Years / by Alfonso Salgueiro

I wonder how these trees would sound if played in the record player developed by Bartholomäus Traubeck. 

For the project entitled 'Years', the artist and engineer made a record player that could play trees instead of vinyl, creating a different melody based on the tree's age. A tree's year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data then serves as basis for a process that outputs piano music using both analog and digital technology.

This mix of nature and technology, sound and shape, age and rhythm is one of the most original concepts I have ever come across. 

The pictures above were taken in the Black Forest region of Germany on a photo trip I did last year with some friends and fellow photographers. I had already discovered at that time Traubeck's project and having listened to the incredible music coming out of the tree sections and his record player I could somehow listen to their music in my head while wandering in the forest.

To be honest this is not the type of music one would listened to while driving or in the house in a daily basis. However, if you are out in the forest, and especially if you are off the beaten track, it can certainly provide a unique experience in which one feels closer than ever to all those living things that often only catch our attention in a visual way. 

I would advise you to do just that, get some music player device, use headphones and go off the beaten track in a forest. Play this music and imagine how time and nature produce music for you.  

Check the video below and this link if you want to find out about Bartholomäus Traubeck's project. It is well worth listening to this uncanny music.