“Andante” was created by MIT’s Tangible Media Group as a way to promote an understanding of the way that music is rooted in the body, an experience that transcends more than just the ears. The group, led by Professor Hiroshi Ishii, gives physical form to abstract digital information, providing delightful visuals to more complicated processes.
In the animated experiment, human and animal characters were programmed to stroll along the keys of a keyboard, playing notes as they walk or dance from one key to the next. Despite the simplicity of the characters’ movements it is quite entrancing to watch each step, especially when a pianist begins to play a duet with one of the small figures. See the full visualization of the “Andante” in the video below! (via Booooooom)
Here’s a clever but of instrumentation and video work. Musician Steve-san Onotera, aka the Samurai Guitarist, recorded himself playing the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun at an excruciatingly slow pace—almost 30 minutes to play the song once. He then sped the recording up 20 times and played it back, creating a sound that could easily be mistaken for some kind of modulated violin. Shooting during a sunrise was a nice touch. (via Kottke)
Please take a few moments to immerse yourself in this lovely new music video for folk country trio Jane Bordeaux’s ‘Ma’agalim.’ The animated short transports us inside a device inspired by components from an old penny arcade device that contains a perpetually moving landscape where people go about their daily lives. The attention to detail in color and texture of every frame is breathtaking, but isn’t surprising given director Uri Lotan's previous work at Pixar and Disney. You can see full credits for the film here. (via Vimeo)
Since the 1960s, Alex Carozza has been repairing and building accordions in New York City for customers around the world. Now, at the age of 88, he’s reportedly the only person left in the city still repairing these complicated instruments in a cramped studio with his 93-year-old assistant. Great Big Story sits down with the “Sultan of Squeezeboxes” for a brief but charming interview. (via Devour)
Unfortunately this video ends almost before it begins, but it’s just long enough to get a quick glimpse of an Istanbul-based musician named Erdem Dalkıran as he shows off his ridiculous percussion abilities while playing a darbuka, or goblet drum. I was going to make a generic comment about something like this taking a lifetime of practice (which is certainly true), but here’s a a young boy using many of the same techniques. Amazing. (via Reddit)
Swedish musician Martin Molin has long had experience with esoteric instruments like the glockenspiel, traktofon, or Theremin, but he may have topped his musical prowess with the invention of his own new instrument: the Wintergatan Marble Machine, a hand-cranked music box loaded with instruments including a circuit of 2,000 cascading steel marbles. As the devices 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. The marbles are moved internally through the machine using funnels, pulleys, and tubes.
Molin began work on the marble machine in August 2014 and hoped to spend about two months on the project. Its complexity soon spiraled out of control as all 3,000 internal parts had to be designed and fabricated by hand, a time-consuming process that eventually took 14 months. An early version was designed using 3D software, but it was easier for Molin to create parts on the fly leading to it’s Frankenstein appearance. The musician shared much of his progress in regular video updates that he shared on YouTube.
Despite the extreme interest an oddity like the Wintergatan Marble Machine is bound to generate—especially on the internet—don’t expect to see it on tour anytime soon, as the contraption has to be completely disassembled to move it. Molin hopes to build additional music devices, some smaller, or perhaps more suited for transport. You can read a bit more about it on Wired UK.