The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


1976 album Mother Earth’s Plantasia reissued

Sacred Bones repress some warm earth music for plants and the people who love them

Mort Garson's Mother Earth's Plantasia will be reissued for the first time by Sacred Bones on 21 June. Originally released in 1976, the record is an early example of music produced with the Moog synthesizer. Yet Garson made Plantasia with the sensitivities of house plants in mind, a project driven by his wife's keen interest in gardening. “My mom had a lot of plants,” says their daughter Day Darmet. “She didn’t believe in organised religion, she believed the earth was the best thing in the whole world.”

The album reflected Garson’s readings of the book The Secret Life Of Plants by occultist and former OSS agent Peter Tompkins and former CIA agent Christopher Bird, which claimed that plants were telepathic, able to predict natural disasters and receive signals from distant galaxies. Amid the farming advice given to its readers, the book also declared that plants liked music.

Garson started out as a session musician working with the likes of Doris Day and Glen Campbell. Among other things, he co-wrote the 1961 Cliff Richard single "Theme For A Dream". But after discovering the Moog synthesizer, Garson moved away from pop to make the wholly different kind of earth music of Plantasia. Some claim that a version of the album track “Concerto For Philodendron And Pothos” can be heard on the Nintendo game The Legend Of Zelda, though Garson was never credited for it.

You can hear the full album on YouTube and pre-order it via Bandcamp.