What a tree rings sound like when put on a record player

Tree stumps look kind of like a record, right? So what would they sound like if played. It makes a tortured, yet beautiful sound of piano keys as it spins, using optics instead of a needle to read the notes:

The rings of a trunk reveal the age of the tree, and environmental conditions like rainfall levels, disease, and even forest fires. Light-colored rings indicate growth spurts, while darker marks show times of a slowdown.

Each slice is unique — a glimpse into the story of a tree’s past. Bartholomäus Traubeck wondered what story those trees would tell. So he created equipment that could translate those rings into music on a record player. But instead of a needle, an optical sensor reads the wood’s color and texture. Then, algorithms convert those variations into notes on a scale, which is mapped to a piano synthesizer and played.

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