Sonic artist derives captivating "organic electronic" sounds from plants (Video)


Though it sounds far-fetched, we've seen how tree rings can produce music, thanks to technology that is adapted to "read" these growth indicators. Now, a British programmer and environmental designer is showing how plants can make music too. Mileece Petre is a self-described "sonic artist" who attaches electrodes to plant leaves, which collect their bio-electric impulses. These micro-currents are then translated into harmonic sounds, using a program that she created.

Calling it "organic electronic music," Mileece gathers sounds from her garden and from various habitats, which are converted from the "bio-emissions" generated live from various plants. She sees herself not as a maker of artificial sounds, but as a "facilitator" who is building a kind of symbiotic bridge between humans and nature, through sound.

In this Motherboard video, Mileece talks about the TreeWe'vr Interactive Plant-Pod Dome project that she is setting up, “a mobile, interactive, immersive environment that brings nature directly into urban spaces.” It features an interactive pod, with an interior garden full of plant-generated soundscapes that would also double as a kind of educational library.

Motherboard/Video screen capture

Mileece makes the assertion that she "knows [plants] are sentient," thanks to her experiments. Even if one is skeptical about plants having a consciousness of some kind, Mileece's work and its expression does at least call that position into question. She explains that she is basically promoting better ecology -- a better inter-relationship between us and plants:

If we create technologies that interface better with parts of our own ecology, our own nature, we enhance our lives.

You be the judge; take an earful of one of Mileece's works, Plusic, "a selection of generative unedited plant music from melodic lullabies to dramatic soundscapes."

Mileece's compositions are incredibly beautiful, full of these haunting, metaphrased frequencies emanating from living plants. They invite us to listen closer to the rhythms and frequencies of another world, existing in parallel and in integration to ours. See and hear more over at Mileece's website, and Tumblr.

Tags: Artists | Arts | Gardening | Music


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