tree record player

If you take a look at trees sliced into cross sections every Vinyl fan will realise the similarity. You can read a trees whole life in the rings as you can hear the sound of a Vinyl record with its rings. So this could lead you to the next question: What would it sound like if we played a tree trunk on a turntable?

Musicians—or, more accurately, sound artist—Bartholomäus Traubeck found the answer. After engineering a record player that could actually withstand playing a cross-sectional piece of wood, he filtered the input through Ableton Live, which interpreted the data into a piano track. He captured the entire thing using a Playstation Eye Camera, using a stepper motor to power the turntable’s arm.

The result? A track called “Years,” which lands somewhere in between neo-classical genius and a horror film’s score. And i think the song’s maker can explain it in the best way:

“On regular vinyl, there is this groove that represents however long the track is. There’s a physical representation of the length of the audio track that’s imprinted on the record,” he says. “The year rings are very similar, because it takes a very long time to actually grow this structure because it depends on which record you put on of those I made. It’s usually 30 to 60 or 70 years in that amount of space. It was really interesting for me to have this visual representation of time and then translate it back into a song which it wouldn’t originally be.”

Listen to it for yourself—it’s the sounds of natural history, maaan.

YEARS from Bartholomäus Traubeck on Vimeo.