Tarun Nayar has taken his love for music to another level. Born to an immigrant Indian father in French Canada and a white Canadian mother, Tarun is trained in Indian classical music and had legendary Indian sitar maestro and composer Ravi Shankar as his mentor. His interest in electronic music and vibrations in music led him to co-found the Canadian band Delhi 2 Dublin in 2006. Nowadays, Nayar spends his time making music out of mushrooms in the most natural way. His Instagram videos show him plugging alligator clips to mushroom heads, leaves or any other parts of a plant to create music using the ‘movement of water inside these plants as electrical resistance.’ Talking to VICE about his newfound interest, Nayar said: ‘It’s not as complicated as it seems. I use various techniques to harness the bioelectricity of the plants and Earth’s natural resonance that is beyond the audible spectrum of the human ear.’
Tarun Nayar has a studio with circuits and gear to specifically make music out of plants at his home.
Explaining the process of creating music using the infinitesimal changes in the natural electric resistance of mushrooms or plants, Nayar told VICE: ‘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 said that to translate plants’ energy levels into audible tones, he uses his lessons from Indian classical music training. ‘I learned that Indian classical music is heavily influenced by vibrations. When we interpret this electronically, through circuits and gears, the output is magical. If I’m working in the mornings, I’ll play ‘Raga Bhairavi’ (morning raga). I’ll probably use a note from it. So, just dwelling on certain notes helps me get even more involved at the moment,’ he said.
Nayar’s videos have gone viral on social media but he says that the project is only for himself. ‘There is so much happening around us that we tend to forget the world is alive to us. If anything, this practice has renewed my sense of wonder,’ he told VICE.
Tarun Nayar is the Executive Director of 5X Festival – a South Asian festival – a member of Vancouver’s Music City Task Force and also on board of Vancouver’s New Forms Festival.