German artist Bartholomäus Traubeck recently debuted a record-player he developed which is capable of digitally reading the rings of tree-slices and translating them into piano music. Tree-rings, are annual records of a tree’s growth rate — which in turn offer clues to the hardships and fruitful periods experienced over the life of the tree.
Pretty cool stuff, but just How exactly does it work?
“A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music based on the year ring data. Those are analyzed for their thickness and growth rate and are then 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.”