Listening to wood

It’s fun to count the rings on a cross section of a tree stump and try to figure out its age. When German-born artist, Bartholomäus Traubeck, looks at that timeline, he sees music. The rings reminded him of grooves in a vinyl record, so he figured out a way to translate the grooves into piano. Traubeck dreamed up a turntable that actually plays pieces of wood. Listen/watch the video, and you’ll hear a pretty dramatic score based on how thick the rings are (thick = deep, bass notes; light = high notes). CNET reports, “One wonders whether different families of trees produce varying kinds of music. For example, does a willow generate more soulful ballads? Or would Mozart come from an old growth redwood? Poplars grow fast, so could they be used for upbeat tunes?”

About the author

Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show.


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