Trained Biologist Captures Plant Music

The bioelectricity of plants and trees can be made into music.

Music is everywhere, even in trees and bushes.

Tarun Nayar is a trained biologist. He is also a musician. He likes to make music with the help of bioelectric pulses he has recorded from living plants and fungi. He also is interested in integrating the sounds of wild places such as old-growth forests. He wants people to be fascinated by and aware of the sounds of wild places and the plants and fungi that grow there.

Kimberley Mok wrote an article for the May 2, 2023 issue of Treehugger about Nayar and the music he makes with the help of plants. Nayar is a Canadian who works under the name Modern Biology.

Besides being a trained biologist, he also was formally trained from childhood in Indian classical music. At one time, he toured full-time with a band. Then the Covid pandemic arrived and put an end to that activity.

He didn’t let the pandemic sidetrack him. Instead, he used that time to build his own synthesizers in the northern part of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. He also learned more about modular synthesis. He researched how plants were used in musical compositions in earlier years.

He told Mok, “Literally everything is surging with electricity and vibration, and this composition technique taps into that.”

He connects fungi and other plants to equipment that converts their bioelectricity into musical information. As the equipment picks up small changes in a plant’s electrical resistance, those sounds are converted into pitch and rhythm changes on a synthesizer. He also uses ambient electromagnetic radiation and other sounds from the environment. He overlays those sounds with his own original compositions.

Nayer gives live performances outdoors and indoors as well. During the challenging times in which we live, he believes that hearing the music of nature can help us feel less lonely and disconnected.

His latest album is called Field Notes. It took him over two years to create. You can listen to some of his music, under the name Modern Biology, on several social media sites, among them YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. Go to to listen to some of Nayar’s music. On TikTok, his performance is titled “This Tree Is Playing a Concert.”

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