Plant Music

Music created from the electrical signals of plants.

The Garden still plays a role in plant science, medicine and wellbeing today.

Last year, the Garden worked with award-winning composer Helen Anahita Wilson on an exciting project. ‘Linea Naturalis’ was a piece of music to help individuals undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Helen took 28 bioelectric recordings of the micro-electric fluctuations of plants used in anti-cancer treatments and chemotherapy, turning them into a 45-minute soundscape.  This included Madagascan periwinkle, which has yielded compounds used to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma and some types of leukaemia, and English yew, whose extracts have led to chemotherapy drugs for breast and ovarian cancer. Each plant had a unique signal, affected by light, temperature or wound healing, which Helen then converted into audible sound and layered into a final composition.

You find out more and watch an interview with Helen and Nell our Head of Plant Collections below.