The project known as Years is one by Bartholomaus Traubeck in which a record player has been modified to shine light and receive back signals from slices of trees. What the player receives from the bounced-back light is no less than bits of information translated from the rings made through the tree as it grew from a tiny sapling. In this way, the tragedy that is the fact that the tree had to die in order to tell its story is made quite apparent to the viewer and the listener.
This project has no future plans to become a mass-made or distributed product, but in that the video you’re seeing is made so well what you’ll not possibly miss the point, it’s made wonderful from start to finish. As the tree’s years rings are analyzed for their strength, says the creator, so too are they analyzed for their thickness and rate of growth, and turned into a song that describes it all. Have a peek a the manifesto for this project here:
A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently.
This project is made up of a modified turntable, a camera, acrylic glass, vvvv (a multipurpose programmable toolkit), veneer, and of course a computer. The whole thing rings in at 90x50x50 cm and again, there is only one. The artist worked with or would otherwise like to thank Land Salzburg, Schmiede, Pro-ject Audio, Karla Spiluttini, Ivo Francx, vvvv, and Rohol. Get your tissues out, lovers of nature, this is going to get messy for your eyeballs.