Revelers joining the 50th anniversary webcast of the Ann Arbor Hash Bash on April 3 are in for a unusual way to use marijuana. Guitarist Tom Wall will be jamming with plants.
Wall, an experimental musician and marijuana enthusiast, will play "florganoleptic" music with his plants and with his band the Cosmic Knot as part of the event. Wall has been experimenting with plant music for several years, and florganoleptic is a word Wall has coined to describe his musical interactions with plants. Aloe Vera, pine trees and marijuana have all been part of the explorations. Wall connects electrodes to the plant's root and to a leaf to generate the plant music.
Generating music from the electronic signature of plants is a not so uncommon practice. What sets Wall apart is he brings the plants into the band. He plays along. Or as Wall has experienced, the plant plays along with him. Whenever Wall begins playing along the notes generated by the plant, the plants notes begin moving into harmony with him.
"It tries to manipulate, almost into what you are playing," says Wall.
Wall and his co-experimenters are knocking on the door to the idea of plant consciousness, working with musicians and scientists to "take the hokey out of it," although Walls seems pretty convinced based on his experiences.
And then there's the marijuana side of this. Wall was convinced of the medical properties of marijuana after watching his father. "The reason I found myself so deeply involved with cannabis was its medicinal power. I have a father who had over 10 spinal surgeries. He used cannabis as one of his main ways of medicating. Through that I learned how to use it as medicine. ... I found that cannabis is one of the most powerful healing tools we have available in our lives currently, and that's not changing anytime soon."
Wall formerly ran a grow store and now does therapeutic horticulture consultations. During the run up to legalization in Michigan, he supported the drive and helped raise money for it in his west Michigan community. Along the way, he has developed some of his own strains. On Saturday he'll be jamming with Cosmic Splooge, his own strain, as well as with Gorilla Glue #4.
"When this first started I could have gone to jail just for having a plant, and now I get to jam with them," says Wall. "We are really already in tune with those plants, and to see them adapt to what we do. It's interesting that plants are really conscious to a degree."
Stevie Wonder took a Journey into the "Secret Life of Plants" back in 1979. Wall is on a journey that may well reveal those secrets to all of us.
The Hash Bash rally starts at noon on Saturday, April 3. It can be viewed at facebook.com/groups/AnnArborHashBash.
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