The Yaybahar is a new acoustic instrument designed by Istanbul-based musician Görkem Şen that emits music right out of a retro sci-fi movie, a remarkable feat considering there isn’t a bit of electricity involved. The Yaybahar can be played in a variety of different ways using mallets or with a bow, relying on a combination of two drum-like membranes, long springs, and a tall fretted neck to create music. Like any instrument, it’s capable of producing sounds that run the gamut from “beautiful music” to “noise.” Give it a listen! (via The Creators Project)
Update: Here’s a video (in Turkish) of Şen giving a TEDx talk earlier this year where he plays a similar bow and spring-type instrument. (thnx, JR!)
While studying graphic design in college, German artist Peter Dahmen was given the assignment of creating a 3D object out of paper. He soon realized a small problem. Regardless of what he designed, there was no safe way to transport it to class on his daily train commute. Instead of risking damage to his project, Dahmen devised a way to make his paper sculpture fold flat like a pop-up book, a fateful decision that changed the course of his life. He enjoyed the challenge so much that be became obsessed with creating more elaborate designs, eventually leading to a full-time career as a paper engineer.
Animator Marty Cooper just released a sequel to his wildly popular Aug(De)Mented Reality video that blends stop motion with hand-illustrated cels that he holds in front of his iPhone while shooting. Whimsical characters interact with both foreground and background elements like clouds, buildings, animals, and even real people. Earlier this summer, Cooper was invited to stop by Adam Savage’s legendary workshop where he discussed his process and animated a short piece incorporating Savage.
Update: Cooper posts many of his animated clips to Instagram.
In an age of the ubiquitous 3D printer, it’s easy to forget the joy and beauty of handmade craft. Take, for example, the 400-year old Japanese art of creating kokeshi dolls. These traditional wooden figurines were said to have been originally made as souvenirs to sell to people visiting the local hot springs in Northern Japan. Although there are about 10 different styles, each doll is made with an enlarged head and cylindrical body with no arms or legs.
In the video, produced by tetotetote, an organization highlighting the arts and crafts of Sendai, Japan, Yasuo Okazaki woodturns solid blocks into the head and body using just a few tools. Okazaki’s “Naruko” style of making the dolls was passed down to him from his father and features stripes at the top and bottom of the body and bangs with red headdresses. I don’t think there’s anything more soothing and hypnotic than the sights and sounds of watching these dolls emerge from a spinning block of wood.
Filmed last month by Nicolaus Wegner in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado, Stormscapes 2 is a gorgeous timelapse of severe weather events. Wegner deftly captured lightning strikes, rainbow formations, tornadic activity, and rolling thunderstorms in a way I’ve never seen before. Well worth a watch. (via Jason Sondhi)
Only four months after their music video for the “The Writing’s on the Wall” filled with optical illusions, OK Go are back with yet another meticulously choreographed dance video for “I Won’t Let You Down.” Filmed in Japan, this new clip features more than a few umbrellas, Honda UNI-CUB personal vehicles (a kind of tiny robo scooter), and a cast of hundreds. Make sure to stick around for the final shot, hard to believe it’s even real, but knowing OK Go, it certainly is.