Imagine being able to hear a tree’s story.
Artist Bartholomaus Traubeck has created musical masterpieces from tree cross sections.
He personally designed a record player that reads tree ring colors and textures and turns that information into musical notes.
It is a well-known fact that tree rings are to trees as fingerprints are to humans. Each one is unique and each song produced is extraordinary and enchanting.
It is important to understand that the notes are not played from the tree like a traditional record player. Traubeck’s one-of-a-kind record player uses a stepper motor and Playstation Eye Camera attached to the control arm. The data is collected and converted into a program called Ableton Live. All this information is then turned into a beautiful piano track.
Here is a quote from Traubeck’s website:
A tree’s year rings are analyzed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as a 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). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently.
Listen to the soul of the ash in this entire piece. Traubeck is a genius!