MOTHER EARTHS PLANTASIA CHAGED MY WORLD
By Finn DiSisto
Mother Earth’s Plantasia by Mort Garson is the most brilliant and colorful album I've ever listened to, and the best part is that it was originally composed for plants.
Although the album is subtitled “warm earth music for plants… and people who love them,” the album gravitates towards being for the plants as a gift for the flora that they're named after, as all but two of the songs share names with real plants.
When thinking back, I’m not even sure how I stumbled upon the album. I just know that after my first listen I was bewildered by the absurdity that an instrumental album from 1976 could blow me away so severely. Let alone the fact it was written for plants. Despite how absurd the album can be or how insane I must sound for recommending it, you should at least give it a shot.
The titular intro track, Plantasia, is my favorite instrumental of all time; it truly sounds as if you put a stethoscope to the base of a flower pot and are hearing the inner workings of the stem and leaves and petals as the song progresses and synths swell and fade.
The swelling and release in this song is immensely satisfying, the synthesizer moves in a predictable direction almost as if it was following a pattern as nature does. This pattern ties in the nature theme once more to really drive home the feeling that this album was written for the plants, as if we are trespassing into their sacred music.
The whole album is played on a moog synthesizer with no other backing instruments, but it’s especially pronounced in this opening track. The beat accents the melody as it flows smoothly throughout the song, comparable to a bass guitar playing with the lead guitar the same way a usual song would.
Although the opening track doesn’t follow the same naming conventions as the other songs on the album do, the other songs are similarly just as sonically colorful. Symphony for a Spider Plant is another track to mention, whose sound matches the look of the titular spider plant. The leaves of a spider plant are very long and pointed, similar to how the notes in the song rise to very high notes just to fall back down to the roots of the plant, or back down to the lower notes in musical terms.
You might have actually heard the first track Plantasia recently, as it was used in an advertisement for TurboTax in 2023, where they advertise how little time it takes to use their service and how it gives you more time to be free from doing your taxes. For once, the message of the ad rings true here; the album actually does give off a sense of freedom that can’t really be explained without listening to the album in its entirety.
Listening to the whole album all in one sitting brings on a whole different experience than picking out singular songs and putting them on a playlist like you would any other song. The freeing feeling comes from the connection you gain with nature, as imagining these sounds coming from the plants they take their names from brings you much closer to not just those plants but also Earth itself, as it can give you a much deeper understanding of nature that can only be gained through this sonic experience.
This album can be a whole experience to go through while you lie awake late at night staring at your ceiling with earbuds in, or it can be a simple tune you have in the background while you tend to your garden and water your perennials.