Manchester based musicians ‘Bionic and the Wires’ have invented a machine (the world’s  first?) that enables a living plant to play a real live musical instrument. The group performs their  first performance with a plant and its specially made bionic arms at the Castlefield Viaduct on  20th April. 

Bionic and the Wires are a Manchester based collective that create electronic music with  plants. Their compositions combine botanical rhythms with atmospheric textures and  soundscapes created by synthesisers. The music explores the interplay between plants and  music and encourages new ways of thinking about the natural world. Bionic and the Wires  consists of Andy Kidd on the keyboard and synthesizer and Jon Ross on the plants. 

All plants create electrical bio-signals from natural processes like photosynthesis. Bionic and  the Wires attach sensors to the plant leaves to capture these pulses which are transformed by  music making equipment into electricity to power robotic plant ‘arms’. The machine builds on  inventions such as the Plantwave device that have been around for a few years, but they’ve  

taken it to a new level so the plant can literally play an instrument. As part of their performance they have taught the plant how to play a steel handpan drum and even a violin  

Jon from Bionic and the Wires said: “we’ve spent many months researching and developing the  new bionic robot arms. It’s exciting to think that with this invention we may have opened up the  opportunity for a whole new genre of music. Maybe it’s called bionica!?”


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