Check out a modified record player that reads growth rings from a tree like musical notes. Created by German artist Bartholomäus Traubeck, Years takes the annual rings that you find in cross-sections of trees and converts them into piano music. He describes the process on his website:
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 result, as you can plainly hear, is strangely beautiful — if not a bit haunting.
[Bartholomäus Traubeck via Laughing Squid]
Photo by Andreas Fleckl via Bartholomäus Traubeck