Frequency Of Trees

Part of the Open Air collection at Yorkshire Sculpture Park


The frequency of sound is measured by counting the number of occurrences of an event per unit of time. By measuring the number of times a branch or leaf on a tree moved a certain distance within a set time frame, Locke was able to equate tree movements with Hertz readings, the unit used to measure sound.

Locke worked with a Laser scanner technician to scan 4 trees at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park – Oak, Cedar, Beech and Horse Chestnut. She was then able to overlay HD film footage over the detailed laser scans and record the movement of specific leaves and branches.

The audience is invited to strike the tuning forks gently using the beaters positioned around them. After striking, they listen for the resonating frequencies that continue long after the initial strike – these are the pure musical tones that exist after the initial high overtones recede.

The commonly stated human hearing range is 20–16000Hz thus the 16Hz fork will appear to have no sound, however audiences can still enjoy the sight of sound by watching the fork resonate. 

Link to YSP website