Music in the Trees?

February 10, 2017

Have you ever wondered what a tree would sound like if it could play you a tune?  What kind of story would it tell you?  Bartholomäus Traubeck found out, and it will give you chills!


Instead of a vinyl disc, Traubeck's record player uses a cross-section of a log or tree trunk, using light to translate the different colors and textures of the tree's rings into musical notes and instruments. Because every tree has its own unique configuration of rings, every tree has its own unique "song." Essentially, Traubeck has created a potentially unlimited library of "records."
The technology behind it is actually not that crazy, either. All it took was a modified Playstation Eye Camera and a motor to control the arm. The data collected by the camera is relayed to a computer and interpreted into a piano track by a program called Ableton Live. The songs themselves are hauntingly beautiful, though they aren't exactly melodic in a traditional sense. They sound almost like the background score of a particularly angsty art film, and music students may also find similarities to the works of some modern composers, who emphasize dissonance.



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