Mushroom Music with Tarun Nayar

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Mushroom Music with Tarun Nayar

 

Today we sit down with the musician and biologist Tarun Nayar to dive into the mystical world of mushroom music. Did you know we can hook up sensors to mushrooms and turn their electrical signals into music? Learn how to make your own and sit back to listen to a track Tarun created himself with the wonderful red belted conk mushroom. 



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TRANSCRIPT
Alex 0:11 Welcome Welcome you are listening to the mushroom revival podcast. This is your host Alex dore, and we are absolutely obsessed with the wonderful and wacky mysterious world of mushrooms and fungi. We bring on guests and experts from all around the world to geek out with us and go down this mysterious rabbit hole to try to figure out what the heck is going on with these fungal beings and dive into the minds of these experts and all their niche topics to piece together the wonderful Kingdom of fungi. So today we have Tarun joining us from Vancouver. And we're going to talk about mushroom music, which I'm super pumped about and we'll even showcase some of his mushroom music at the end. So Tarun, how you doing? Speaker 1 0:58 I'm doing really well. Thanks, Alex. Nice to be here with you. Nice. So Alex 1:02 for people who haven't seen you on tick tock, blowing up and haven't seen the work that you're doing, who are you? What am What are you up to? Speaker 1 1:13 Well, I'm sitting in Vancouver at the moment, it is an unseasonably warm day, we have blue skies, which is really rare for February, I live in Canada, I was born and raised in Montreal, and I grew up studying biology as well as Indian classical music. And I did biology professionally for a while. And then I was in a band for a long time. And somehow during the course of the pandemic, I discovered this world of bio sonification started plugging plants and mushrooms into synthesizers, and tick tock did its thing. And now that practice has really taken over my life. And it's been a lot of fun. Yeah, so modern biology is the name that I go by on the internet. Alex 1:57 Love it. And you know, what a amazing crossover with biology and music and what how did you first get into mushrooms during your study of biology? Speaker 1 2:08 I can't say like growing up in Montreal, we don't really have. I mean, there's tons of cool funghi there. But I didn't discover that until recently. I would say that like many people growing up in Montreal in the 70s and 80s. Mushrooms just weren't a thing. It's not like on the west coast where there's mushrooms everywhere. And there's a kind of microphylla culture. It was button mushrooms for me until I met my wife, my now wife. And she grew up on the northern Gulf Islands, you know, an area which has become famous, you know, through the work of Paul Stamets. And I would say that the the culture out this way, especially on the Gulf Islands, is is very mushroom focused and her family are avid, avid foragers and, you know, fishers and hunters and, you know, it's a very kind of live on the land type of lifestyle. And that just over time, really rubbed off on me and I started to really love the fall for and even sometimes in the spring, when you get lucky, just the idea of being out in the middle of nowhere, bushwhacking and finding golden nuggets of you know, chanterelles, and lobster, mushrooms and chicken of the woods just so it's so fun. It appealed to me in a way and I never had experienced that growing up kind of in a more urban, you know, suburban environment in Montreal. So, let's say I'm, you know, I'm a noob I'm sort of came into the world of mushrooms in the last very slowly in the last 10 years or so. Alex 3:39 Same Yeah, I feel like everyone everyone did, you know, everyone starts as a noob. And, and the grand total of if we put together all our collective knowledge on fungi, the whole human race is it is a big noob we have barely, barely scratched the surface of what is going on. Which is so exciting and kind of why I made this podcast and to begin with is to interview people to make that collective mycelial network come to live and and see what everyone has figured out during during their time of forming that relationship with with mushrooms and I will say I the last time I went to Vancouver and I went to a festival in on sunshine Sunshine Coast and taking that ferry over around there. Oh my god, it's unbelievable. And the mushrooms there are spectacular. I mean it's it's such a beautiful place. I don't think I could survive the winters but yeah, it's not Do you live in a beautiful area? Yeah. Yeah, I went for Canada to Canada Day and fireworks were everywhere. Everyone was having a blast. I mean, it was the best probably the best day to visit Vancouver on Canada the day and everyone was just partying and having a great time and everyone was super friendly. Sure, the copious amounts of alcohol and fireworks going everywhere helped a bit. But you know, that is, that is the theme that I hear from a lot of people are, you know, people from Canada are generally nicer from then compared to people from the US. And so you talk you gave this phrase called bio data sonification? And I'm just curious if you could define that. Speaker 1 5:28 Yeah, I don't think I said bio data sonification I think I said bio sonification bio sonification is just the sign of it's the listening to have biological processes, which, you know, could be anything and it's in it's actually, you know, the idea I think, for some people, the idea of sauna fIying data is more common these days. If you look at on Instagram, there's, you know, a bunch of artists who have just, you know, they're not just on Instagram, they're doing installations all over the world. But there's a number of artists who are doing work with the, the visualization of let's say, live pollution data from some major city, or, you know, air traffic control data from somewhere, the idea that you can look at data more effectively, if you translate it into a medium that humans are just more comfortable with looking at massive amounts of Matrix style data streaming down, like I don't see any patterns. But when you look at it in the form of a piece of art that's constantly kind of generatively changing, according to certain algorithmic choices, like it's, it's just kind of cooler to look at. And I'm like, Okay, this is a living, breathing piece of art. But I'm trying to do that in and it's not just me, many people are trying to do the same thing with biological information, whether that's bio electric fluctuations, whether that's, I have a friend who just made this beautiful piece of music with the, with spider webs, like looking at the information present in spider webs or movement of animals, it doesn't really matter, you can do the same thing with sunlight, you can do the same thing with shade with wind intensity, looking at one type of information in the form of, you know, art or another type of information, and I just love this, and it's an idea that is not new at all, it's been definitely, you know, since since the era of, you know, the fascination with cybernetics in the 50s and 60s and 70s, and the work of Brian Eno and Terry Riley, all these folks who have looked at generative information as a source of music. And so this is just, you know, another another expression of that, that very old idea. Alex 7:41 So, for people who have never seen any videos on this before and have never seen this this happen. Can you kind of break it down of what tools are using what you know, step by step? How do you go about making this this bio sonification music? Speaker 1 8:00 Yeah, sure, I have a little mini device right next to me. So you can't see this if you're not looking at video. But this is actually one of my friends who's Alex 8:09 not too many wires. Speaker 1 8:12 Just a mini device. Yeah. But basically, the idea is, so what I'm holding right now is a box, it's a metal box that's filled with it almost looks like a mycelium, there's all sorts of it's a modular synthesizer, it's got all sorts of cables that are plugged into little openings, and there's knobs everywhere and all sorts of, you know, when it's plugged in all sorts of flashing lights. And essentially, it's just like looking at the inside of a synthesizer. So what it is, is a sort of almost do it yourself synthesizer, where you plug modules into gives you a lot more control over what the synthesizer is doing. And instead of in a synthesizer, having the wires on the inside the wires on the outside, so you can reroute electrical current however you see fit. And what this particular, you know, this module in particular allows you to do and there's many modules and many solutions to the this this challenge is it allows you to take in basically, you know, a difference between an impedance value. So if I plug, it's like a lie detector, it's actually the exact same as a lie detector. If I, you know, take two cables and run a very small electrical current through my body. As my capacitance changes as the upper impedance of my body changes, there's going to be a slightly different current leaving than came in. And that's going to be due to the impedance of my body and that impedance is going to change over time depending on a number of different things. How my body is using water, what I'm doing, how active I'm being because our bodies are basically just electrons, you know, our bodies, our electrical fields, and there's so many things does that play into what's happening electrically in your body from nerve firing to, you know, all of the different little ionic gradients that are present inside of each of our cells, you know, there's electrical activity happening all the way down to the level of electrons. And all of that is influencing how much current is going to come out of the other side when I'm holding on to these two electrodes. And what these machines do is enable you to convert those differences from one side to the other, and to note changes and rhythm changes. So as my electron is doing stuff, I can sort of listen to it. And there's, then you use a bunch of other devices. And I'm holding this box up again, with all of its cables and knobs and stuff, you use these other things to kind of route that electrical information and turn it into something that's musically pleasing. So it's a little bit of science, and a lot of art. And I find it's a really interesting, you know, satisfying way to bring myself into the present moment to constantly be reminded that we are living breathing things, and that so is everything else. And it kind of gets me more into my body and music just seems to have this magical ability to, at least for me, get me out of my mind. You know, just just to to feel and I have, you know, I get a lot of satisfaction out of this product, this this practice. And it's cool that, you know, some other people do too. And I never expected that that would happen. It's been a really nice surprise to see that that people think it's it's like cool, or fun or hilarious or whatever they think. Alex 11:38 Well, I'm sure you have lots of fun. Taking that through the airport and having TSA. Speaker 1 11:44 This one that I take through the airport is way bigger. It's back there. But yeah, you know what, people don't really give me a hard time about it. I don't know what it is. It looks good. Easy. Yeah. But I almost never get asked to open it up. They're just like, nope, too many cables, like go. Alex 12:03 Wire purple wire wire. Yeah. That's awesome. And then. So the different connections on that box? Would one, for example, be you know, you have the input? And then you wire it over to say, reverb effect, for example? Speaker 1 12:23 Yeah, that's, that's a really good question. So once the bio data comes in, and gets converted into the sort of the language of synthesizers is voltage, modular synthesizers, not digital when you're using a computer, it's a fully different system. But I tend to use modular analog synthesizers. And so you're just sending voltage from one part of the synth to the next. And generally, it starts by hitting an oscillator. an oscillator is just an electrical circuit, which is going back and forth between two states and creating a pitch by a really rapid movement, you know, of, you know, let's say 10,000 cycles per second, going back and forth between two different states in a circuit. And so that's creating a tone. And then once you have a tone, there's all sorts of shaping and stuff you can do with that tone, you can make the tone go on and off, I can send it to I can make the you know, if the if there's a big difference between the bioelectric capacitance between these two electrodes, I can make the note go higher. And if there's less of a difference, I can make it go lower. And I can do sample between different time points, there's so many decisions that you have to make as an artist working with this information. And then once you have a tone, you can do all sorts of other sculpting and send it out to different voices and make harmonies with it, you can, you know, put it through reverbs and delays and and you know, tape simulators and and make whole compositions with the source material being the bioelectric information. And you can also do the same thing with changes in wind information over time, you could also do the same thing with sunlight, you could do the same thing with pollution data from Rio de Janeiro. It's just a way of kind of visualizing or listening to data that's kind of presently being constantly being generated. And this idea of generative music is again like an old one and one that's so fascinating. And it's really cool to kind of bring it all back together by making the source of the generative information, not just some random number generator, but biology. So what is the exact relationship you know, that relationship can be tenuous, the the more algorithms and calculations you make out of it, the less it can quote unquote, mean. But for me, the meaning isn't about like a literal translation of this is happening. So I'm hearing this. It's more like we are connecting and we're making magic here together and the mycelium in the ground is speaking to the mycelium in the synthesizer. Electricity is communicating with electricity and there is a greater kind of Being being created, there's a consciousness being created between myself between the machine between technology between the Earth and there's something about it that's just magic for me. And I don't think I can ever explain it rationally. Alex 15:15 And I've seen videos of people you know, stabbing these probes into fruit and hooking them up to leaves of plants and, and various different mushrooms. And it seems to me like different mushrooms, obviously, and different things have they create different music and tones and, and tempos and things like that? What? What differences have you noticed in your exploration of, you know, forming that relationship with with different mushrooms? Speaker 1 15:48 Yeah, I, I liked the way that you put it forming that relationship. I was having a conversation with a new friend yesterday, Lee Joseph, she wrote wrote a wonderful book, look it up right now. So don't get it wrong. Because I'm very happy to put people in that direction. Oh, come on the Joseph book, you can edit this part out, held by the land is the name of the book. And she's Squamish woman who's from here. And as she's at the moment, doing her doctorate in ethnobotany. And one of the prompts that that I love that that she uses is like, what does it mean to be in relationship with plants or with mushrooms, you know, and I would say I'm still at the very beginning of exploring what that even means. So over the last two years, I've worked with a bunch hundreds of plants and mushrooms, because that's just what I like to do what I enjoy doing. I would say like if you were going to make a blanket statement, plants are definitely more predictable when it comes to bioelectric change. If it's a given time of day, a plant if you you know, work with a plant at, you know, five minutes later, the plant is going to be operating in about the same way in a predictable way, whether it's super active or not active, it's not going to change very much. What I've noticed with mushrooms, is that, you know, go figure, they're extremely unpredictable. And it's very hard to breathe. Yeah, it's like, sometimes they'll go crazy, you know, like crazy with activity, and then they'll just be quiet, like five minutes. And sometimes the same mushroom, when you go back, the next day will be super active. Sometimes it won't be active at all, sometimes when. So I work with mushroom blocks like Roblox quite a bit, especially in the winter, when it's harder to work with, with fresh mushrooms. Those are reliably active, like mushroom blocks, pump out twos, they are just cruising. But when I'm working with mushrooms that are in the ground, sometimes like I was working with some admirable boletes in the fall, and was the first time I've had this work so well where I plugged into one and then I went all the way down like there's almost like a line of mushrooms, of boletes. And I went all the way down the line like 15 feet down the line, and I plugged out of the other and there was still a really strong connection. So it was going through the mycelium underneath the ground and exiting and it was really active. But then other times I'll put like in the same cluster of mushrooms, a really small cluster of mushrooms, I'll go in one cap and try to go out another and there'll be no signal. Or I'll even try to go in through the same cap and there'll be no signal. And so I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that mushrooms are not vascular, they're they're built, you know, fruiting bodies are built from hyphae. And they just don't operate in the same way that plants do. You know, when you're working with a plant, you're working with a whole highly developed vascular system and mushrooms are different. And, you know, it's I think it's a mystery even to people who work with mushrooms. How the bio electricity of mushrooms is, is is operating. I'm not sure if you saw that study, there was a group of I think it was Japanese researchers who studied like a cluster of mushrooms in in the rain last year. And the sample size was super small. I think they're working with a cluster of like seven mushrooms. And it was cool because they found that mushrooms were kind of signaling down the line that when there was rain like okay, there's like a clear bioelectric signal. But what was interesting is that the signal didn't happen until two hours after the rain had started. So there's it's not like something happens. And then boom, you know, like plants. There's been studies that have shown that if you like clip a leaf, there's an impedance change that happens almost immediately. And that same kind of research as far as I know, and I'm learning every day You know, this, this study that happened in Japan last year that year before, like shows that it's not that immediate, it can take time for an electrical signal to propagate down the line of mushrooms. And so it just makes trying to detangle like the meaning of all of this even harder because it's there's so many variables at play. Alex 20:21 And talking about detangling the meaning. I'm sure you're familiar with Andrew Adamski his paper on language of fungi derived from their electrical spiking activity, which, you know, the history is, yeah, we could decode that language and, and actually communicate with fungi or, you know, decode what they're saying. And I just read an article probably a week ago that scientists are now at the kind of a breaking point of understanding whale speak, as well as using AI algorithms to figure out what whales are saying, and now and speaking back to them, which is the wild. Yeah, it reminds me of that researcher who, I can't remember his name, but he was taking a bunch of LSD and he thought he was communicating with dolphins and you know, yeah, and everyone thought he was crazy. But yeah, maybe there's some truth to that. Yeah, you got to be in the flow state to communicate with marine life. And, and it's so funny that you're saying that mushrooms are so unpredictable, because that's just so there are archetype? Yeah, exactly. That's what that's what's. Yeah, they keep you on your toes. A treasure? Yeah, it's yeah. So and So going back to Adam or Andrews paper? What is your thoughts on this? Are you interested in decoding somewhat of a language or you do like the idea of keeping it a mystery? And, you know, and, you know, forming the music without the words, if that makes sense? Speaker 1 22:00 Yeah, it makes sense. I think it's a mix of both. Like, I love reading, I start every day by reading scientific papers. Because there's just so much interesting stuff happening in the realm of bioelectricity of mycology. I find it fascinating. And that's what I grew up studying. Do I think that's the whole picture? Absolutely not. And I don't know actually too many people who are really into mushrooms who do think that's the whole picture. But I think it's an important part of the picture with regards to the the paper and assays paper. I thought it was super cool and creative. And interesting, and why not? You know, why not? Like, I haven't seen a bunch of other papers come out with the same approach. And maybe they're you know, maybe there are people I bioelectricity is such, you know, even though the idea has been thrown around since the 1700s, I'm holding up another book here, just about to finish which is great. It's called we are electric by Sally A D. And it's a really great review, and kind of a pop science type of way of bioelectricity in general. And it's fascinating. And so I mean, the idea goes back a long way, and it's been filled with quacks. But the interesting thing is, it's also been filled with some really insightful and meaningful research. And it's always been hard to, to decode, like, what is just like, just what is like, like, just crazy talk, you know. And I find it all fascinating. I don't think we're even at the cutting edge of Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine, all kinds of hinges around bio Electric Code and bio electric signaling. And I'd say we're probably years away from understanding how that even works in humans. And that's where we spend all of our time you know, humans spend all their time thinking about humans. So where are we at with regards to understanding how it works with mushrooms, like you know, 20 years away 30 years away so I think that every study that comes out especially by really smart people, like like, you know, actual people who you know, our doctors in mycology are definitely worth a read and and superfast. Alex 24:21 You know, you're you're talking about this flow state experience that you get into when you're making music and you know, just shutting your mind off and allowing that magic to happen through that relationship of through first turning off your mind. Right, and there's a Zen phrase that I love that basically, along the lines of the second you name a tree, you stop seeing the tree huh? And it basically is, you know, human language and concepts get in the way of experiencing true reality. And as a biologist, it's such an interesting juxtaposition to deal with of, I love Latin names, and I love you know, categorizing things and naming things and viewing nature from that lens. But on the flip side, I'm a very spiritual person. And I talked to plants I talked to mushrooms. And and when I go into that scientists brain, I, it's very hard for me to have a conversation with plants or like form that relationship or mushrooms, you know. And so it's this, this interesting balance where I, when I go mushroom foraging, like I have to turn off that part of my brain that immediately is like, oh, that's Amanita muscaria, or that's Baba Latin name. And when I do that, I immediately turn off my brain to look at the mushroom in front of me, like all the little intricacies. And the second I say that I know that like, oh, that's boom by name. I know that mushroom. It's like, No, I don't. You know, and it's this. It's like, I don't know if it's considered cognitive dissonance. But it's, it's you. There's a word that I'm thinking of that it's escaping me, but it's, um, it's, it's, yeah, you just stop your thinking, or you stop that connection to that reality. When you make that. When you when you put a label on things, right. And so I'm curious how you approach that, like, as a biologist, but also a musician, right? They're very different parts of your brain and very different relationships that you must have with nature. And how do you Yeah, how do you balance those two things? With the being a musician, and then also reading scientific articles? It's like, Is it hard for you? Is that something that you battle with the think about? Speaker 1 26:52 And that's a good question. I there's another Zen saying, like, first mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers, then mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers, then mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers. And I think that kind of gets at the balance. I'm not saying that I'm an enlightened Zen monk. But there's definitely a balance that's possible, where you're kind of, you know, allowing yourself to dissolve into the moment, but then also able to pick yourself back up and, you know, go buy a chocolate bar, if you're hungry. You know, like, sometimes it doesn't, you know, you need to like kind of be together for one thing, and then you be apart for the other my wife calls when, when we're out foraging, she has a phrase, she calls it masterminds like putting on your mushrooms, you know, like, we're, it's almost like, remember, back in college, there were those posters that you sort of had to like, blur your eyes a bit. And then there was 3d images that would pop out like dinosaurs or something. And I feel like that when I'm out foraging, I feel like I just kind of have to relax my eyes and let them get you know, and everyone knows this, like anyone who's out into you know, foraging knows that you sort of go to this place where you're kind of taking in more, your peripheral vision expands, and you're kind of looking for specific colors, but I'm not like analyzing stuff, you know, I'm kind of going into more more of a flow state. And yeah, with regards to the musical connection there, I think that's where we all love to live, as musicians we love to live in, in that state. And ideally, we're at a place you know, when when we're playing what we're not analyzing it too much, although sometimes you can't help it, I guess. And that's what I love. I'm doing these things. Now I'm playing around with the format, it was just taking a step back for a moment, it was you know, confusing for me at first, I'm 48. I'm not a young person, right and blowing up on tick tock, when you're 48 is like what the hell is even going on. You know, this is like, there's a bunch of kids on this app. Like, I don't understand what to do with this. And you know, I've been in a band for years, and we would have loved it if we would have blown up on Tik Tok. But all of a sudden, I have this like, you know, kind of biology music project. And it's not immediately clear to somebody you know, who spent a lot of time in the music industry, like going viral on the internet does not mean anything really like you go viral on the internet and have a million followers and then try to sell a ticket to a show and you know, 10 people show up like, it doesn't really mean much. So it became like an interesting thought experiment to just explore what would this look like in the real life in real life? Like, how does this 15 second video turn into an experience? Because for me, this 1515 second video is hinting at something that is fundamentally true and beautiful and wonderful. It's not just like a gimmick. It's something that's pointing at an experience that I've had and a reality around bioelectricity and the interconnectedness of everything. So then I started playing around with different formats, like maybe it's a field trip, maybe I get together people, and we go outside and so I've done that, you know, I've done it all over the world where I'll drop a pin in a park and people say sign up online and we bring headphones we go foraging we plug in. And it's really a transcendent, beautiful experience. And then in the fall, I kind of stumbled into this format where we were making mushroom music in a church with like 300 people, and somebody on social media afterwards because the church was available as the venue wasn't because you know, there was no premeditated anything. And on social media afterwards, somebody wrote, like, mushroom church, and I was like, that's a really, that's good. I like the mushroom church idea. So we're actually doing like a formal mushroom church. In a few weeks, by the time you hear this podcast, it will be done. But in Vancouver, we have this big, beautiful cathedral. And it's, you know, we'll have 400 people there. And it's going to be kind of interweaving hard science, with jazz, with poetry, with projection mapping, and basically, like an exploration of that balance of how it's possible with indigenous wisdom, it's possible to hold all of that, in some way. It's not like we have to choose maybe moment to moment, there's little choices being made. But it is possible, I think, to hold it all, and just kind of let it all wash over us. Because, you know, reality is not one of those. It's not like one is real, it's not like the great mystery is real. And all of this, you know, all of the manifestations is not real. It's like they're both real. And we kind of have to just hold it all. And I think, you know, mushrooms funghi that provides such a nice model for being so paradoxical. You know, they're, you know, they're Yeah, they're just so interesting. And they do things in their own way. And it's quite different than the way we humans do things. So it's nice to have the focus be on that. Alex 31:36 I've always said that nature is my church, but that that's pretty damn. Yeah, where do I Where do I sign up for that? Church? Speaker 1 31:46 Yeah, that's great. Yeah, well, come on up. Come on up. We'll be doing this honestly, I've been approached by churches now all over the globe to do similar experiences. So I think I'll be amazing with the idea. Yeah, totally. Alex 31:57 You know, I just went to Portugal a couple months ago, and they had this like psychedelic art show inside of a church. And I think all drugs are decriminalized in Portugal. And it was just, it was very psychedelic. And such a wild experience, to have this extremely psychedelic art show inside of a church. And there was one moment where they had I think, like 20 projectors all around the church. So the walls and the ceilings and everything words, live projections. And there was one moment in the show where they had like mycelium creeping up the walls. And I'm like, this is sick. This is awesome. So just an idea if you want to do you want to incorporate some projector mycelium crawling up walls in your in your new church, that? That yeah, there you go. Unknown Speaker 32:50 That's very cool. And so Alex 32:54 to go further with this analogy of like, church, and mushrooms, being the preachers and giving sermons and things like that, and going back to like having conversations with plants and mushrooms, you probably I would guess, have just such an intimate relationship with all these different types of fungi and all these different formats. Do you feel like you have gotten messages from certain species of fungi or mushrooms that that you now have a better understanding? Like through entering that flow state? In that experience? Like, have you? Have you gotten messages from the mushrooms in that musical space? Speaker 1 33:35 That's a good question. I don't feel I feel like I'm at the very beginning of this journey. You know, like, there's just so much further to go and so many layers of socialization, to let go of, I feel like I've had very strong messages from nature. But not, I feel like that, you know, one of the next steps and I've been thinking about this a lot and chatting, chatting about it with friends. But one of the next steps is to just like, I'm just skipping around for a moment here. I remember reading Monica Gagliano, his book, I think it was thus spoke the plant. And she's talking about DFS, and how she's done these DFS in the jungle where she's only having a relationship with one plant eating one plant thinking about one plant and living with one plant for like a month. And then by the end of that month, she has a relationship she can hear and talk and you know, they're, they're communicating. I have not done that process and that feels it sounds so beautiful and scary to me honestly, like I'm scared of committing like that. And I think my human consciousness make so many excuses you know, like I think are my egos is like sort of afraid of allowing him you know, a mushroom or a plant that intimately, but it's something I'm super interested in, and I will continue to explore. So I don't think, you know, I think I'm at the beginning again, I think I'm a noob I'm exploring, I'm having fun, but I can feel what's there. Alex 35:24 My herbalism teacher many, many years ago, he taught some university classes, and, you know, it was the middle of winter. And so snow outside, were inside, you know, a classroom. So, you know, you had the porcelain floors and fluorescent lights, and it's very, not it not the perfect environment to have, you know, that that sort of spiritual relationship with plants, but they, and they brought in, like, potted plants, you know, so even further removed from nature, right. And they brought in someone with a frame drum and, and he said, I, we're, we're gonna practice forming a relationship with these plants. And he said, it doesn't matter who you are, and what you're experienced with, with connecting with plants. He's like, I don't care if you've never gone outside in your entire life. By the end of this class, you will have some sort of insight or some sort of relationship, I guarantee it. And you know, the class, there's some people in there that were, you know, like Jim bros, you know, they're like, Yeah, whatever, dude. Like, yeah, like not buying this hippie stuff. And then yeah, and, you know, we gotten circles, split it up, and everyone, you know, had like, groups of maybe five sit around a plant and the trance drumming starts coming in and, and guided meditation, and, you know, the instructions were just like, clear your mind and, and pay attention to what comes up. And it was funny hearing all the different experiences of people. And one of the one of the main similarities for so many people is they didn't think that it was a message. And so, you know, one example that was that I can think of right off the bat was someone was like, Yeah, I didn't, I didn't really, like hear anything, or I didn't get any message. Like all i All I saw was like, red. And it was just kind of like moving. And that's it. And they're like, yeah, it wasn't anything. And he was like, well, this plant that you're sitting with helps blood flow. And you literally just saw blood flow. And they're like, what, you know, and so it and he was like, yeah, like pay attention, you know, like those, what you what you write off is just kind of meaningless. Sometimes it's really meaningful, you know, and, obviously, sometimes our minds are great at making up stories that aren't true. Mine does it all the time. But my mind is really good at making up stories that are true, but but I think there's there for anyone listening, I think there it I think we all have the innate ability to connect with the world around us as biological organisms. And, you know, and we're all in our beginning stages at every moment to to keep exploring that, that connection, and switching gears entirely to the more technical aspects. Most of the stuff that I've I've heard and most of the videos that I've watched of people, you know, doing this, the sound that I hear is very eight bit, you know, it's very like, yeah, I don't have any more words to describe the beeps and bops sound very eight bit it sounds very, like 80s You know, 80s video game kind of style, is it you know, I'm you're talking about you know, hooking these these these sounds into, you can bend the sounds into many different ways and add reverb and, you know, add these different things. Have you tried hooking them up to like a MIDI instrument sounds? So it sounds like a saxophone or it sounds like something else. Like I yeah, I Speaker 1 39:17 have, like, you could totally do that. 100%. And I'm sure I'm sure there are people doing that. Like, literally as we speak, there's somebody plugged into a planter mushroom somewhere making it sound like a saxophone. I'm willing to bet my life on it. There's so many people experimenting with this idea at the moment. I just don't do a lot of MIDI stuff. So my stuff does sound like bleeps and bloops because those are the oscillators that happen to be in my rack. But yeah, I think it's really important to point out that you know, mushroom music is a fine name for it. But really what we're listening to is mushroom electricity as listened to through music. Changes in mushroom bio electric But that does just doesn't have the same hook on a tick tock video. So yeah, it's important to be clear that and you know, Monica Gagliano coming back to her again, she great researcher and great thinker. You know, she says that there's a danger like of, you know, mushrooms have a voice, right, and so do plants. And not only do they have that kind of metaphorically, they also literally we, you know, there's new research that the whole tomato plant screaming thing has been around, you know, people have been doing research on this for, you know, at least 10 or 15 years, wherever they, you know, they find that there's the sound of like cavitation, like water bubbles in tomato plant when it's not watered, or there's like super high pitched frequencies and super low pitch frequencies that are being made by plants. And so I think it's important to note that plants and mushrooms are actually making sounds of their own, and, and in anthropomorphizing it too much with the mushroom music and the plant music thing, we are kind of robbing them, there's a violence involved with robbing them of their own voice that said, you know, somebody who makes a lot of plant machine music videos, I'm like, Okay, I understand that. And I feel like, the wonder that's created is just like data visualization. You know, it's like, yes, we are sort of, you know, all we're doing is looking at beautiful pictures that the pollution data from Rio de Janeiro is, is creating is being translated as then maybe there's a danger that we're going to forget that pollution is actually a problem, and we should pay attention to it. But I tend to think that the visibility that is coming from the art that's being made from the state is actually bringing more awareness of the pollution thing. I think it's doing more harm or more good than harm. And I kind of think the same thing with mushroom videos. Like I think interrupting people's Doom scrolling with a little bit of natural beauty. Alex 41:57 Yeah, Unknown Speaker 41:58 is essential. Alex 42:01 Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah, we're, I feel like most people are pretty addicted to social media, me included, and to find ways to use it, that also benefits you in the same way and kind of interrupt that Doom scrolling with helpful posts, like inspirational quotes or, you know, posts to inspire you to get into nature. You know, the more the merrier. I think. I think it's, it's, it's always it's such a double edged sword with technology. Yeah, Speaker 1 42:36 yeah, it's a lifeline. Like, I think you there's no, we're not going to be technology, technology is not going anywhere. So if there is some kind of a little anchor that we can throw into the Maelstrom that is social media, that reminds us to get outside and do something real, then I think, for me, that's a positive. So if you Alex 42:56 had unlimited funds, Time Team, all all the fancy music equipment that you could possibly imagine, what would you do besides open this mushroom church and potentially global level? Mushroom? Church Speaker 1 43:10 chain? Oh, I don't think I want to do that. That sounds that sounds creepy. A little I mean, I love I love some elements of cults, but, you know, no desire to be involved any more deeply than I already am. Music? Yeah, what would I do with limitless funds? I kind of feel like I'm in a state in my life where I mean, I feel like I can do whatever I want. It's not like I'm super rich or anything. But I've just, you know, I made a decision a long time ago to not worry about that stuff. And if you Alex 43:46 have that freedom, I think you're the richest man in the world. Speaker 1 43:50 Yeah, it means that, you know, you you never really, you know, there's a certain amount of risk that is associated with, you know, like, I made a decision when I was, when I was 33, which is 15 years ago, I let go of the last vestiges of my day job and did music full time. And since then, it's kind of been like I made a decision back then, you know, to do what I loved, and I'm still doing what I loved. And so I would probably have more synthesizers, I'd probably have, instead of just having a room full, which I have here, you know, there might be like five rooms full. I would definitely, definitely be spending more time on the actual translation technology. I think right now, everyone is basically using the work of Sam Koosman is a good friend of mine. And he made an open source code to change bio electricity to, you know, to musical information, like in the early 2000s. And literally everyone is using the same thing. There hasn't been a whole lot of research on how that could be better and Sam is 100% down to do that research. So a little bit more on the technical side. But honestly, I don't think things would change that she would just keep on being passionate about what I'm passionate about. Alex 44:59 Love it. And, but before we plug your music and go into a music interlude where can people you know, follow you on Tik Tok and online? I know you're about to do it a Europe tour and you got events and parks and things like that, where where can people tap into this is magic? Speaker 1 45:20 Yeah, I will, I would love to meet you in person. And we I'm doing a bunch of field trips in Europe in May and different festivals, I guess the website modern biology dot XYZ is a good starting point. And then I'm on Instagram. For some reason, I still have like my, you know, when you get stuck with a handle, I had a handle, like as a joke, you know, and now that handle is actually my handle and I'm like, it doesn't really mean anything. But on Instagram, if you search for modern biology, you'll probably find me and on Tik Tok as well. Alex 45:52 Nice. So, let's transition to your music. I don't know we're not doing it live because it's it's winter there. So I'm gonna get one of your recordings and we'll have the editor splice it in so I don't know what you're gonna give me so I I'll probably listen it at the same time as the listeners do so it should be great. I'm excited to listen to it and I'm excited for people to if you haven't heard it before, or you have to just sit back maybe you're listening to this in the morning so you're having a cup of coffee and just listen to some mushroom music Speaker 1 46:25 so yeah, I would love I would love to leave you with mushroom dance it's a it's a track that I made with a red belted comp mushroom which is one of the most combinations we have up here big poly poor and in the forest very close to my house in Vancouver? Alex 49:22 Well that is a wrap thank you so much. Thank you for tuning in and tuning in to another episode of the mushroom revival podcast we can do it that you love all the support from all around the world everyone tuning in from whatever country whatever city love you so much and if you want to support the show if you if you like what you're listening to, and you learn something from this episode or another episode, spread the word you know let's get more people into mushrooms and nature in general. So tell your friends family get out into the woods. Next time you're at the grocery store telephone fact to the the checkout person or the beggar and get them interested in mushrooms and nature and the more people connecting the better. And if you want to support we don't have a Patreon or any anything but we do have a website mushroom revival.com We have a whole list of organic functional mushroom products from gummies to capsules, powders, tinctures and check that out we have a special VIP coupon code for listeners. Only for listeners of this podcast and that coupon code is is pod treat for a surprise discount code. If you don't want to spend any money we have a giveaway going on. And we pick one lucky listener every month to go home with a little goodie bag of some products and as well as we have a bunch of free resources on our site a ton of blogs from recipes to you know education about psilocybin to ecology of mushrooms and and many more topics bunch of ebooks that you can download for free. And my newest book The Little Book of mushrooms is on there as well. little cute coffee table book covering 75 different mushrooms with a bunch of beautiful pictures as well. And with that, thank you for tuning in. Much Love Me the spores be with you Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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