Constant readers of this blog may remember last year when I posted some short films about Ray and Charles Eames and their fabulous “901” Warehouse workspace. One of the films features a large “Marble Music Machine” built by the Eames which used thousands of marbles gravity-fed to drop into xylophone blocks to constantly play a strange and unsettling calliope tune with the notes and timing “programmable” by moving around the xylophone blocks.
Well, now a Swedish musician named Martin Molin has done the Eames one better with a fantastic hand-made contraption called the “Wintergatan Marble Machine”, incorporating not only the guts of a vibraphone, but also a small drum kit and a bass guitar, all played by one man cranking the handle to power the machine, throwing levers like a mad scientist and fingering the bass fretboard built into the machine. Must be seen to be believed, and far less unsettling than the Eames machine:
Curious about how it works?
Super Typosphere Bonus! Completely unexpectedly (though a genius like this guy is *certain* to have one) as I was watching one of the “How It Works” video, I spotted this Olivetti Lettera 32 sitting on a shelf in the fellow’s workshop:
And now, with the caveat that it needs more cowbell, Wintergatan introduces themselves to the world:
and, of course, watching the above video, I catch a glimpse of something that looks a lot like the carrying case for an Olivetti Valentine…