Singing Ringing Tree (sculpture)

The Singing Ringing Tree is a wind powered sound sculpture resembling a tree set in the landscape of the Pennine hill range overlooking Burnley, in Lancashire, England.

Singing Ringing Tree
Singing Ringing Tree Stitch.jpg
Singing Ringing Tree is located in the Borough of Burnley
Singing Ringing Tree
Singing Ringing Tree
Location in the Borough of Burnley
ArtistMike Tonkin and Anna Liu
Year2006 (2006)
Dimensions3 m (9.8 ft)
Coordinates53°45′23.90″N 2°13′37.99″W / 53.7566389°N 2.2272194°W / 53.7566389; -2.2272194Coordinates: 53°45′23.90″N 2°13′37.99″W / 53.7566389°N 2.2272194°W / 53.7566389; -2.2272194

Completed in 2006, it is part of the series of four sculptures within the Panopticons arts and regeneration project created by the East Lancashire Environmental Arts Network (ELEAN). The project was set up to erect a series of 21st-century landmarks, or Panopticons (structures providing a comprehensive view), across East Lancashire as symbols of the renaissance of the area.

Designed by architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu of Tonkin Liu, the Singing Ringing Tree is a 3-metre (10 ft) tall construction comprising pipes of galvanised steel which harness the energy of the wind to produce a slightly discordant and penetrating choral sound covering a range of several octaves. Some of the pipes are primarily structural and visual elements, while others have been cut across their width enabling the sound. The harmonic and singing qualities of the tree were produced by tuning the pipes according to their length by adding holes to the underside of each.

In 2007, the sculpture won (along with 13 other candidates) the National Award of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for architectural excellence.

In March 2017, a second Singing Ringing Tree was set on the outskirts of Austin, Texas in the United States in the rural area of a small town called Manor.

While the exact location is unknown, Tonkin Liu also helped in the creation of a third sculpture which is found somewhere in Saudi Arabia.

See alsoEdit


  • Birch, Amanda (3 August 2007), "Tonkin Liu’s Singing Ringing Tree puts panpipes into park panorama", in Building Design ( Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  • East Lancashire Environmental Arts Network (2005), "A Panopticon for Burnley". Archived from the original on 17 January 2006. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) (22 June 2007), RIBA National and European Awards. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  • Carlson, Amanda (9 September 2020), "The rise of Houston jack-of-all-trades shop JK Welding", in The Welder. Retrieved 1 July 2021.

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