By Diana-Ashley Krach
Loretta Hord, founder of Cannatunes ™, takes the concept of plant appreciation to new heights by creating music from florae.
Using special instruments to pick up on a plant’s frequencies (a visual can be found on YouTube), Hord draws melodies from plants and orchestrates tours that educate. The result: a multi-sensory experience described as “sound healing.”
Sound healing has been around since the beginning of recorded history: the first person to use it was Pythagoras, circa 500 B.C., when he used the flute and lyre for curative purposes. Using harmonious melodies help soothe the mind and body, creating a healing impact on a cellular level.
With a background in environmental law and education, Hord found ways to generate real relationships with plants, making it possible for cannabis users to learn, listen and communicate before consuming.
Emerald: How did your background in environmental education and reiki healing lead to creating soundscapes with plants?
LH: When I was studying environmental law in college, I was introduced to a number of researchers who had been studying plant sentience since the late 70s. Their work germinated some ideas in my mind about the extent to which we can fully understand and communicate with the wisdom of plants through language. While on tour years later as an environmental educator, I became aware of the possibility of creating soundscapes from the electrical data [garnered from] plants. My previous research into sound healing and cymatics, combined with this new ability to make soundscapes from landscapes and individual plants,
blossomed into my company
Emerald: Do you have a favorite strain to make music with, or a favorite song you have made?
LH: While working with cannabis, as opposed to other plants, I find that this species reflects more often the personality and character within. For example, sativa strain soundscapes tend to be more busy and fast, while indica’s tones are more mellow. The “Trainwreck Groove Pulse” is one of my favorites for this [reason.]
Emerald: How would you explain the technology you use to make the soundscapes?
LH: Much like an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine, the electrical data is received and then translated into musical notes. Two nodes are placed on the plant and the biorhythmic impulses are turned into data that can be translated into music.
Emerald: How do soundscapes allow for deeper connections with a cannabis plant?
LH: Back when I was a cannabis farmer, I used to daydream of a world where people could have the intimate connections to the cannabis plant that I was experiencing. There was a relationship there, and I wanted to share it.
Cannatunes’ ™ goal is to be a conduit and translator between people and the healing knowledge within the plant world — sound vibration and frequency.
It is what holds together the very existence of our reality and by showing the cannabis plants use and relationship with these laws of nature, more tangible relationships with the plant can be created. The idea of having a conversation with a tree or a flower has been relegated to dream states or hallucinogenic experiences. As an interpreter of plant consciousness; Cannatunes ™ allowed the transmission of the idea of tapping into the data of cannabis plants while using music as a language.
Emerald: What is your typical process when creating a multimedia experience with cannabis?
LH: [It] begins with spending time with the cannabis plant and the grower first. Understanding the characteristics and personality of the strain through its genetics, growth cycle, and environment is crucial to my process as well as finding out from the grower their experience and relationship with the plant.
These factors help me interpret the musical data to reflect the integrity of the plant and the complexity of the strain profile. When the plant is happy and healthy, you can hear it in the content being produced. In those situations, the music tends to be consistent and complex, however when the plant is not at its best, the tones vary in erratic ways and can be less consistent.
I often use sound healing instruments, like singing bowls, to prompt the plants into melodic environments where they may feel more comfortable to be creative. These interspecies collaborations between me and the plants do at times seem like jam sessions, where we are getting to know each other’s style of play and coordinating with harmonious overlaps.
Emerald: In what ways can a brand in this industry incorporate Cannatunes ™ with their products?
LH: From the very beginning, I’ve been intrigued with the notion of being able to listen to cannabis strain profiles before purchase in dispensaries. Not to mention listening to the frequencies while consuming the cannabis as well! I want to live in a world where we can receive healing from cannabis through sound and frequency and the brands have an incredible opportunity to create strain specific musical libraries of past harvests. By working with a brand’s farmers to highlight notable strains of theirs, we can offer new paradigms for experiential marketing.
Emerald: What is the most surprising element for people experiencing the soundscapes for the first time?
LH: Being part of events like “Immersion Denver” was a wonderful opportunity to share my knowledge on cannabis plant sentience. The reactions and questions from the participants only made it more exciting by engaging with the plants one-on-one. We had people rubbing crystals on the plant to extract different tones out of the plant as well as caressing the fan leaves.
Instinctively, the participants know the plant holds wisdom inside of it and they come to find a new respect for the plant’s integrity and life essence. Whether through touching, singing along, or allowing the sound to wash over them, everyone wanted to know more on how they could continue this new paradigm of cannabis interaction.
Emerald: Where can people find your public installations?
LH: This summer and fall, Cannatunes ™ will be collaborating with cannabis farms to create more live events as well as producing a web series to delve deeper into the process. Check us out on twitter and Instagram @Cannatunes for updates!
For more information — and to hear Cannatune’s soundscapes — visit Cannatunes