Designers turn live stream of tree into music

Initially a collaboration between Jesse Bennett Studio, and the Studio of Adam Lynch for Melbourne Design Week as a part of the Friends and Associates “Life and Death” show, the static/dynamic piece initially asked the question: “What would a tree tell us if it could talk, and we were able to listen?”.

Sensors are placed on the leaves of a eucalypt sapling, which convert the internal bio-rhythms to musical data, which then drives a synthesiser. The sapling originally lived in a large cabinet built from Victorian ash, which also housed the technology required, and a small sound system; so the tree could almost “hear itself”. In a gallery setting, the beautiful music echoes through the space, bringing a sense of wonder and calm.

The tree responds to external environmental stimulus, such as light, heat, cold, moisture, airflow, human touch. As the tree responds, the music then also changes.

Unfortunately, the Friends and Associates show was right on the cusp of Melbourne’s first COVID-19 lockdown, and its install was drastically short-lived. Now, due to Melbourne’s ‘stage four’ restrictions, the team is unable to access the beautiful cabinet built for this project, so a reduced version has been set up in Kristoffer’s office. Tune in and let the the tree sing to you as you work and live.

The makers of the project hope that once ‘stage four’ restrictions are lifted, they’ll be able to install static/dynamic in its full, intended form. If you’ve got a space you think would work well, please get in touch below.

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