Posted on January 17th, 2020
[as seen on Bust]
Sharkmuffin bring their Gamma Gardening universe to life with a five-part music video series. Released as an EP via Exploding in Sound Records, Gamma Gardening is Sharkmuffin’s first sci-fi rock opera. The story revolves around Serpentina, a dominatrix who takes a temp job as a receptionist and later has an affair with a genetic engineer. Together, they code a designer baby that can breathe underwater, talk to animals, and survive in outer space. The Atomic Gardening Society (this sci-fi world’s government) finds out, takes the baby away for testing and Serpentina meets an untimely fate.
"Receptionist" is the first video of the series. “The song was inspired by the time I temped at a tech startup as a receptionist,” Tara Thiessen (guitar/vocals) tells BUST. “In my downtime I got caught in a YouTube hole about CRIPSR and its implications on the future of our relationship with the world/our genome. CRISPR makes it cheaper, easier and more accessible to experiment on DNA, but it’s something humans have been doing for forever.”
Which brings us to the rock opera’s futuristic title. Thiessen explains, “in the 1950s, Gamma Gardening was a form of mutation breeding that developed over 2000 new types of plants, most famously spearmint and red grapefruit. They basically blasted plants with radiation to see what would happen.”
The video series stars Brooklyn based musicians Lyzi Wakefield (Gesserit) as Serpentina, Melissa Lucciola (Francie Moon) as the designer baby, Tine Hill (Gustaf) as a human test subject, performance artist Sylvea Suydam as the genetic engineer, and, of course, Sharkmuffin as evil government agents.
All videos are directed by Sharkmuffin & Lydia Gammill of Gustaf, shot by Eric Durkin, and edited by Sylvea Suydam. Watch below!