What if plants could make music? How would they sound then? The makers of PlantWave also wondered when they developed a device that converts the sap streams of plants into music. The result? Beautiful, electronic symphonies, which also differ from plant to plant. Does that really work? And how?
Plants make music. Well, more or less. Roughly speaking, their sap streams allow them to produce sound once they are connected to a device that converts their internal movements into sound waves. In this case, that device is called PlantWave: a small square box that you connect to a leaf with two electrodes.
How does that work?
An atom is made up of positively and negatively charged particles. That allows the flow of electricity in almost any matter. Some matter conducts electricity better than others, but water is one of the best conductors of electricity, and plants contain a lot of water.
PlantWave actually measures the conductivity of a plant and how it changes according to the water influx into the plant. The device does this by means of two electrodes: electrical conductors, which are placed at two points on the blade.
The device then converts the measured small changes in conductivity into sound waves, which the device then translates into a pre-recorded instrument—the result: a symphony.
So every note you hear is an expression of a change within that plant at that moment. The greater the distance in pitch between two notes, the greater the changes within the plant. You can compare the phenomenon a bit with the growling of a belly.
Every plant its song
Each plant makes a different kind of sound. For example, sequoia trees in California, the tallest trees in the world, sound mysterious and magical, while mushrooms in Hawaii make lively music with deep undertones.
There are also plants that you hardly hear until you touch them, while other (house) plants groove all day without you knowing it. One requirement is that they get enough water. The technology is safe for all plants that can wear the electrodes. Studies show that gentle electrical stimulation could even accelerate growth.
And not only plants but also animals make music. However, the device is not intended for it. For example, Philippine beauty influencer Bretman Rock tested it on his dog, Thora. And what turned out? She, too, produced a sound.
She don’t know it yet but she’s a pop star♬ original sound – bretmanrock