Wooden Hand-Cranked Instrument Runs on 2,000 Marbles

After two years of prototyping, tweaking, and building, Martin Molin of the Swedish band Wintergatan finally debuted his enormous musical marble machine.

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The melody is primarily carried by a vibraphone whose bars are hit by falling marbles, but it also includes small percussion and cymbals, as well as a bass guitar neck. It even has a “breakdown” arm, which is a literal brake that kills the instrument’s flywheel—that huge spinning circle that’s primarily responsible for the marble machine keeping time accurately. Maybe most importantly, the song Martin programmed it to play is actually really freaking great.

For a more detailed understanding of how this monstrous thing works, Martin uploaded a two “how it works” videos, which you can watch here and here.

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DISCUSSION

I was kind of bummed that he touched the guitar. The thing was so sweet being completely automated. Now some malls or kids museums or something need to commission these.

The whole thing reminds me of Animusic