Out in the Open

Man on a mission to show his houseplants can jam together

Bob Connolly thinks plants, people and electromagnetic fields can affect one another in more ways than most of us might believe. To show off those interactions, he's hooking polygraphs up to houseplants and converting their resistance into sounds using MIDI machines.

Bob Connolly thinks plants, people and electromagnetic fields interact in more ways than most might believe

Bob Connolly hooks polygraphs up to plants, measures their resistance and converts those signals into sounds (Submitted by Bob Connolly)
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This story was originally published on September 13, 2019.

Bob Connolly thinks plants, people and electromagnetic fields can affect one another in more ways than most of us might believe.

Bob Connolly "conducting" his houseplant band (Sam Colbert)

To show off those interactions, he's hooking polygraphs up to houseplants and converting their resistance into sounds using MIDI machines.

Connolly believes they have the ability not just to make music, but to jam together.

He compares the setup to that of a DJ.

"They sample all the music and a guy pushes the buttons and all that kind of stuff, right. The plants are doing that. The plant's the DJ now."

But Connolly's beliefs about what's going on don't always square with mainstream consensus.

Out in the Open producer Sam Colbert visited him to see the plant band in action, challenge Connolly's theory on what's happening, and discover how a rough period in his personal life helped set him on this musical plant mission.

Click here to listen to the full documentary.


This story appears in the Out in the Open episode "Believe It or Not".

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