Do Plants Need Their Own Synthesizers?

Do plants need their own synthesizers?

That’s the question raised by MIDI Sprout – a new crowdfunded sonification project.

While the concept may initial seem bizarre, the project is serious. Here’s what the developers have to say about it:

MIDI Sprout represents a growing community interested in learning about nature by turning its biofeedback into music. This is the beginning of the global DIY biofeedback movement.

We have had a lot of fun exploring the role of biorhythms in art and music. It’s time to share this technology with the public and invite new innovators to the conversation.

Each MIDI Sprout comes with two probes that send out a small electrical charge from a battery. Attached to a leaf, they measure the plant’s resistance to this current. When applied to a human this is called the galvanic skin response (GSR). GSR readings provide insight into humans’ inner emotional states and are the basis of simple lie detector circuits.

The MIDI Sprout converts these fluctuations into MIDI notes and controls that can be read by synthesizers and computers. This information can be scaled and played through synthesizers or used to activate pre-programmed sonic environments.

MIDI Sprout kits are available for contributions of US $60 and up. See the project site for details.

8 thoughts on “Do Plants Need Their Own Synthesizers?

  1. Cool, I’ve been waiting for the people from Damanhur who’ve
    promised a new unit that works with iPhone. There’s a youtube
    video,’ the singing plants at Damanhur’. This one sounds like it
    may be better, even.
    Anyone interested in this sort of thing should make sure that
    they check out Duncan Laurie’s website too. . Enjoy !

  2. I’m part of a research team working on a ground-breaking experiment to measure the mood of the planet. It all starts with a series of carbon tubular devices that accept wind velocity as MIDI-type input and then, using our proprietary sound engine, coverts those signals into FM-synthesized tones, kind of like wind chimes…. oh wait..

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