Voices of plants



The music of the plants traces its origins back to the seventies, when in the United States were performed some experiments aimed at verifying the existence of a particular sensitivity of the vegetal world in reacting to various external stimuli (light, heat, colours, sounds). After being brought to Italy at the beginnings of the eighties, the music of the plants has been rediscovered by Laura (musician, musicologist and music teacher) and Tiziano (informatics and organization consultant) in the spring of 2000. Since then, Laura and Tiziano have been involved in spreading the technique and the philosophy behind it throughout Italy and Europe. During their meetings, they directly involve the public with interactions and contacts with the Plants themselves, with the hope to improve the sense of respect and care of mankind towards the Vegetal Kingdom.


Technical Analysis

The device for the music of the plants consists of a system detecting the lymph flow between leaves and roots, measured through a couple of sensors located in the ground and on a leaf of the plant. The device measures the electrical resistance of the plant tissues due to the variations of cellular density of the lymph itself. These oscillations are digitalized and converted to musical tones, according to the ‘midi’ standard. In the end, the device sends the midi signal to a sequencer, i.e. a database of tones played by different instruments, and then to a sound output. The electronic device has filters that limit electromagnetic interferences and extract the pure variations recorded from the plant.

 Just like all other living organisms, plants experience variations of electrical resistance due to various factors, both physical and subtle. In particular, physiological and emotional states are very important, since plants act as big antennas, as extremely sensitive receptors. From the environment, plants not only perceive a great number of physical changes (like static or variable electromagnetic fields), but also subtle interactions with human beings themselves.

The final result of this technique is to be able to perceive what we are normally not able to hear nor to see, that is the living movement of a plant, its reactions, its energetic field.


Musical analysis

According to a musical analysis of the sound patterns expressed by the plants, it seems that archaic scales are the most used. These scales refer to the ancient Greek mode and are formed by four descending sounds (tetra chords) included in a ‘fourth sharp’ interval. The musical harmonies composed by the plants emerge from joining several tetra chords. According to Greek theorists, the melodies composed within these harmonies are characterized by nuances that give to the harmony itself a specific effect upon human will and psyche.


The experience

Plants show an authentic training period, in which they learn how to interact with the device, the operator and with the external stimuli. The plants that play for the first time usually spend the first minutes experiencing the melodic amplitude, scrolling both ascendant and descendant scales. After this period, they choose one particular harmonic amplitude and a specific melodic character.

Playing with the plants is an unforgettable experience. As soon as the plant connected to the device feels your intentions, she tunes up with you. Together with the music, there is a flow of subtle musical ideas. Everything comes to you through that part of you where the idea is not thought yet.








(Traduzione di Luca "Osman" Coletti)


(Foto di Emanuela Gambazza)