Swedish musician Martin Molin has created a magical music machine using steel marbles, plywood and an excess of technical know-how.
Molin, who is part of the band Wintergatan, started work on the machine in August 2014 and uploaded a music video of the machine in action on 1 March 2016 – by all accounts taking over a year to complete it.
‘I was thinking maybe I can make a programmable marble machine, that doesn’t make chaos but is actually controllable in the sounds it makes,’ he told Wired recently in this interview.
He notes that programmable music machines are nothing new. ‘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.’
But in the digital age, an artisanal contraption such as this one is something to marvel at, especially given that it uses over 2 000 marbles. Each piece of the machine is handmade by Molin using a moulding technique called moulage.
Watch the video below to learn more about how Molin created the machine.
Wintergatan will be touring Europe with the Wintergatan Marble Machine later this year.
Watch the music video, filmed by Hannes Knutsson, here: