Lille at Centre Culturel Libertaire was a great start to the tour - a collective space with an anarchist bent; lots of friendly people. We met and heard the incredible Melodie playing music with plants: By using plants to complete oscillator circuits she produces a range of sounds... If the circuit is completed with both wires in the same leaf it's a high pitch; the further apart the leaves the deeper the sound. Eventually the plants stop producing noise (presumably because they think the sharp wires are insects) by sending acid to the area: The acid cuts the signal and she has to start again... Hibiscus is her favourite plant sound.
I asked her if she ever asks audience members to bring plants from home so they can hear what they sound like but she told me it doesn't really work - people don't bring them or they discuss the idea and - as in the case of someone willing to offer their orchid as band member - they decided against it because the orchid was in flower, a vulnerable stage in its life cycle so it was likely to lose its flowers... Another project of Melodie's which I've not listened to yet is Plants vs Animals: Her plant music, field recordings of animals, a talented vocalist and a trumpeter. A future project inspired by a deep hum she couldn't source whilst practicing is to be Plants vs Construction sounds...
Anyway, I urge you to have a listen and read more about it - her idea has me feeling excited and inspired. Us humans are total nutters.
Check her out!
"Musique experimentale avec des plantes"
Also playing were Paper Planes, a post-rock band from Frankfurt - all lovely guys and a great set from them too.
CCL Lille website: http://lille.cybertaria.org