Tarun Nayar is a musician and he has mushrooms. Modern Biology has only been active since last summer but, with his videos of mushrooms making calming ambient soundscapes, he has already racked up more than half a million Tik.

The electronic artist and former biologist spends summers in the northern Gulf Islands of British Columbia with the Sheldrake brothers, who are authors of the best-selling book "Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Future." It seems like it would be natural for him to start listening to mushrooms.

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Plant music is created by connecting synthesisers to plants and measuring their bioelectrical energy, which causes note changes in the synthesiser. The process is described as an environmental feedback mechanism. It is based on galvanic resistance, the same principle that simple lie detectors work.

One of the summers he was away with the Sheldrakes, he tried plants for the first time. Nayar saw a plant growing outside his cabin and connected the leaves to a software synthesiser playing the piano. These experiments with plant sonification are vital in forging deeper connections with the natural world. There is hope if music and tuning in more deeply can bring us here.

The value of listening to plants is about being super-present in the moment with nature
Joe Patitucci

Being able to find a signal that we can really observe helps to raise awareness that we are all part of the same thing. You feel more connected when you experience that level of interaction.

Joe Patitucci is the CEO of Data Garden, a company that uses data to translate plant bio data into music. Patitucci has just released a record from cannabis plants. I hope that people understand that destroying Earth is destroying ourselves.

Mileece was motivated to create a sound from plants more than 20 years ago by the sense of environmental urgency. She points to the 70s book The Secret Life of Plants that inspired a documentary film and John Lifton's Green Music as examples of how far this field has come.

Mileece has spent tens of thousands of hours developing software and hardware to translate bio-emissions from plants into what she calls aesthetic sonification. She builds environments that translate the interaction between plants and humans into music. The Tate Modern in London had an installation in which plants and flowers reacted to people moving around the room. Her work stems from her early days experimenting with plants and electronics in her bedroom.

One of MycoLyco’s recent collaborators.

One of MycoLyco’s recent collaborators. Photograph: MycoLyco

It was difficult to get funding for her projects when there was less acceptance of environmental justice or the climate crisis. Everyone hated me for what I said, but there is no difference between what I say and what she says.

Mileece was trained as a sound engineer. She became the resident artist at the London School of Economics in the mid-20s, where she developed a way to translate electrical signals from plants into sound design. She shows me a picture of an experiment. On her desk sits a potted plant with hair clips attached, connected to a custom-made module and synthesizer, and linked up to a vintage Mac computer.

The fact that scientists and people in general are finally taking this all seriously has been the point of my work all along.

Mileece, Nayar and others work with plants because they say there is no experience like it: finding that understanding of how a natural element is interacting with their home-built technology. There is a story to be told by the music. The designer used mycelium, grown from mushrooms, as a substitute for leather in his show.

It has always been about forging connections between people and the planet.

Even if they only see a few seconds of a video, these botanical soundscapes might bring some people closer to understanding the natural world. Plants have been made to sing by these artists.