Panopticons - Singing Ringing Tree
Panopticon - Singing, Ringing Tree high on the moors overlooking Burnley.
The Singing Ringing Tree is aptly named. A 3-meter-tall, wind-powered musical sculpture made of galvanized steel pipes, it stands high above the English town of Burnley. The pipes swirl to form the shape of a tree bent and blown by the wind, and produce an eerie, melodious hum as the constant wind on Crown Point drifts through them. The Singing Ringing Tree's pipes are used for both aesthetic qualities as well as for tuning, with their sound varied according to length and added narrow slits on the underside of specific pipes. The sound produced by these twisted metal trees covers several octaves and is said to be simultaneously discordant and melancholy, and intensely beautiful.
Completed in 2006, the Tree was designed by award-winning architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu. The site at Burnley was once that of a re-diffusion transmission station, complete with a run-down brick building and unused telegraph lines. The station was dismantled and the lines cut down to be recycled, to make way for the Tree that was to stand out against the stark, rolling landscape of the Pennines.
In 2007, the sculpture won the National Award of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for architectural excellence.
View the video about the Singing Ringing Tree, top right hand corner of this page, above the photographs.
Singing Ringing Tree Storytelling Competition
As part of the Land project (2003-2007), a unique education and creative arts project run alongside and in partnership with Panopticons, we organised a storytelling competition for students in collaboration with the Burnley Express. The subject was the Singing Ringing Tree and the entrants devised some very imaginative tales! You can read the winning and highly commended stories here: 18+ age group; 7-17 age group.
Duet No.1 for Synthesizer and The Singing Ringing Tree
John Kesson,originally from the UK, but currently based in Minneapolis, is a musician, composer and sound artist exploring the synesthetic relationships between auditory and optical landscapes. This series of blogs documents his five day recording session and performance series at the Singing Ringing Tree.