General Art

Playin’ the Hits of the Centuries

Friend, skeptic, and fellow musician Kate sent this along to me: a turntable that plays tree rings. Whoaaa.

From what I can gather, artist Bartholomäus Traubeck achieved this eerily cool sound by changing out the record player’s needle with a light and camera and connecting it to a computer. The computer maps the image data it receives to a preset scale, which chooses the pitch and harmonic density it plays depending on the hue and thickness of the rings. This works for all sorts of tree cross sections, so that it appears to translate each tree’s unique life into music. How cool is that?

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

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One Comment

  1. That is seriously frikkin’ cool.

    Didn’t someone do something similar a few years ago with tones assigned to rotating stars? Trying to remember what it was called (or at least a better search term than ‘star music’).

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