Earlier this year, offbeat music freaks were delighted with the re-release of Mother Earth’s Plantasia, an utterly weird yet endearing electronic music album for plants, originally issued as a free vinyl giveaway for mattress shoppers and green thumbs alike. Now, on September 7, the Getty Center in Los Angeles is hosting an entire day inspired by the album, including talks on vegetarianism and 1970s horror films, as well as macramé workshops and plant aura photography. Exactly what kind of album could possibly inspire such a verdant spectacle?
Owner of the Brooklyn-based Sacred Bones Records, Caleb Braaten came upon Mort Garson’s Plantasia in the early aughts while working at Twist and Shout records in Denver, Colorado. At the time, Braaten was really into early electronic records, so when he encountered Plantasia, he “instantly fell in love with it.” From there, he set out to tracking down the rest of Garson’s oeuvre. “My love of the Mort Garson catalog got me searching for the rights holder. This is when I found his daughter, Day Darmet, and we started work on reissuing his records. Starting with, of course, Plantasia.”
Born in Canada in 1924, Mort Garson studied at Juilliard School of Music. After serving in the army during World War II, he worked as a session musician while writing a few hit songs, including the 1962 chart-topper, “Our Day Will Come.” It was during the 1960s that Garson discovered the Moog synthesizer and composed a concept album called The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds, which featured a different track for each of the 12 astrological signs. (Eventually, he’d compose an entire album for each sign of the Zodiac.)
Garson’s Electronic Hair Pieces featured cover songs from the popular musical Hair, with liner notes by one of the Smothers Brothers, while The Wozard of Iz …
Author: Tanja M. Laden / High Times