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PLANTS THAT PLAY


An experimental listening station exploring the hidden music in plants and vegetables.  Using a combination of specially designed hardware and computer software, the tiny electrical responses resulting from the cellular processes within different plants will be tuned into, amplified, and used to trigger their own musical signatures.  Have you ever wondered what your houseplant might actually be saying to you? This is your opportunity to bring it along and find out! A strange bio-acoustic world, and a light-hearted event that will change forever how you view your green friends.

This bio-interpretative workshop makes use of gentle metal clips as electrodes, which are connected to the plant being investigated, without causing any harm.  Generally, one clip is inserted into the soil around the plant's base (to act as a ground) and the other is placed higher up and placed across a leaf or stalk.  From positioning the electrodes, it is then possible to connect to the plant in question and pick up changes in its electrical resistance.  These are calculated by placing a small measuring potential across the plant, and, in turn, this is affected by the plant’s own bio-electric potentials generated by the various biological processes within the plant.  The result is then fed through a high-gain amplifier, averaged to zero, and accessed by a sample-hold circuit which passes the registered changes in measurement to a voltage control oscillator.  From there the signal is fed into different software circuits which access this changing data, and convert it onto a musically sounding output.  With this system, different plants produce obviously different audible signatures, providing an often quite musical and fascinating sound.



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