You knew with all this talk of music generated by plants, someone would try this – electrical signals generated from cannabis plants transformed live into mellow ambient music.
The album is the work of artist Joe Patitucci, whose work we’ve covered separately including MIDI Sprout and PlantWave, which made consumer, end-user tools out of the notion of working with plants’ electrical signals. For his part, he has been doing installations and such since 2012, and made a record label with plant-able albums. I wrote about that work among other artists working with plants in various forms recently (with lots of additions as readers responded).
Maybe the most interesting detail here is that it has been sort of censored. Along with the announcement, we learn:
The album is currently being held by Tunecore for its “explicit” nature even though there are no references to drug use, violence, etc. Sorting this issue will determine when it arrives in the Apple Store, Spotify, Google Play, etc. This, in itself, is an interesting story…
I mean… huh?
Anyway, it’s actually a bit unusual for Joe to turn something into an album, as he professes to prefer live and generative renditions. But this is calming and lovely – ideal for mellowing you out even just musically. (Cough, TuneCore. Sheesh.)
These recordings were done by translating real-time data from a cannabis plant into 420hz music using a PlantWave. All notes on every instrument were generated by translating the wave from a plant into pitch. There is nothing pre-recorded. This was created live, on the fly, with slight manipulation of the textural qualities of the lead instrument done by me in response to what I was hearing from the plant.
The original recording was done with scaling on the PlantWave tuned to G# (415hz). The recording was then tuned up to 420hz as part of the mixing process.
Tracks 1-4 are short edits of my personal favorite melodies that emerged through this process of collaborating with the plant. Track 5 is a document of the full recording session.
Special thanks to Old Pal Provisions for inviting me to record this album at Ladybug Farms in Royal Oaks, CA.
More on PlantWave: