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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

COOL STUFF #14 | Wintergartan Marble Machine: An Instrument That Runs Entirely On 2,000 Marbles

By Ludwig Van on March 4, 2016

Musician builds incredible music machine out of wood, marbles and LEGO

There’s nothing quite like human ingenuity. In fact, we’d have to say this is probably one of the most amazing instruments we’ve ever seen.

The Wintergartan Marble Machine works as a kind of giant hand-cranked music box loaded with 2,000 steel marbles activated with pulleys and gears. Like a gigantic circulatory system, the device runs through a 32 measure cycle that triggers built-in instruments including vibraphone, bass guitar, kick drum, and sizzle cymbal. The device is made out of thousands of tiny components handcrafted out of wood and LEGO pieces which work togeather to feed a series of marbles through plastic tubes, and metal funnels.

The instrument was invented by Swedish musician Martin Molin after he became fascinated with the glockenspiel,traktofon, and Theremin.

Like a modern day Leonardo da Vinci, he drew up plans for a giant marble machine and documented the entire process on his YouTube page. “Kick Drum Works!”

The concept follows the tradition of using gravity and marbles to trigger and play music, Molin explains. What makes the machine unique is that, “you can program how the marbles are falling.”

Facts:

Molin spent over 14 months to build it.

It uses over 3,000 wooden pieces.

It can play any style of music.

Molin’s band Wintergartan plans to take the marble machine on tour with them in the summer of 2016.

You can read more about the Wintergartan Marble Machine via Wired.co.uk.

For more cool stuff click here.

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