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Trees Age Rings Converted Into Music Sounds Like A Horror Score

This article has been reformatted to fit the website design changes since its original posting date.

My friend Allison posted a link on her Facebook wall that had a title that immediately drew me in: “Play The Rings Of A Tree Trunk Like A Record“.

Turns out a student by the name of Bartholomäus Traubeck created a project titled “YEARS” for the specific purpose of converting thin tree rings into music. He did this by using a Playstation Eye Camera, which read and converted the wood grain into information that could be read by the computer. This information was then fed into a laptop running Abelton Live, which converted said information into musical notes. The output, incredibly, is something directly out of a horror film.

So, next time you’re walking alone in the woods, I want you to think of this music and savor the chills running up and down your spine as you realize that trees, were they able to sing, would terrify you.

Enjoy the video below.



  • Shinn

    That’s actually really cool

  • HorrorMovieSoundtrack

    Talk about organic music!

  • Frank Marglon

    Nice. ….Hard to dance to. But Nice.

  • Dev

    It started off well but it just became gibberish by the end. Kind of just a novelty I think. I think if actual patterns were emerging then it would be more interesting, if there was some order coming from nature – which is ironic really because the rings are ordered to an extent, but you don’t hear anything of that in the sound. Most of the quality of that sound is down to Ableton Live having decent piano synthesis.

    • RSoames

      Sounds like you’re not especially well-versed in modern music.

      • Dev

        It’s not free jazz. It’s essentially randomised data being interpreted through a synthesiser to make it sound more structured than it is. I’m not against chaos in music, but this isn’t Gyorgi Ligeti or Penderecki, this is an experiment that looks better in a video than it sounds.

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