Trees have been known to dance and sway with the wind, but the unique Singing and Ringing Tree in Lancashire also proves that certain kinds of trees can sing. This singing tree consists of a sculpture made from hundreds of tubes made to resemble a tree.
The Singing Ringing Tree is set among the range of hills in Pennine which overlooks as well the town of Burnley in the county of Lancashire in England. The frequent strong winds that sweep through the area pass through the pipes and makes them “sing.”
The Birth of Panopticons in Lancashire
The 3-meter sculpture was finished in 2006 and is one among a sequence of four Panopticon sculptures project produced by the ELEAN. It was commissioned a decade and a half ago by Mid Pennine Arts as a celebration of the revitalization effort that occurred in the textile and engineering industries in the Lancashire country after the industrialization period.
Panopticons are spaces, devices, or structures that provide a panoramic or comprehensive view. Similar structures like the Singing Ringing Tree is distributed in other districts. The Atom is located in the Lancashire district of Pendle. The structure was commissioned by its mayors and designed by artists from the Peter Meacock Projects. The sculpture is made from reinforced concrete, and bronze coated fiberglass and serves as both viewing point and shelter for the landscape.
The other two, namely the Colourfields and the Halo, can be found in Blackburn and Haslingden respectively. Colourfields finds its base in Corporation Park with its design that is made up of former battery cannons. The Halo, the last of the Panopticons to be built, is an artwork set in a landfill site.
The Making of the Singing Ringing Tree
The Singing Tree is a three meter structure that is composed entirely of galvanized steel pipes. The architects and designers of the sculpture, Anna Liu and Mike Tonkin, created the sculpture after being inspired by trees in the upland-fringe and coastal areas that have been shaped by the constant prevailing winds that pass them by. The discordant shape is meant to mimic the wind-blasted, stretched bodies of the trees, their bent branches, and their huddled or stunted trunks.
The pipes are shaped like a twisted, expanding spiral to catch winds from all directions. The winds passing through the pipes create sounds that range through numerous octaves. The pipes, far from being decorative and artistic pieces have been cut, especially to create the sound. This was achieved through “tuning the pipes,” which was done by having additional holes on the sides and undersides of the pipes.
When you visit the Singing Tree in of Burnley, you will be able to spend the day admiring the artistic beauty of the tree as well as listen to it harmonic singing. In addition to the sculpture, the surrounding scenery is also awe-inspiring as from the tree’s foundations, you may be able to glimpse a sea of fog passing by the valley, distant mountains, and ridges.