He Puts a Ring from a Tree Trunk on a Record Player. This Is the Most Extraordinary Sound of Nature I Have Ever Heard

Imagine the soothing sounds you cherish from nature: crickets chirping on a quiet night, birds serenading at dawn, frogs croaking in spring, or a gentle breeze rustling through the leaves. Now, take a moment to think about listening to something a bit more unusual—a tree trunk. Yes, you read that right—a tree trunk.

More specifically, we’re talking about the rings inside a tree trunk. We know these rings tell stories about the tree’s history, particularly the water it received season after season. But, have you ever considered that these rings might resemble the grooves of a vinyl record?

Artist Bartholomaus Traubeck did, and he was excited to uncover what these rings might ‘say.’ He invented a special kind of record player that reads the color and texture variations of the rings in a cross-section of a tree trunk. It then transforms those variations into audible sounds, essentially making music from a tree.

How does this magic happen? Traubeck’s unique ‘record player’ uses light to read the intricate details of the tree rings. This information is then turned into musical notes and instruments. It might sound like something from a science fiction story, but the technology is surprisingly straightforward.

All it took was a simple PlayStation eye camera and a motor for the record player’s arm. The camera collected the data, which was then transferred to a computer. With the help of a program called Ableton Live, this data was converted into piano music.

The video below lets you hear what nature’s voice sounds like through Traubeck’s innovative record player. Rather than the expected crackling noises, you’re treated to an ethereal and hauntingly beautiful melody. The music is unique, almost like the background score of a silent, eerie movie.

Every tree’s rings are different, ensuring that each tree has its own distinct song. Thanks to this artist’s ingenuity, we have a virtually endless library of unique, tree-based records. What an incredible new way to experience nature—by listening to it!


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