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This Swing Set Is the World's Coolest Musical Instrument

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The simple pleasure of swinging is one that most of us probably haven’t enjoyed in years. At the historic Convento Das Dominicas n the Portuguese city of Guimarães—itself a Unesco World Heritage site—designers Cláudia Oliveira and Isabel Bourbon of creative studio Elas Duas gave visitors of all ages an opportunity to sway on a special sound-enhanced installation.


A trio of unfussy plywood and knotted rope swings make up Baloica (“rocking,” according to Google Translate), and each plays a single note when going back or forth. Though occasionally dissonant, the resulting chords are actually pretty pleasant and quite calming to listen to, in a strange way; at one point in the clip, their stacatto soundtrack is complemented by the deep tones of church bells ringing in the distance.

The mechanics of how the gals rigged the system aren’t shown in the vid so it’s tough to tell how they did it, but the concept (and execution!) is lovely nonetheless. Maybe they should team up with fellow swingers Daily Tous Les Jours for a traveling show. [notcot]