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Making Music Out of Mushrooms

Making Music Out of Mushrooms

Musician Tarun Nayar spends much of his time experimenting with sound in Canada’s old-growth forests.

At the age of seven, Nayar began studying Indian classical music with Narendra Verma – a disciple of the famous Indian sitar virtuoso and composer Ravi Shankar, according to VICE. These formative lessons taught Nayar not only about the technical mechanisms of music, but of its vibrations, and their ability to promote calm in a chaotic world.

In 2006, Nayar formed the rock band Delhi 2 Dublin, which has since toured all over the world. But in recent years, he has found himself returning to the Indian classical music that has “colored his life.”

Only this time, there is a twist. Nayar has started to create new sounds by channeling motion inside plants.

“I use various techniques to harness the bioelectricity of the plants and Earth’s natural resonance that is beyond the audible spectrum of the human ear,” Nayar explained. “I use the movement of water inside these plants as electrical resistance. So when I plug circuit cables to them, even small changes in the said resistance due to the plant’s natural bioelectric charge manifest as notes of music.”

As shown on Instagram, Nayar is able to make mushrooms sound as if they are singing. One video captures him drawing music from a single leaf. His music has gone viral, according to Classic FM.

Nayar has been surprised at the feedback he’s received in recent months.

“The other day, someone told me how the mushroom videos helped their ailing mother feel better,” Nayar said. “Then recently, I got a text saying these videos helped someone’s friend cheer up because they were having a hard time. It’s heartwarming to see people care about and resonate with plants so much.”

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