Action Pyramid – “Plant Playback”
TX: Monday, 21st August, midday – 12.30pm + Wednesday, 23rd August, 6pm – 6.30pm
The sounds of aquatic plant photosynthesis interpreted.
Taking inspiration from the mixtape format, where versioning and remixing are common tropes, Plant Playback presents sections of subaquatic source material, each initially in a raw unprocessed state, followed by sonic diversions exploring the inherent rhythmic and harmonic properties of these sounds.
Interview excerpts with researchers specialising in freshwater bioacoustics, as well as computer-processed interpretations of the sonic data, such as audio-to-MIDI capture, further illustrate a personal quest to understand and appreciate the complexity and strange unknowable nature of these sounds.
With special thanks to acoustic ecologists Camille Desjonquères, Gea van de Lee, and Jack Greenhalgh for their time and expertise on the subject.
Tom Fisher is a sound artist and musician based in the marshy edge-lands of North East London. Working primarily under the name Action Pyramid his projects vary from site-specific sound installation and headphone based works for galleries and museums, to experimental radio works, music and documentary.
With a background in electronic music and audio production his creative practice involves using sound and composition to re-examine and reconsider our surroundings, looking at the relationship between ourselves and the nonhuman, and our part in the wider ecologies of landscapes. With a multitude of recording techniques, often aimed at exploring and re-interpreting the seemingly unnoticed and unheard elements of our surroundings, he looks to present compositional and spatial expressions of these acoustic phenomena in a way that attempts to offer up alternative perspectives regarding perceptions of scale, hierarchical bias and the interconnectedness of living things.
Plant Playback – Sound Sources
- Yellow Water-Lily, River Lea – 7th May 2021 (00:00)
- Patch of Yellow Water Lilies, River Lea – 28th May 2023 (04:05)
- Patch of Yellow Water Lilies, River Lea – 28th May 2023 – Pitched down by 350% (06:05)
- Hornwort, Garden bucket – 26th August 2022 (08:01)
- Hornwort, Garden bucket – 26th August 2022 – Pitched down by 700% (08:58)
- Unidentified aquatic plant (plus water snail and towpath cycles), River Lee Navigation – 17th August 2016 (12:59)
- Yellow Water-Lily, River Lea – 24th September 2021 (15:23)
- Water Mint, Walthamstow Wetlands – 14th February 2023 – Pitched down by 700% (16:49)
- Unidentified aquatic plant, Stepney City Farm Pond 18th May 2023 – Pitched down by 370% (18:19)
- Various aquatic plants & insects (plus London underground), Mile End Park Pond – 18th May 2023 (19:19)
- Yellow Water-Lily, River Lea – 26th May 2023 (20:42)
- Patch of Yellow Water-Lilies, River Lee Navigation – 26th May 2023 (23:54)
- Yellow Water-Lily, River Lea – 26th May 2023 (26:25)
- Yellow Water-Lily, River Lea – 24th September 2021 (27:54)
- Various aquatic plants & insects, River Waveney 31st May 2020 (30:00)
- Yellow Water-Lily, River Lea – 7th May 2021 (30:31)
- Aquatic insect chorus and single Yellow Water-Lily – 28th May 2023 – Pitched down by 360% (32:36)