A modular synthesist has harnessed the power of a mushroom’s bioelectricity to create a viral modular synth track.
Tarun Nayar – who is formally trained in Indian Classical music and educated as a biologist – recorded 'Mushroom Dance' with a red-belted conk; a type of stem decay fungus that was found growing on an old fir tree in the forest near his house.
The Canadian-Indian musician's Modern Biology project uses modular synthesis along with homemade synths and other analogue gear "to improvise with the natural vibrations of a certain place and time – via plant bioelectricity, latent electromagnetic radiation, and even the earth’s resonant hum". Like human skin, a mushroom skin possesses electrical properties which can be transposed into sound.
Nayar used the bioelectricity, or biorhythms, of the mushroom "to inform the main synth lead line by using small changes in conductivity to trigger note changes in the synth".
Check out the 'Mushroom Dance' single and watch the TikTok clip along with video of Nayar at work below.