the first computer generated song, “Daisy, Daisy” which was cynically referenced in Kubricks “2001, A Space Odyssey”, sung by the Hal computer ….

More here

And more info from an ‘Independent’ article that has music samples here:

In 2006, Mileece was commissioned by the London School of Economics to develop a “generative plant biofeedback system”. She discovered a way to make sounds out of the electromagnetic impulses of plants and is now creating a website to host data-streams from specimens all over the world.

Making music from plants is also being explored by the Edinburgh band Found in a project in May at the Scottish capital’s Royal Botanic Garden. Dialogues of Wind and Bamboo will involve the five-piece improvising around a midi-controller “operated” by plants, turning the electrical resistance generated by flora into beats and bleeps.

Scientists are increasingly reaching out to musicians to engage the public in their work. In 2002, Mira Calix, who is signed to Warp Records, was commissioned by Geneva’s Museum of Natural History to compose a piece of music from the sounds of 150 different species of insects. The result, Nunu, was performed live with the London Sinfonietta at the Royal Festival Hall. She is now working with David Rothenberg, Professor of Philosophy and Music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, on a “remix” of the songs of beluga whales.

And here’s a sample of her ‘Fern’ track from http://www.ambientmusic.co.uk/mileece.html

CLICK HERE TO HEAR ‘FERN’ BY MILEECE