Wicked Plants in the Conservatory with RadioGarden

Andrew Keys invited the staff at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers to create a RadioGarden podcast about the making of the Wicked Plants exhibit.  He assured us that any ordinary audio recorder would work; in fact, he's done interviews on his iPhone.  So, equipped with exactly that sort of technology, curator Lau Hodges and I settled in to do our interview the afternoon before the opening night gala.

Except.  Andrew Roth, the extraordinarily creative sound engineer who designed the sound effects for the exhibit, was sitting quietly in the corner, fine-tuning his audio creation. When he saw me pull out my cheap Radio Shack digital recorder, he could remain silent no longer.

"Uh–would you like me to record this interview for you?" he asked.

We both looked over at him in amazement. 

"I am the sound guy, after all," he said.

Oh, yeah!  So after a little scrambling around, Andrew got us wired up and we sat down behind this gate and started recording with his much nicer equipment:

Interview spot

AND–after Lau and I were done, Andrew sat down and talked about how he created the sound effects.  And that is my FAVORITE part of the interview.  Everyone on staff learned something–none of us had any idea what went into creating sounds that go along with a garden of poisonous plants. (his part starts around minute 16)

How does a plant sound?   How does fear sound? Tune in and find out.