Watch This Composer Make Music from Plant Life (Video)


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Feed me, Seymour?
  • Feed me, Seymour?
As our terrific music editor, Sam Lefebvre, noted earlier today, the Downtown Berkeley MusicFest is worth checking out this weekend for a number of reasons. You should go to experience the "rich, diverse musical ecosystem" of the Bay Area, of course, but one of the Fest's more unusual offerings will come from local pianist and badass Sarah Cahill, who's performing works by the minimalist Japanese composer Mamoru Fujieda.

Fujieda's specialty is deciphering the "musical expressions of plant life." What the hell does that mean, you may be wondering. For those who've never taken their succulent to karaoke, the process involves harnessing the melodic patterns produced by the electrical activity of plants.

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To illustrate this innovative yet baffling process, we turn to a video and sound installation made by Yuji Dogane. Dogane used a "Plantron," which is a "system that converts imperceptive biological information/electrical changes of plants to 'sounds.'" The results are somehow both festive and alarming, a mixture of tinny cries and Irish folk dancing. Watch:

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