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.