Sound artist creates music from electric currents generated by plants
A sonic artist has sprouted a real life sound garden.
Meet Mileece, the Los Angles-based sonic artist, environmental designer and programmer who makes music in a most unusual way: with plants.
Mileece calls it “organic electronic music,” and the production process that takes place in her botanical studio is fascinating. As Mileece told singer Sam Urbani in an episode of Sound Builders, a collaborative Motherboard/Vice video series, she uses electrodes to capture biofeedback—the electric currents emitted by all living things—from the plants and feed them into an amplifier. The amplifier then sends the data to a special piece of software that animates sounds from the input.
The result: A new kind of soundscape that brings nature to life with quite literally organic variations in notes, rhythm, and tone. “The sonification of those signals in that context creates such crazy music,” Mileece said.
Mileece rejects the idea that her work is paradoxical—instead seeing the creation of electronic music out of organic matter as a symbiotic relationship between humans and nature.
She sees the project—which she started nearly a decade ago during her time as the Resident Artist at the London School of Economics Innovation Center— as a unique way to mediate the realationship between people and their environment. By making an environmnt more interactive, people can appreciate nature in a whole new dimesion: music.
Mileece is currently in the process of replacing her analog gear with wireless technology, in order to imrpvoe the reception of the plants’ biofeedback signals and, therefore, the quality of them music. “What we could do with this is endless.”