The sounds that accompany the music below were produced by plants, bio-sensors and rocks. Each has been carefully “miked” to access information stemming from the source itself, in an attempt to co-create a sonified output from Nature.
Mille-voltages were extracted by electrodes from a plant leaf or other sensors, via custom made rate of change converter or Wheatstone bridge instruments. They were then amplified and translated from voltages into pitch-shifts. These signals, in turn, were processed by an Eventide Harmonizer. The Harmonizer allowed us to tune the sensor outputs together and to the music or sound source. The combined product was fed back to the sensor, plant or rock as musical or sonic phrase, increasing the intensity of the loop. On occasion, the results yielded very compelling soundscapes. We noticed immediately that the plants and the other sensors seemed, upon occasion (at their disposal), to pattern themselves closely to music, to the point that they appeared to actually improvise!
Later on, in 2005, we acquired the brain wave analysis hardware/software package IBVA from Masahiro Kahata. IBVA samples in the same general area as the output we were studying from rocks and plants. Masahiro helped us set up his technology and fine waterfall graphics to enable it to interpret our bio-sensors’ output and compare them to brainwaves simultaneously. In addition, we were able to add IBVA to our sonification toolkit.
We have subsequently spent great effort in closer examination of the compelling anomalies that Nature has presented us through this study, filming the best weirdness wherever possible! Both Gordon and I have become convinced that intelligent signals do arise from Nature that eludes conventional E/M interpretation. A semiotic process appears to be at work that links the observer to Nature under special circumstances. This co-creative expression of consciousness, Natural and Human, plays a direct role in the signal acquisition and generation on the recordings below!
—Duncan Laurie and Gordon Salisbury