Explorations of bioelectricity, Indian raga, and analog synthesis. Modern Biology is the new project of veteran musician and community organizer Tarun Nayar. Trained formally in Indian Classical music and educated as a biologist, Nayar has spent the better part of the last 15 years touring and making electronic music with his band Delhi 2 Dublin. Modern Biology sees him turn a new leaf by bringing his passions together for the first time in an ambient project that is organismic, immediate, uplifting, and deeply contextual.
Taking to social media, Nayar plugs cables into nature's elements like mushrooms, trees, or leaves, that all seem to be singing a song of their own. The harnessed effect is mesmerizing, and you can't help but feel awe'd by his blend of art and science within the sounds. To date, his work has been viewed 10's of millions of times on TikTok (@modernbiology), featured by Genius, High Snobiety, Okay Player, and Homegrown.in among others. His ambient works even opens the new album, Moonchild Era, by Punjabi star Diljit Dosanjh.
@modernbiology musical transmissions from a sword fern 🌿 #ambient #plantsoftiktok #plantmusic #synthtok #musiciansoftiktok ♬ original sound - modernbiology
@modernbiology The mysterious #amanitamuscaria mushroom (a baby!) 🍄✨ Comment of you’d like more #mushroom #plantsoftiktok #plantmusic #synthtok #musiciansoftiktok ♬ original sound - modernbiology
Using various techniques, Nayar derives sounds through the bioelectricity of plants and Earth’s natural resonance that is beyond the audible spectrum of the human ear. The process uses infinitesimal changes in the natural electric resistance of the plants, or in the case of mushrooms, fungi. Home built synthesizers and other analog equipment, are then used to improvise with the natural vibrations of a certain place and time to create such audible notes.
“It’s not as complicated as it seems,” Nayar told VICE in a recent article. “The plants are not creating any music themselves. I use the movement of water inside these plants as electrical resistance. So when I plug circuit cables to them, even small changes in the said resistance due to the plant’s natural bioelectric charge manifest as notes of music.”
Nayar’s performances are an effort to bring the listener into the present moment through vibration, space, and connection. With a new album recently released featuring a number of plant collaborations, the project titles Plant Music Vol 1 has received Spotify editorial support on their Music for Plants, Deep Listening, and Lava Lamp playlists.
It’s easy to forget that the world is in fact alive with so much happening around us. Modern Biology brings a renewed sense of wonder to listeners, reminding us that nature has a song of its own to sing.
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