What Happens When you Substitute Records for Tree Rings

If a tree falls in the woods, and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it still make a sound?

This is one of those riddles which kids have been telling each other for years in an attempt to both confuse people and appear smarter than their friends by seemingly having all the answers. As for me, I have absolutely no idea, but I do know what happens when you substitute records for tree rings on a record player. And yes, they do make a sound.

Bartholomaus Traubeck is the individual who first came up with the idea of attempting to translate tree ring data into music by way of using a special record player which uses light sensors to read not only the rings, but also the colour of the wood and the texture. This data is then translated using a special algorithm which, in my opinion, has resulted in breathtakingly haunting music being created. I don’t just appreciate it as a musician either – I appreciate it as a person.

For a taster of the album, entitled Years which Traubeck has put together, you can listen below.

Alternatively, if you’re like me and that 2 minutes and 14 seconds was far too short, you can listen to the entire album below:



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