Mort Garson - Mother Earth’s Plantasia (LP)
Each record comes with a plantable download card printed on seed paper. Includes full reproduction of original booklet plus new liner notes by Andy Beta (Pitchfork).
If you purchased a snake plant, asparagus fern, peace lily, or what have you from
Mother Earth on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles (or bought a Simmons mattress
from Sears) in 1976, you also took home Plantasia, an album recorded especially
for plants. Subtitled “warm earth music for plants…and the people that love
them,” it was full of bucolic, charming, stoner-friendly, decidedly unscientific
tunes enacted on the new-fangled device called the Moog.
Before Brian Eno did it, Mort Garson was making discreet music. Julliard-educated and active as a session player in the post-war era, Garson wrote lounge
hits, scored the 1969 moon-landing and plush arrangements for Doris Day, and
garlanded weeping countrypolitan strings around Glen Campbell’s “By the
Time I Get to Phoenix.”
But as his daughter Day Darmet recalls: “When my dad found the synthesizer, he
realized he didn’t want to do pop music anymore.” Garson encountered Robert
Moog and his new device at the Audio Engineering Society’s West Coast convention in 1967 and immediately began tinkering with the device.
“My mom had a lot of plants,” Darmet says. “She didn’t believe in organized
religion, she believed the earth was the best thing in the whole world. Whatever
created us was incredible.” And she also knew when her husband had a good song. Novel as it might seem, Plantasia is simply full of good tunes.
This release marks the first official re-issue of the long sought-after cult classic.
Hearing Plantasia in the 21st century, it seems less an ode to our photosynthesizing friends by Garson and more an homage to his wife, the one with the green
thumb that made everything flower around him. “My dad would be totally
pleased to know that people are really interested in this music that had no
popularity at the time,” Darmet says of Plantasia’s new renaissance. “He would be
fascinated by the fact that people are finally understanding and appreciating this
part of his musical career that he got no admiration for back then.” Garson seems
to be everywhere again, even if he’s not really noticed, just like a houseplant.