The Singing Ringing Tree is a wind-powered sound sculpture situated on the Pennine Hills overlooking the town of Burnley.
It is one of the four sculptures created for the ‘Panopticons‘ project. The project, by the East Lancashire Environmental Arts Network, involved the construction of 21st century landmarks that gave a complete view across the surrounding area of East Lancashire. The four sculptures were erected in the districts of Blackburn, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale. It took six years to complete the project, with the last sculpture being erected in 2007.
(image from Wikipedia)
The Singing Ringing Tree was designed by Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu of the Tonkin Liu architect firm. It is a 3 metre tall construction made out of galvanised steel pipes which harness the energy of the wind to produce a discordant, choral sound. It is quite haunting. Here is a short video documenting this.
Whilst some of the pipes are purely for structure and aesthetic elements, the others have been cut across their widths to enable the sound. The harmonic and singing qualities were produced by making holes in the underside of each pipe according to their length.
Unfortunately we haven’t yet visited the sculpture, but we did see it in the distance when we visited Burnley.
Our view of the sculpture from Burnley. As you can imagine, you would have a fantastic view of the surrounding area from the hill.