In this episode of Sound Builders, we went to Los Angeles, to meet with Mileece. She’s a sonic artist and environmental designer who’s developed the technology to give silent seedlings a portal to their own sonic expression.
Channeling a plant’s sentience into an instrument is no obvious feat. Mileece’s background as an audiophile and programmer dovetailed to turn a garden into an organic medium for music. She pulls this off by attaching electrodes to leafy limbs, which conduct the bio-electric emissions coming off living plants. The micro-voltage then gets sucked into her self-authored software, turning data into ambient melodies and harmonic frequencies.
It’s simply not enough for these green little squirts to just spit out noise. All this generative organic electronic music must sound beautiful, too. As a renewable energy ambassador, Mileece’s larger goal behind her plant music is to enhance our relationship with nature. And if plant music can have a pleasing aesthetic articulation then hopefully we all can give a greater damn about our environment.
While some may see the paradox in an organic medium generating electronic music, Mileece does not. She sees this as a symbiotic relationship, a vital one, and one that hints to a larger relationship she’s been trying to unify, which is that between humans and nature.
Frogmore House and Garden, a historical Royal residence situated in the Home Park of Windsor Castle, will open its gates next month as part of its annual charity garden open days.
A Royal retreat since 1792, when it was purchased by George III for his wife, Queen Charlotte, Frogmore was originally built during the 17th century. Over the years, many monarchs have enjoyed its peaceful gardens and surrounding landscape. The property is now frequently used to host the Royal Family’s private functions, including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding reception last year.
The interior of the house is decorated with artwork and botany, reflecting the artistry of previous Royal residents, including Queen Charlotte and her daughters, the Duchess of Kent and Queen Victoria. May 2019 marks the bicentenary of the death of the flower artist Mary Moser, whom Queen Charlotte commissioned to decorate one of the rooms at Frogmore. Named in Moser’s honour, the space features a display of floral garlands reminiscent of an arbour open to the skies.
As well as exploring the interiors, the public are invited to venture into the 35-acre gardens and explore how previous monarchs have shaped its design, which is modelled on a ‘picturesque’ landscape. As you stroll around, expect charming views of Queen Victoria’s Tea House, the white-marble Indian Kiosk and the 18th-century lake.
Each open day will raise money for a different charity: the National Garden Scheme, which funds nursing and caring charities by opening private gardens; the British Heart Foundation; and the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society.
Use an ice cream cone In the short video, a dry wafer ice cream cone is used to place seeds inside to help them grow. After the seeds have blossomed, the cone is then placed into a larger pot outside where it will eventually naturally decompose. It acts a biodegradable seed starter and will help flowering plants.
Growing green onions in an empty egg carton The next brilliant tip is to regrow green onions in an empty egg carton, instead of throwing them away. Turn the egg container upside down, pierce a small hole in the top and place in the ends of the green onions. Ensure there is water in the bottom and watch them grow overnight.
Rusty nails can help revive plants Not sure how to put your old rusty nails to use? This trick is an easy and smart way to save your plants, using something as simple as an old metal nail. Simply place rusty metal nails with water into a bottle and leave for a few days until the water has turned a brown-like colour. Then pour the water onto your wilting plants and watch their leaves revive again. The rust releases iron which is crucial in helping to nourish dying plants.