The Song of a Tree

February 3, 2012

After our discussion about whale songs and how they can and have been interpreted, and our references to the many sounds trees can emit, I thought I’d share this piece of music.  It is essentially the sound produced by a tree’s rings when they are played like a record; the rings have been digitally converted to piano music to produce this song.  We touched on how whale song has been depicted as both soothing and lamenting, depending on the time period, political motivations, and opinions of the listeners.  We as human listeners seem to superimpose our prejudices and perspectives over the whale songs as we interpret them: but how do we make sense of a tree’s song, produced over so many more years, and so much more contaminated by the processes used to convert it to sound from physical growth? The production of song by whales, familiar and intelligent beings, is not all too strange, but can a plant compose as well? Is this music vainly reading meaning out of nothing, or is it a valid attempt to listen to and connect with a formerly inaccessible voice of nature?

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One Response to “The Song of a Tree”

  1. This is really quite beautiful, and reminds of Mamoru Fujieda, who “translates” the naturally occurring patterns of plants into music:

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