Mumbai Nursery makes music with plants

This wonderful news comes to us from Mumbai, India.

Have you ever wondered what sound plants make? Not the sound when the wind blows through the leaves but what they are trying to say, but can’t because they don’t have sound-producing organs. A Mumbai based nursery, Vriksha Nursery run by Shaan Lalvani recently acquired a machine that converts the electricity fluctuating through plants into sound.

Shaan says that he came across the idea while listening to a podcast and being a horticulturist, he was taken with the idea. He says, “Plants communicate with each other in two ways, electrically and chemically. It is their ways of letting other plants know about droughts or other threats.”

The device is called a MIDI sprout and it measures the electrical charges flowing through the plants, converting them into musical notes. It is like an ECG machine producing a graph.

Lalvani and his team have had the machine for about a month and in that time they have engineered a number of sonic experiments. It has been noticed that plants react to many different kinds of stimuli like being watered or when a leaf is being broken.

Lalvani says that they had recently hooked up a weed and because of the wide range of possible growing medium, the weed was very active in terms of sound. The machine was also tried on a carnivorous plant and it was found that it changes notes when there is a butterfly nearby.

Lalvani’ team shares their experiments via their Instagram handle, and it has secured 12,000 followers. They welcome visitors every weekend and they are free to bring along their own plants to see what music they play. Their shows have garnered huge interest and last weekend 50 people turned up.

The 1.5 lakh that Lalvani had to give throws up a few questions. Is it really worth the entire setup? He says that it is not just a party trick and that it is a way that plants communicate with each other. People often buy plants and it is a way to make them realize that they are not just plants but living things that communicate with one another.

One can choose the instrument that produces the musical sound. Lalwani has the technology in place to make the notes sound as if from a synthesizer. You can even choose a guitar or drums so that an all plant band is plausible. Lalvani plans to take the machine to a public garden and see how the plants will react to traffic.

Image Source: Uplift Connect

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