This Ridiculous Contraption Uses 2000 Marbles To Create Gorgeous Music

4 March 2016 | 5:22 pm | Staff Writer

If it's stupid but it works, it's not stupid

Aside from looking a bit like Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Swedish probable-genius Martin Molin can count the creation of the utterly ludicrous Wintergatan Marble Machine to his list of life accomplishments.

There's no real malice in our choice of adjective when describing the Wintergatan; in fact, there's a thinly veiled undertone of hushed awe, maybe even jealousy, because there's no denying how breathtakingly impressive this thing is in terms of both musicality and sheer engineering brilliance. Still, one need only cast their eyes upon it to understand that this is one cumbersome instrument; yes, it's beautifully handcrafted and its aural results are remarkable, but not the most practical of things to take on tour.

As per The Nerdist, the Wintergatan Marble Machine is the result of 14 months' work on Molin's part, requiring more than 3000 working parts in addition to the 2000 marbles that flow throughout its various paths and channels on the machine in order to create its music. Its actual output covers both melody and rhythm — i.e. it has its own working drum sounds — and adds up to a stunning composition that utilises dynamics, structure, transitions and tempo in a way that some non-mechanical musicians would frigging kill for.

Take a look at the finished machine in action below (filmed and edited by Hannes Knutsson, with costuming by Angelique Nagtegaal). If you're keen on checking out the process that led Molin to this point, suss out his YouTube channel, which is filled with making-of and behind-the-scenes videos related to the Wintergatan's creation.

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