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.
The Panopticons project was managed by Mid Pennine Arts - find out more about it on our website: