What Happens When You Try To Read Music From A Slice Of Tree Trunk?
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Bartholomaus Traubeck, an audio artist, came up with this brilliant idea. If you’ve ever seen a record player, you probably know how they work: a tiny needle travels along the circular grooves, which are coded with notches and bumps so small they can’t be seen with the naked eye. The code translates to musical notes. But what happens when you try to read a tree’s code?
Of course, it can’t be done with a scratching needle, that wouldn’t work as well with wood as it does with vinyl. But Traubeck invented a special tool with sensors to read the totally unique information in a section of tree trunk. The rings that tell us how old a tree is can also be read the way a record can, using this new technique. Each tree trunk is completely different, with natural variations including the thickness of the trunk, the tree’s rate of growth, and the yearly effects of the environment around the tree: wind, weather, and time.
The tree itself may be silent, but the beauty of its voice can now be heard. Each ring, groove and ripple is played in piano-like notes, creating a magical piece of music that was born in the secrets of the forest.