If trees could create music, what would it sound like? An artist, Bartholomäus Traubeck, ventured to find the answer.
Using slices of wood as the ‘record’, the concept was to find a way to play the tree’s ‘rings’ similar to how a record needle would play the grooves in a record.
However, a needle wouldn’t be able to withstand scratching into a wood surface. So instead of a needle, Bartholomäus Traubeck created equipment that could read the rings in a similar way to a record player. He uses an optical sensor built to read the wood’s color and texture. Algorithms take that data and convert the variations into notes on a scale, which is then mapped to a piano synthesizer and played.
Each tree ring marks the passage of time as the tree grows, usually one ring is equal to one year in the life of the tree. Light-colored rings indicate growth spurts, while darker marks show times of a slowdown.
The result is a music track titled “Years“, and it is hauntingly beautiful. Watch the video below to hear it for yourself.