In case you missed it: Live Science recently had a story about artist Bartholomäus Traubeck, who has created a “record player” of sorts that plays slices of tree trunks. That’s right: tree ring LPs.
Instead of a phonograph needle reading grooves on an album, Traubeck’s artpice “Years” is an audio recording of tree rings being read by a computer, using a PlayStation Eye Camera, and turned into music via Ableton Live. Each track is named for, and created from, wood from a different type of Austrian tree (spruce, ash, oak, alder, etc).
Traubeck describes his work:
“A tree’s year rings are analyzed 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). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined rule set of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this rule set very differently.”
More information about the project, the music, and the album can be found at Traubeck’s website.