Swedish musician Martin Molin from the band Wintergatan made a truly remarkable - and insane - contraption. His fully manual hand-crank machine generates music with 2,000 marbles.
The Marble Machine gives "one-man band" a whole new meaning.
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Wintergatan, which means "winter street" in Swedish, released an eponymous album in 2013 and have a distinctive folktronica sound. If you need a soundtrack for a twee stop-motion short film, look no further.
Molin is as much a maker as musician. Fans of his former band, Detektivbyrån ("The Detective Agency") called him MacGuyver, according to the Creators Project. Inspired by the whole marble machine subculture (yes, there is one), Molin got to work on his own.
Initially he thought building a music-making Marble Machine would only take two months, but after starting it in late 2014, the project ended up spanning 14 months, Wired UK reported.
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The guy meticulously assembled the machine from 3,000 pieces - a lot of it cut from wood. A hand crank activates the conveyor belt, directing marbles through gears and spouts to generate specific notes and sounds. Inside are an assortment of instruments including a vibraphone, strings, kick drum, and bass. Outer levers control them.
Fellow musician Marcus Dimbodius assisted with the design, coming up with a solution for the cymbal and offering the conveyor belt concept, Molin said in his YouTube video marking the machine's completion.
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"The marbles, you know, they behave like water," Molin told Wired UK. "The nature of water is that it just breaks through everything." Although he'd need to figure out a way to control all the marbles that fly out before touring with the machine, it is programmable.
Watching the video of him pulling the levers and cranking the handle on the machine might be the most hipster thing I've ever seen in my life. It really does sound like a full band playing. Enjoy the labor of love here: