Years - Fraxinus (Ash)


Bartholomäus Traubeck

A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently. The track called Fraxinus (Ash) is a recording of a slice of an Austrian Ash tree sonified on the Years installation in 2012.

Bartholomäus Traubeck is a media- and soundartist based in Vienna, Austria. His works are being exhibited internationally in places like the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, the Melbourne Recital Hall, the Digital Art Center Taipei or Salems' Peabody Essex Museum

Shortlist history



christian nicolay

31 May at 11:52AM


I was fortunate enough to experience this artwork at the digital art festival in Taipei Taiwan. The concept is truly beautiful, progressive relationships between nature, humans and technology is poignantly personified in this piece.

sally ann mcintyre

01 August at 01:52PM


the sonification of trees is also the sonification of weather events within the historical expanse of the tree's lifespan. as such, this project could be understood as a transmission from a non-human source about the hidden life of the planet - highly appropriate work, not least because in this context it can be seen as both referencing and critiquing the focus of the 1970s voyager golden record.

Brian Ritchie

18 September at 03:08PM

Fascinating research

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