The Singing, Ringing Tree

Looking at the magnificent Panopticon on Crown Point, high above Burnley.

This spot offers a superb panorama to the viewer, from the Cliviger Gap in the south-east to Pendle hill in the north-west. The blurred grass in the midground only hints at how strong the wind was: there had been gales across the hills for the previous 24 hours, and I was lucky to capture this shot between fierce showers and gusts. This piece of public art channels the wind through its steel pipework and plays an undulating, harmonic tune to provide a background soundtrack to the wildness of the view.

“The design selected for Burnley’s Panopticon was ‘Singing, Ringing Tree’ by architects Tonkin Liu Ltd. It was selected in early 2005 through a public consultation exercise. Designs by three different architects were exhibited in six venues around Burnley and ‘Singing Ringing Tree’ was unanimously selected by the public and steering group to go forward for development.

Perhaps the most playful and innovative of all the Panopticons designs, this unique musical sculpture overlooks Burnley from its position high above the town on Crown Point. Making the most of the prevailing westerly winds, ‘Singing, Ringing Tree’ makes an intriguing, tuneful sound, audible only at relatively close range.”

This was my submission for the summer solstice 2008 WWP event. You can view (and hear) the full submission here.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.

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