Life’s Song

This is just amazing …

My jaw dropped in awe of the ingenuity and utter beauty, but I also felt an immediate rush. Something like,


Why had no one imagined this before? …

… Well, there are probably people who have—no doubt children with minds as fresh as dew—but one clever man was able to bring a most dreamy notion to life in the form of …

Tree music.

It’s true. German artist Bartholomäus Traubeck has coaxed magic from a machine of his own making. It’s a revolutionary turntable (remember those?) that can play “records” made of tree slices.


Somehow, Traubeck’s player reads the rings in a sliver of tree trunk and translates them into piano notes. And I’m not just talking about bing-bang, cling-clang. I mean MUSIC.

The piece I listened to, called “Years,” is moving. It is a combination of tracks from different trees (a “minimalistic” fir, an ash tree with a “rather complex texture,” and so on). The composition is filled with a classical sense of age and time, longing and wisdom. Within the notes, I sensed the passage of a tree’s lifetime in all of its lush joy and ache. Naturally, those rings record more than just the growth of a grand yet silent organism. They reflect the world throughout periods of feast and famine. They reveal seasons. They bear witness to history.

It made me wonder, if I were a tree, what my life’s song might sound like.

You can read an interview with Bartholomäus Traubeck on the Living on Earth website: Turning Tree Rings Into Music. But, before you go, listen to …


“Years” by  Bartholomäus Traubeck

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Environmental Protection Agency.

Leave a comment 4 Comments

  1. Jan Culton says:

    Wow…this is very in-tree-guing….sorry…couldn’t resist…. 😀

  2. Marie Bucher (ReeReeBee) says:

    Absolutely Amazing! Thank you for sharing. I will be playing it over and over.

  3. Pingback: birds on a wire | Raising Jane Journal

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