After one exploratory meeting with Sonos, the brand suggested that Mileece transform their LA studio inspired by her interactive sonic plant installation, Soniferous Eden, presented at both the Migros Museum in Zurich and MoMA’s PS1 in New York.
In just a short 6-week period, Mileece designed a series of 8 interactive plants and 4 interactive kinetic light and sound “Element Instruments” for the installation. Open to the public for 6 weeks, the installation lived around a grassy, oval shape in the middle of the space delineated by 8 hanging interactive plants, each with its own live, generative sound component which was modulated and controlled by any of the other plants in the room. This set up meant that up to 8 people could “play together” to create a rich and dynamic plant-generated organic electronic music soundscape, spatialized across Sonos speakers placed next to each plant.
The “Element Instruments” - Rain, Wind, Fire, and Earth - were situated in the outer four corners of the room; a series of interactive instruments featuring soundscapes Mileece had recorded from across the globe. The Rain instrument played soundscapes of rain that got increasingly intense as you approached the instrument, eventually gently ‘misting’ you with water like ocean spray from a storm. The Wind instrument played soundscapes captured from the wind forests of Costa Rica, which became increasingly dense as you moved towards the instrument, simultaneous with the velocity of a fan so as to kinetically animate the intensity of the sound.
Fire was a singular, distressed log found in Canada which emanated the sounds of a wild forest fire recorded in Ecuador. The log was back-fitted with modulating orange and yellow LEDs, and a sensor such that as you touched the log, the fire sound grew in tandem with the intensity of the flickering of the LEDs, giving the impression of a real fire. And finally, there was Earth, an experimental interface where sensitive mics were placed into a box of soil the participants were encouraged to place their hands directly into, triggering acoustically generated micro-sounds.
Mileece also oversaw a series of programming within the space including the studio’s opening night. An unprecedented performance, Mileece played her hand-made interactive, code-based gestural interfaces along with a variety of instruments such as her Rawanhatha (a desert violin from Rajasthan, India), her gold PRS electric guitar, a harmonium, her live voice, and the 8 plants featured in the installation; and a quintet, in real-time. The plants conducted the quintet debuted what Mileece has coined as the “Organicestra” project.
Additional events included a screening of the seminal film “The Secret Life of Plants” where Mileece re-synced Steve Wonder’s soundtrack in high quality over the Sonos System, introduced with a set from musician Victoria Theodore, Mr. Wonder’s touring pianist.
The studio closed with a public workshop where each participant created their own “kokedama” or Japanese moss ball, with Mileece’s 3D-printed “plant puzzles.”