Mushrooms don’t dare to lie – Science – Kommersant

Mushrooms of the genus Cordyceps are well known to people: they are used in traditional Chinese medicine to overcome fatigue, improve immunity and male performance. The musicians made these mushrooms participate in electronic music.

The contractor selected mushrooms of the species Cordiceps militaris, military cordyceps. In nature, they parasitize on certain types of insects: from the unfortunate creatures, a fruit body suddenly grows, exceeding the size of the carrier itself.

But at home for growing military cordyceps, you can pick up a substrate and not from insects. An experimental musician nicknamed MycoLyco (in fact, this is a serious researcher, mycologist) put a colony of cordyceps in a large plastic bath and connected a device to it to convert biological data (biorhythms) into sounds. And in order to collect this bio-data, the experimenters passed a weak current through the colony of cordyceps – exactly as if the musician decided to test the mushrooms with a lie detector. The current varied depending on the conductivity of the mushrooms, and a varied signal was generated.

The signal received from the mushrooms was then processed on a synthesizer – and a musical expression was obtained. You can even joke (in connection with the lie detector) that the mushroom piece of music is definitely devoid of falsehood.

Military cordyceps are not the only mushrooms to play electronic music. Using the same technology of sound production, a species of mushroom with the Latin name Pleurotus djamor participated in the creation of musical works. This species, unlike cordyceps, has a Russian name – pink oyster mushroom. This mushroom is not only edible, but it can also be grown on a mushroom farm like many other oyster mushrooms or champignons.

Probably, not only mushrooms can be made to sing using this technology – any plant. Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have learned how to turn the vibrations of the web into notes. The result is music somewhat reminiscent of the works of Philip Glass.

MycoLyco explains that mushroom music is most useful for those practicing yoga meditation. With regret, he admits that at the end of the experiment, he eats the musicians.

Leonty Krivov



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