Friday, March 19, 2010

Tonight's Diversion: Plant Music

I would like to thank the folks at Homegrown Evolution for reminding me about the 1970s experiment in music designed to help your houseplants grow.

I could probably try to tie this into the "Broke is Beautiful" theme as a commentary on the kinds of things people buy when they have more money than they know what to do with.

Buying record albums to make your plants happy could certainly serve as a good example of American commercial excess along with truck nuts, inflatable toast and the baby toupee.

But I would have to admit that in the mid-80s I actually bought the LP pictured at left as a gift for my houseplant loving mom at a sidewalk sale in downtown Bowling Green, Ohio. (I think it was about $1)

It was a pleasant enough album of innocuous baroque music- fairly relaxing. As for its effect on plants? It's hard to say. The greatest effect seemed to be on me. It caused me to antropomorphize our green companions and wonder if the begonias really "liked" the song that was playing and if they were "thinking" about dancing.

Homegrown Evolution introduced me to two more classics of the vegetal orchestral genre. On March 9 they featured Music to Grow Plants.

And on March 16, Plantasia.

Here is Mrs. Homegrown's review:

Mort Garson's Moog generated album Plantasia: Warm Earth Music for Plants and the People Who Love Them is pretty much what I would imagine a macramé suspended spider plant wanting to listen to. Its groovin' Moog bleeps and blats seem more likely to enhance photosynthesis than Dr. Milstein's orchestral wall of sound. Plantasia is pretty much guaranteed to add a foot of growth to your ficus plants.

Avi also provided a link to the entire 1979 documentary version of The Secret Life of Plants. It took me two evenings to make it through the endless time lapse and interpretive dance sequences. But there's plenty of wackiness to enjoy, including a soundtrack by Stevie Wonder who appears at the end singing to, well, a bunch of plants. The highlight for me was seeing the laboratory equipment of Indian scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose, inventor of the cresnograph a device for measuring plant growth.