The Secret Sound of Spores, a musical installation

Mycologists estimate that during its lifetime, a single mushroom will drop as many as 16 billion of its seed-like spores. You can capture these spores on paper if you take a spore print (instructions here), but in nature, the slightest wind carries the spores far and wide.

In a breath-taking sound and art installation that we first learned about on Paddestoelen paradijs, Edinborough artist Yann Seznec, aka The Amazing Rolo, worked with Patrick Hickey, founder of Nipht Technologies, to create music from mushroom spores as they fall.

He explains it really succinctly in these two videos:

[Secret Sounds of Spores: Introduction from The Amazing Rolo on Vimeo.]

[The Sporenspiel and the Poppypods from The Amazing Rolo on Vimeo.]

You can see and hear the installation in action in Glasgow in February 2011 in this video:

[Secret Sounds of Spores at The Arches from The Amazing Rolo on Vimeo.]

I really love this project. It takes the everyday (in this case, a mushroom) and makes me feel as though I’m witnessing its existence in another dimension. I also find it really beautiful: The spores look like snow gently falling.

Seznec mentioned that he would be interested in taking the installation elsewhere. (He visited San Francisco in 2009). I would be very curious how much it would cost to bring Seznac to Portland! What do you think?

–Lola Milholland

[Featured image in the blogroll from the Flickr set: The Secret Sound of Spores Spectacular!]

One Response to “The Secret Sound of Spores, a musical installation”
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  1. […] Rolo, the very person who made the phenomenal Secret Sound of Spores installation we wrote about here. […]

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