3 times when nature inspired musicians in astonishing ways

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Nature is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for many painters, writers and musicians, but there are times when artists find uncommon ways to turn the beauty of nature into artwork. Below you can read about three extraordinary pieces of music that were inspired or "composed" by nature.

Musicians can also find inspiration in nature

Musicians frequently find inspiration in nature (Photo: pixabay.com / SplitShire)

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If trees could sing...

Have you ever wondered of what stories the centuries-old trees would tell us if they could speak - or what would they sing like, if they had a voice? Well, there is a musician who did, and he worked until was able to "convert" the growth of the trees into pieces of music. While "the music of the trees" is no Bach or Mozart, it’s still pretty beautiful in a strange way, and you don’t have to be an Ent to enjoy it!

The Voice of the Trees is a really interesting project by Bartholomaus Traubeck musician and engineer, who noticed the similarity of the "slices" of the tree trunks and the vinyls once used to record and replay music. The patterns found on the tree slices - that are formed as the new layers or the tree grow from year to year, and are basically caused by the difference between the summer and winter conditions the trees face - can be "played" using the modified record player Bartholomaus Traubeck designed using various make-shift components.

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The mysterious song of the whales

Not long after scientists were able to record and study the sounds of the ocean’s giants, musicians also discovered the haunting songs humpback whales sing to communicate with their kin. One musician, David Rothenberg values the strange moans, cries and clicking voices the whales make so much, that he even "jams" with the animals from time to time, dropping the microphone into the water and playing along with the song of the whales. With the help of Michael Deal - a visual designer -, Rothenberg was able to translate the songs of the humpback whales into musical notation, which, with its many shapes and colors is also quite interesting.

Bird songs slowed down are almost musical masterpieces

Singing birds are famous for their wonderful songs that inspired many writers and artists since many centuries - Hans Christian Andersen, for instance wrote a tale (The Nightingale) that was mainly inspired by the song of the nightingales. Scientists also found the beauties of the bird songs, and one of them - Donald Kroodsma - even recorded and slowed down the songs of the thrushes so that we can hear their songs in their real complexity.

Birds hear four times better in time than we do, but thanks to the slowed recordings we can finally enjoy even those little details that we otherwise miss because of our much poorer hearing ability. While the bird songs are quite enjoyable and surprisingly complex, some artist synchronized them with instrumental music, while many others started sharing their own recordings of bird songs slowed down to show their beauty. Szőke Péter even "converted" the bird song into musical or vocal pieces of music for his album called "The Unknown Music of Birds".

Anita Diós

May 2018

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