By Maureen

vintage diagram of tree rings

The Songs of Trees

Cherry Burl NurseTree by Maureen ShaughnessyIf a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  Maybe this classic philosophical question has finally been answered, in a magical, musical way.

Bartholomäus Traubeck, a composer from Vienna, Austria, has figured out how to translate tree rings into something akin to music. Traubeck uses technology to create “music” from the ring data on slices of seven different tree species. Listen to this piano piece by an Alder Tree:

vintage diagram of tree rings

 

Here’s a description of the process on Traubeck’s BandCamp profile:

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.

For the entire album of the songs/voices of seven different trees, check it out here.  And HERE is a video showing the gizmo. 

Fraxinus (Ash) Tree

And just for the heck of it, here is one other of my favorite Tree Songs from the same album, the music of an Ash (Fraxinus) Tree:

Detail of Wine Rack

“Tipsy” a free standing wine rack

Tipsy Wine Rack from Timothy's Fine Woodworking
Winerack for 20 bottles

“Tipsy”, a wine rack inspired by the shape of a wine bottle, is made of curved, tapered laminations of Cherry with Bloodwood accents. It stands about five and a half feet high and holds twenty two wine bottles. The wine rack can be custom ordered in smaller or larger sizes. It can also be made as a set, with each section a slightly different curving shape.

Mesquite Partners Desk by Lou Quallenberg

WDC Final Day

Lou and Cheryl Quallenberg are right next to us at the Western Design Conference. Lou made stools to sit on — they go with his exquisite mesquite table, but I think the stools are hidden under various bottoms (mine and Tim’s included) more often then they are on his pedestal in plain view.  Boy — is it ever hard to stand for 7 hours at a time! I am personally grateful to Lou and to Les & Tauni Powers for sharing their seating.


Mesquite Partners Desk by Lou Quallenberg
Mesquite Partners Desk by Lou Quallenberg

Lou’s mesquite furniture is absolutely gorgeous. We saw it for the first time at last year’s conference. He supports the twisted, highly figured Texas mesquite table and bench tops, with sinuous trestles and legs. The overall effect is something I would classify as Contemporary Organic, like Tim’s furniture.

Either Tim’s or Lou’s furniture would fit beautifully in a contemporary city loft or a Rocky Mountain lodge-style home. Their pieces easily compliment modern or traditional decor and furniture of steel, chrome, antler or leather.

Check out Lou’s website and gorgeous gallery created by his wife Cheryl. She’s as much behind his creative momentum as Lou is himself.

— more later on the conference as we head home tonight… Maureen

Lou Jerry Jim and

Western Design Conference, Jackson, Wyoming

Well, we’re here at the Western Design Conference, hanging out with friends from last year and making new friends.

The Yellowstone table and Walnut Desk with Chair
Tim’s “The Yellowstone” table and Walnut Desk with Chair

We are meeting lots of customers and really hoping someone will make a connection with one of Tim’s woodworking pieces and decide to take it home with them. We’d both really like not to have to take his “The Yellowstone” table and “Forest Muse,” the beautiful walnut desk home with us, no matter how much I’d like them in our own living room.

Here are the three pieces Tim entered into the juried part of the Western Design Conference exhibit.

The Yellowstone: Curly Mango, Lacewood, Padauk and Mahogany
The Yellowstone: Curly Mango, Lacewood, Padauk and Mahogany
"Forest Muse" Desk and Chair of Walnut
“Forest Muse” Desk and Chair of Walnut

Right next to Tim’s pieces, Les and Tauni Powers, of Nature’s Forms, have an elegant booth with outrageous sculptural pieces by Les. My favorite reminds me of the wind dancing through the sandstone canyons at Zion, where we go with our shamanic study group every spring. Turns out, when I mentioned that connection to Les, he told me it is inspired directly by Red Canyon in Bryce, very close to where we go with our group.

Red Canyon by Les Powers
Red Canyon by Les Powers

I’ll post about Lou Quallenberg‘s incredible mesquite table tomorrow. For now, here’s a shot of Lou and 3 friends all woodworkers, and links to their websites. Check ’em out:

Lou Jerry Jim and