If you’re a fan of experimental technology, Arduino hacking or post-modern music, this project is going to make you smile. Years is a piece by Bartholomäus Traubeck, and it consists of a record player that plays slices of wood. Yep, you read that right.
As you probably know, you can estimate how old a tree is by counting the rings across its trunk. This record player reads that “ring data” and translates it into music. More specifically, the tree’s year rings are analyzed for strength, thickness and growth rate. All of these details affect the final sound.
As you’ll see in the video below, Years utilizes a wooden disk created out of a finely sliced tree trunk. It is similar in thickness and shape to a traditional record. And instead of the typical needle you’d find on most record players, it’s been replaced by a hacked PS Eye Camera.
The resulting music is eerie and a bit whimsical. There’s a definite pattern present, and cracks or knots in the wood yield a particularly disruptive response.