What Tree Rings Sound Like

Played on a Record Player




livescience January 19, 2012 by Life's Little Mysteries Staff


What Tree Rings Sound Like Played on a Record Player

Artist Bartholomäus Traubeck has custom-built a record player that is able to "play" cross-sectional slices of tree trunks. The result is his artpiece "Years," an audio recording of tree rings being read by a computer and turned into music, much like a record player's needle reads the grooves on an LP.

The tree rings are actually being translated into the language of music, rather than sounding musical in and of themselves. According to Makezine, the custom record player takes in data 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 an eerie piano track.

Though the record player "interprets" rather than actually "playing" the tree trunk, as Gizmodo notes, the song still varies with each new piece of wood placed on the turntable.




An LP was released in May 2015 by Bartholomäus Traubeck titled "Years." The record features seven recordings from different Austrian trees.

"Years" was self-released on the Ordia Muszc record label based in Graz, Austria


TO WATCH AND LISTEN to this performing art piece tree trunk (which you heard when you entered this page)


Thanks to Bev Jester, a Friend of the Phonograph, for sharing this link.