Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Data Garden: Quartet

Data GardenI'm still in flux, packing, moving, and so little time for blogging.

Instead, here's something a bit different: Quartet: Live at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by Data Garden, or 116 minutes of plant-generated music. I kid not. The music linked below has been generated by the "electronic impulses" of four plants: a philodendron plant: Lead synthesizer; two Schefflera plants, #1: Rhythm Tone Generator, #2: Bass synthesizer; and a Snake Plant: Ambience and effects. Four human engineers were involved in transforming the impulses into music. The recording took place on April 13, 2012, and the release date for the performance was May 1, 2012.

Listening to this, it got me thinking about the music all around us that we do not and cannot hear; the human auditory system is primed to filter out low frequency sounds (thankfully, or we'd probably go bonkers hearing our heartbeats, pulses, the movement of our blood through our system, our alveoli inflating and deflating, etc.), but there is all kinds of audible music we can hear if we're willing to listen. Recently I wrote a poem about this that I've submitted to a literary journal (I shared it at a faculty-student reading about a month ago), and once it's published, I'll post it hear. It isn't as subtle or sublime as the lyricism of these flora, however.

QuartetAt left is one of the images you can purchase as a poster for $15 from the museum. There's also a digital album for $6. The plantable seed paper 7", however, has completely sold out.

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