What can one guy do with 2,000 marbles and 3,000 machine parts? Something completely unreal.
Meet Martin Molin of the Swedish band Wintergatan, creator of the Marble Machine. His truly insane contraption is a crank-powered machine that uses 2,000 marbles and a mind-bending series of levers to create a full song from deconstructed instruments, including parts from a xylophone, violin, and kick drum. What exactly does that mean? With the machine, one person can play a fully composed song, including melody, drums, and bass.
If you’re not stunned by the sheer engineering, consider that the machine is completely manual—no circuit boards or electricity required. Also, it took 14 months to build.
Certainly, the Marble Machine is a feat of physics, which Molin spent endless hours planning, building, and tweaking. But like any project, it was not without its hiccups. Once it was built, Molin and his team noticed one problem: The machine is really heavy. They’d planned to shoot the video for months, but it ended up being too heavy to move into a proper photo studio. No biggie, though. They threw down some painters cloth and filmed it in the same workspace it was built in.
We wouldn’t know the difference.
To get a sense of what it took to produce the machine, watch the video below. And check out the more in-depth videos on the making of the Marble Machine here.
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