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This Record Player Turns Trees Into Music

Designed by German artist Bartholomäus Traubeck, this one of a kind record player revolutionizes the classic vinyl playing turntable. By using circular cross-sections of trees rather than vinyl records, the "Years" player gives us an idea of what music would sound like if mother nature was a composer. As one might expect from a chopped down tree, the music is fairly dark and ominous.

Unlike traditional turntables, the Years player utilizes a digital camera and light where you would normally find the needle. As the turntable rotates a circular piece of wood, the light and camera scan the rings of the wood for information such as growth rate, texture, thickness and overall color tone. The data is then sent through custom computer software that maps the data and transforms it into a musical scale played with the sounds of a piano.

Although it would be silly to expect the music to match the quality of a famous classical composer, the resulting tones actually sound surprisingly good. Because of the way the software was written, Traubeck states that there are some clear rules the player must follow, but each tree slice is different enough to give off its own unique sound.