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Losing your Marbles


This guy is a GENIUS or madman, you decide.

Marble Music Machine

Swedish musician Martin Molin spent two years building a hand-cranked music box that plays a number of different instruments, all through the use of marbles. With its hand-crafted wooden pulleys, levers, and 2,000 steel balls, the Marble Machine plays a semi-programmable, variable-key 32-bar loop featuring a vibraphone, a kick drum, a bass, and more.

Molin told Wired that he was inspired to build the machine by the existing marble machine subculture.

“The marbles, you know, they behave like water,” sais Molin. “The nature of water is that it just breaks through everything. After 100,000 years it can make a hole in stone. The marbles act like that. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing to try to tame them. They are just flooding every wall I’m putting up. I’ll have to fix some escaping marble issues in order to tour.”

Each of the 3,000 wooden pieces that comprise the Marble Machine were moulded and assembled by Molin, who documented the construction process over the two years it took to complete the machine in a series of videos.