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Barholomäus Traubeck has combined music with science by custom-building turntables that “play” slices of tree trunks. The art installation is called “Years” because of the rings' ability to date trees. The record player uses a PlayStation Eye Camera and a stepper motor to read the rings on the trees’ cross sections just like a record player reads the grooves on a vinyl record. Although the tree rings don’t sound musical themselves, they are translated into music by a computer which converts data gathered by the record player into a piano track using Ableton Live.
Despite the fact that the custom system “interprets” rather than “plays” the trees, the song produced varies with each piece of wood. Listen to one of the recordings, below!