|Round from an old-growth tree, Cedar River Watershed Education Center. What a symphony this tree would produce! Lainey Piland photo|
Those who've spent time in the forest are familiar with its music: birdsong and scolding squirrels, dripping dew, and the susurrus of wind blowing through tree limbs - hemlock, cedar, and bigleaf maple all contributing their distinctive voices to the harmony.
One breezy afternoon as I was traipsing to a far field to retrieve my horse, I was halted in my tracks by an unexpected sound: the ocean. Looking around in bewilderment at my decidedly landlocked surroundings, my gaze settled an imposing old-growth sitka spruce, a lone tree at the edge of the vast horse pasture. As the wind hit those sharp blue needles, it produced a sound akin to rustling dune grass and frothy tides hissing as they spread thin over wet sand. There was an ocean inside of that tree.
As it turns out, there is another way to listen to the music of trees. Taking rounds of various tree species and translating their rings into music, artist Bartholomäus Traubeck offers a new perspective on what trees might sound like. Take a listen to the tracks below as these trees take a spin on a record player:
That first track brings my spruce tree to life in an entirely different way, yet somehow just as soothing and mesmerising as the sound of waves on the sand or wind seething through prickly-needled branches.