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Soundscapes of the Future: How Mushrooms and Synthesizers Are Creating a New Genre of Music!

BRATTLEBORO — Imagine a future where the music you listen to is not just inspired by nature, but created in real-time by the bioelectrical signals of living organisms. This is the vision of Tarun Nayar, a Canada-based biologist and musician who is pioneering a revolutionary blend of science and sound with his project, Mushroom Church.

At Epsilon Spires on Thursday, June 27, Nayar introduced his audience to a novel musical experience that fuses the natural environment with electromagnetic radiation. “Before we jump in, this thing in front of you is actually just a synthesizer,” Nayar explained. “It looks crazy, but that’s because the wires are on the outside. What I’m doing is taking little bioelectric changes from these organisms and turning them into control voltage and gate signals, which is the language of synthesizers, and then using that to create music.”

Nayar’s unique approach involves capturing the bioelectrical fluctuations of mushrooms and converting these signals into musical notes and rhythms. He began the session by inviting the audience to close their eyes and ponder, "What does it feel like to belong?" This introspective start set the stage for a performance that was as much about feeling and connection as it was about sound.

The event, sponsored by Vermont Bud Barn, also featured mead from Golden Rule, and in the background, video recordings of mushrooms played on a screen. Each sound during the performance was created live, a hallmark of Nayar’s improvisational style. “Every session is different,” he noted. “A current goes through the mushrooms and gives off different signals. It’s like a measure of bioelectrical fluctuation being converted into notes and rhythms.”

Nayar emphasized that while mushrooms and plants do produce their own high and low-frequency sounds, his work involves translating their electrical activity into a format that synthesizers can interpret and musicians can manipulate. “We’re taking electricity from a mushroom and putting it into a synthesizer and being like, ‘Whoa, cool,’” he said.

Born and raised in Montreal, Nayar’s background in classical music and biology eventually led him to discover electronic music. His extensive touring with a band for 15 years was abruptly interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which in turn inspired the creation of Mushroom Church.

Nayar’s work represents a potential new genre of music, one that integrates the natural world with technological innovation. As we look to the future, this fusion of biology and music could redefine our understanding of sound and the ways we create it. By harnessing the intrinsic bioelectrical patterns of living organisms, artists like Nayar are opening the door to new auditory landscapes and experiences.

Do you think bioelectrical music from mushrooms could be the future of soundscapes?

  • Absolutely! It's a groundbreaking fusion.

  • Maybe, but it needs more development.

  • No, traditional instruments are irreplaceable.


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