I’m a big fan of strange instruments. I’ve even created a blog series that’s specifically dedicated to people playing covers of songs on strange instruments or things that aren’t even instruments at all. Google Patchy’s Inappropriate Instrumentals for a whole bunch of videos like that.
This is a little different, however, because it’s an original composition played on an instrument that was invented and built by the musician himself… And get this: It runs on 2,000 marbles!
Martin Molin of the swedish band Wintergatan has been working for two years on the Marble Machine – prototyping, tweaking, and building. After all that work, it must feel good to show off your creation.
— Musical Toronto (@MusicalToronto) March 4, 2016
This is a pretty cool instrument – with the melody mainly carried by a vibraphone which is struck by the marbles. There’s a bass guitar attached which the performer plays manually, and also a couple of drums and cymbals – again, struck by the marbles.
I can’t imagine all the design and hard work that went into making this thing – but it really works.
And the song they’ve programmed it to play is actually pretty awesome!
As a kid who grew up in the 90’s, I can’t help but be reminded by this of a toy set I always so desperately wanted as a young child, but never had to opportunity to get: The K’Nex Big Ball Factory.
Speaking of that Big Ball Factory… It’s been pulled out of the vault and is on sale again 20 years later! You can find it HERE.
It’s like a new take on the classic one-
man person band!
Kudos to the team of people behind the building of the Wintergatan Marble Machine – I can’t imagine how much work went into it… And that’s coming from a guy who can get frustrated putting together Ikea furniture!