Record your sound

How does a dying kauri sound?

Why are our kauri dying?

Dieback is a deadly disease killing our kauri. Microscopic spores in the soil infect the roots and damage the tissues that carry nutrients to the tree, effectively starving the kauri to death.

Kauri Tree Spores

These spores spread with soil movement and it only takes a minute number to create a new area of disease.

Once infected, the kauri face a slow demise and without a voice, they die in silence. While scientists are working to find controls for the disease, there is no known treatment at this time.

Infected trees will bleed gum at the base of the trunk as they attempt to fight the disease. In collaboration with a group of partners, we have used these tears as a way to let one kauri communicate its pain.


more infected kauri in the last 5 years

How does one extract sound from a tree?

Working with Tom Cosm, a Digital Audio Technician, we developed a plugin using the software MAX for Live, which allowed us to turn the kauri's bleeding into a musical score.

Extracting Kauri tree sounds

The software fed the video streams through a system that identified the infected areas then scanned said areas with different pattern recognition algorithms, capturing the mass, brightness, color intensity and X/Y co-ordinates.

Extracting Kauri tree sounds

This captured information was used to generate the pitch, duration, volume and playing style for each instrument as both MIDI information and a running data stream, which was then converted into classical musical notation score that the musicians could understand and play.

Measuring tool

We also partnered with Syrp who provided their NZ designed and built Genie and Magic Carpet rigs, enabling the motion controlled video scans of our infected kauri tree.

The individual rigs responsible for a final score of each of the five instruments.


of people walk past cleaning stations

What can you do to help?

You can help change these alarming statistics. Use the cleaning stations and stay on the tracks when visiting our regional parks.

Create your original tune on this website and share it with your family and friends to help us change behavior and fight this disease. Adjust the composition by dragging the notes over the tears of the kauri and then use the controls at the top of the page to record. Once recording, you can also vary the speed and direction of your scrolling to make your piece unique to you.

Extracting Kauri tree sounds


To create your own tune, simply hit the record button and scroll up and down the page.

You can also drag the notes to give it an extra personal touch.

You can help fight this disease by sharing your sound with your family and friends.

Share your Recording

The Auckland Council has recently revealed that 83% of walkers are ignoring cleaning stations in our regional parks, and as a result, the kauri dieback disease is spreading at an alarming rate.

I've created a tune to help spread the word about the disease that is silently killing our kauri - and you'll be helping too, just by listening.

Best experienced with your sound on

Create an original tune by dragging the notes and varying the speed and direction of the scrolling.