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Listen to Tree Rings Played on a Turntable

Listen to Tree Rings Played on a Turntable

Bartholomaus Traubeck Years


When sliced into cross sections tree trunks totally resemble a vinyl record, with each ring symbolic of the age of the tree resembling the grooves in an LP. Artist Bartholomäus Traubeck came up with the idea to engineer a way to turn these rings into music and the outcome is pretty crazy. Some seriously cool science at work here!

“If you enjoyed listening to songs by Radiohead and The Velvet Underground being played on laser-cut wooden records, then you’re going to love this: in late 2011, a German artist by the name of Bartholomäus Traubeck has custom-built a record player that is able to “play” cross-sectional slices of tree trunks. The result is Years, an audio recording of tree rings being read by a computerized mechanism — similar to how a record player reads the grooves on a vinyl album — which then interprets it as audible music.

According to Makezine, the custom record player reads data from the slice of tree trunk using a PlayStation Eye Camera and a stepper motor attached to its control arm, and relays the data to a computer. A program called Ableton Live then uses it to generate a piano track — and while music isn’t created directly from the wood itself, the interpretation of the music varies and is unique to each tree cross-section.?

Article c/o Verbicide Magazine

Have a listen to the cool and creepy ‘Years by Bartholomäus Traubeck’:


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