Who knew that plants make music? Here’s a device that allows you to hear them.

Back in 1979, Stevie Wonder released a largely instrumental album entitled Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants, which functioned as a soundtrack to a documentary of the same name (which in turn was based on a book). The entire project explored how plants respond to various stimuli. It was a bit nerdy, but since he was Stevie Wonder, he could do anything he wanted.

Here’s another secret about plants. They apparently make music. Or something like that.

Bamboo is “the instrument that gives a voice to plants.” I quote:

Since the 1970s, Damanhur — a Federation of Communities with its own constitution, culture, art, music, currency, school and uses of science and technology (www.damanhur.org) — has researched communication with the plant world. As part of this research, they created an instrument able to perceive the electromagnetic variations from the surface of plant leaves to the root system and translated them into sound. Science increasingly supports the concept that plants operate with an innate intelligence and logic diverse from our own. Music of the Plants has taken research of plant intelligence and plant perception to another level. By deciphering and registering the impulses and interactions of plants, they have developed a device that uses a MIDI interface to transform the plant’s resistance from a leaf to the root system into music. Extensive research continues today as we become conscious of the innate ability of nature to communicate with us when we have the instrument to listen.

The Bamboo comes in three models starting at about CAD$630. Here’s the basic version.

You clip it onto the plant of your choice and using its 12 pre-programmed options of musical instrument, frequency, and effects, music appears. Uh, okay.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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