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May 18, 2015

The music of nature

Artist creates a record player that translates tree rings into a melody

Science Music
Nature and Music Bartholomaus Traubeck /

Artist Bartholomaus Traubeck has created a record player that plays slices of wood.

Julie Andrews was on to something when she sang "The hills are alive with the sound of music."

German artist Bartholomaus Traubeck put that theory to the test by creating a record player that translates the different colors and groves of tree rings into music. 

Rather than use a needle like a record, sensors gather information about the wood and turn them into piano notes, writes Kasim Khan of Spirit Science. 

On his website, Traubeck shares a limited-edition recording of his project, titled 'Years." 

He explains his process: "A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture)."

 Read the full Spirit Science article here.