The rings can reveal much about the life and age of a tree. Conditions such as weather trends, major natural events, or even man-made happenings can all be recorded in the spiraling rings as the tree grows to maturity.
An inventive artist decided to investigate the tree rings further by inventing a machine that would play the rings like a vinyl record in an attempt to hear nature’s past. The machine digitally translates the ring’s intricate surfaces into piano notes so the tree’s past can be heard. What resulted was a beautifully eerie composition.
Bartholomäus Traubeck created a machine that translates the rings of a tree into piano notes. The invention is similar to a turntable but does not use a needle to capture the sound. Instead, sensors scan the rings as the slice of wood spins and gather information by analyzing the wood’s color and texture, according to IFL Science. An algorithm is then used to translate the findings into piano notes. Due to unique variations in each slice of tree, no two melodies are the same.
Traubeck created an album from his experiment, titled Years, which features spruce, ash, oak, maple, alder, walnut, and beech samples.
The album is scheduled to release in August, on vinyl.
Each melody captures a mystical glimpse into the tree’s life, one that may never have been heard if not for Traubeck’s imagination and invention. Each of the tracks is both haunting and beautiful at the same time, bringing life back to the fallen tree’s existence.
Bartholomaus Traubeck is a German media artist, according to Wimp, and has worked on multiple other projects that bring life to otherwise unthinkable projects. One such project resulted in taking blood samples from Australia and Northern Italy, then traveling to the Similaun Glacier, where the samples were tossed into deep crevices where they would be frozen for future life to find.
Other projects included playing records non-stop until the grooves wore out, recording the eerie end result.
Playing the rings of trees has been attempted before, but not with the same beautiful result as Traubeck’s attempt. There have also been attempts to play the grooves in a clay pot, from ancient burials, on a device similar to a record player, also resulting in eerie music. However, Traubeck’s tree ring music is the most beautiful attempt so far. There is no word on whether he plans to translate the end result into other instruments, but the piano seems to be the perfect fit.
[Image Courtesy: Fact Mag]