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Friday, March 4, 2016

Video: The Hand-Cranked Wintergatan Marble Machine Uses 2,000 Marbles to Make Music

The Wintergatan Marble Machine was built by Swedish musician Martin Molin of the band Wintergaten. It's a hand-made machine that powers a kick drum, bass, vibraphone and other instruments using a hand crank and 2,000 marbles. Per Wired:
Click to embiggen
The machine itself is -- as intended -- programmable. Its central wheel is a 32 bar loop, and the key of the song can be adjusted while playing -- in the published video, it starts in E minor and runs into C major for its second wheel. "In theory you could go on forever," Molin said.

"It's all about the grid," he said. "I grew up making music on Midi, and everyone makes music on a grid nowadays, on computers. Even before digital they made fantastic, programmable music instruments. In bell towers and church towers that play a melody they always have a programming wheel exactly like the one that is on the marble machine." 
As the machine cycles it activates a vibraphone, bass, kick drum, cymbal and other instruments that play a score programmed into a 32 bar loop comprised of LEGO technic parts.

Watch full screen!

Here's a general "making of" video: there is also a series of prologue videos about the building of the machine that shows its individual components as they come together.

This is, of course, reminiscent of the Animusic videos, although were computer generated:

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