If a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? While that question has plagued humanity for countless generations, we've recently gotten the answer to a different, but equally awesome question: what is the music of trees? That's what artist Bartholomaus Traubeck decided to find out when he created the world's first record player for trees.
Instead of a vinyl disc, Traubeck's record player uses a cross-section of a log or tree trunk, using light to translate the different colors and textures of the tree's rings into musical notes and instruments. Because every tree has its own unique configuration of rings, every tree has its own unique "song." Essentially, Traubeck has created a potentially unlimited library of "records."
The technology behind it is actually not that crazy, either. All it took was a modified Playstation Eye Camera and a motor to control the arm. The data collected by the camera is relayed to a computer and interpreted into a piano track by a program called Ableton Live. The songs themselves are hauntingly beautiful, though they aren't exactly melodic in a traditional sense. They sound almost like the background score of a particularly angsty art film, and music students may also find similarities to the works of some modern composers, who emphasize dissonance.