Record player modified to play pieces of wood instead of vinyl

Record players have typically played vinyl records, but German artist, Bartholomäus Traubeck, has managed to come up with a rather unique record player, dubbed “Years”, that instead of spinning vinyl, will spin a cross-section of a tree instead with surprising results.

What Traubeck has done here was to take a turntable and modify its tonearm. Instead of a needle, it has been replaced with a digital camera and light, with the camera scanning the tree’s cross-section for thickness, growth rate, texture and overall color tone. That data is then sent to a computer who then interprets it through custom software and maps that data into a musical scale, which is then played back using piano sounds.

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Given how each tree grows differently, each cross-section of the tree would be different from another which would ultimately result in different sounds. The result is a surprisingly haunting piece of music, which while slightly off beat could totally pass off as being composed by a human being. Check out the video below to see “Years” in action along with the music that it managed to produce.

YEARS from Bartholomäus Traubeck on Vimeo.

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