Claire Pannell

Further information

Country of origin




Claire started her adult life as a soil scientist and plant nutritionist, with degrees from UWA (BSc. Agric. Hons) and Massey University, NZ (PhD).


Her serious interests in music lead her to make a career change and she worked as an arts manager for 13 years.

Claire is currently employed at Scitech and is producer of Analogue to Digital, an experimental music series.

She is a multi-instrumentalist with a history of releases and performances in New Zealand, USA and Australia. Claire performs as Furchick with fistfuls and outbursts of joyful noise.

Claire is currently constructing her own instruments made from everyday objects.

Research project

Plantae electronic

During her SymbioticA residency, Claire conducted research that fused her background as an applied plant and soil scientist with her practise in music, performance art and science communication.

The project explored the possibility that plants can be used to generate audible sounds. This involved studying the structure of cells on the surface of leaves and stems and exploring the different sounds plants made, dependant on adaptations such as trichomes (hairs), waxy surfaces, or if they were serrated. Claire also made a speaker from a living plant, with limited success.


This residency was supported by Scitech, and included running hand-on laboratory classes in acoustics, plant biotechnology and entomology alongside Ionat Zurr in the Aesthetic Crossovers of Art and Science course, and sharing her scientific knowledge with other SymbioticA residents.

Period of Research

July to December 2010