Reality and fiction are mixed in this experiment that sets up a dialogue between a Finnish tango piece and an aspen leaf in the Finnish midsummer forest. The piece was shown as a rear projection on a transparent screen 70 x 39,4 cm hanging from the ceiling. A piece of paper from the 17th century with a water stamp was hung in a frame beside the screen. The piece was named “Empty Leaf”, and was lit from behind with a bulb.
A Fool’s Experiment
We all know that plants respond to light, gravity and touch.
But is there any merit in performing tango to them?
The German scientist Gustav Theodor Fechner claimed already in 1848
that plants have souls, and that they enjoy the sound of music and conversation.
In a 1986 interview, England’s Prince Charles discussed his gardening habits,
commenting “I just come and talk to the plants, really.
Very important to talk to them; they respond.”
Charles Darwin was similarly open-minded.
He once noted that seedlings appeared to be sensitive
to the vibrations of the table on which their pots were standing.
Intrigued, he devised what he called “a fool’s experiment”
to see if the seedlings responded to sound.
“I shan’t be easy till I’ve tried it,” he told his son Francis.
But when Darwin’s son Francis played his bassoon to the plants,
the results were inconclusive.
More recently, evidence has emerged that some sounds may cause subtle changes
in some plants at some stages of their life cycles.
The following experiment
was executed by MFA and researcher of alternative facts M. Levlin
during midsommer 24th of June 1917 in Kelvenne, Päijänne National park.
A setup was created where a dialogue was made possible between an aspen leaf and
an orchestra starring Olavi Virta performing the tango Syysillan unelma (1948) .
The aim of the survey was to examine
whether the leaf would respond to the original Finnish tango or not.