For one week in February, the chill and grey skies of winter will dissipate for visitors to The Noguchi Museum’s ground-floor galleries, where internationally celebrated pianist Sarah Cahill will take up residence, performing Mamoru Fujieda’s stunning cycle of short pieces titled Patterns of Plants throughout the Museum’s opening hours.
A masterpiece by one of the leading postminimalist composers, Patterns of Plants (1996–2011) represents an extraordinary fusion of nature and technology. To create the piece, Fujieda measured the electrical impulses on the leaves of plants using the “Plantron,” a device created by botanist/artist Yūji Dōgane, and converted the data he obtained into sound with Max, a visual programming language used for music and multimedia. He then identified musical patterns within the sound, and used them as the basis for these miniatures.
Both captivating and profound, Patterns of Plants has been arranged for different instruments and ensembles. In 2014, Cahill made the first solo piano recording of it to be available outside of Japan, released on the Pinna Records label.