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Singing Ringing Tree | Tonkin Liu

A musical sculpture on the top of a hill looking across Burnley, Lancashire, provides continuous eerie tunes so long as the wind blows.

The architectural competition, for “all-seeing” structures on a number of derelict, high-point sites, was organized by Mid-Pennine Arts, for the regeneration of the Lancashire Regional Park. These sites all command outstanding views of the countryside. The brief was for a landmark and a shelter, a place from which the public can enjoy the landscape. The aim is to draw city residents into the beautiful landscape that surrounds them.

From Burnley the tree’s profile will be visible on the horizon. It will appear and disappear in the mist. As the wind blows the tree begins to sing. Stories of its song would pass from mouth to ear. In cars and on foot people would make their way from the city and up the hill. The journey would be made to hear the wind make music with the singing ringing tree.

The tree is constructed of stacked pipes of varying lengths. Each layer differs from the next by 15 degrees to respond to the changing wind directions. As the wind passes different length pipes in different layers it will play different chords. Each time you sit under the tree you will hear a different song.

Architects: Tonkin Liu




  1. This is art of the most extraordinary kind, in my opinion. To not only create a sculpture, but one which interacts with nature to play nature’s music, as well as draws people in to interact and play on it is shear beauty.

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