Wintergatan’s Marble Machine and Virgo’s Water Planet

Stunning New Instruments By Wintergatan

Swedish band Wintergatan doesn’t use your typical instruments to create their sound. Their handmade and one-of-a-kind instruments are like nothing this world has ever seen, visually and audibly breaking traditional molds.

The Marble Machine, created by Martin Molin of the group, took over a year to build. Initially projecting a two month completion, Molin had to not only combine multiple instruments but address how some of them functioned in different scenarios, such as creating a 90 degree kick drum. Incorporating a programmable wheel, upper base and lower base, this enormous machine uses marbles to pluck notes much like a wind up piano music box.  Fifty million viewers have enjoyed the catchy tune of the machine, which you can listen to below.

 

The Marble Machine isn’t the first crazy instrument Wintergatan has engineered and recorded with.  Their equally novel modulin used a synthesizer and violin-like neck, as well as ten synthesizer modules. Not the most standard-looking instrument, the modulin can create a wide variety of sounds. The video below is a preview into what this instrument can do as well as a basic overview of its components functions.

These instruments are feats in both musical experimentation and sound engineering. The Marble Machine is currently retired and on view at the Speelklok Museum in Utrecht, Netherlands. This museum which houses musical instruments is well suited to displaying and highlighting the instruments unique qualities.

Keep up to date with their newest adventures on their official site. If you see any such wacky machines in the future, it could very well have been invented and handmade by this group.


 

VR Game By Virgo Brings Ethereal Album To Life

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Image Courtney Levine (via Creators Project)

Musician Virgo is known for her multimedia approach to electronic and ocean tech music. Her newest venture into the digital world is a virtual reality game using her newest EP and a few vocal compositions as the soundtrack. The ethereal game matches her eclectic fantasy style, allowing users to explore an alien world and be assisted by a robot jellyfish Aqua. The different levels of the game mirror Virgo’s oceanic influences in her music, with the first level being a free dive through lost underwater temples and ancient ruins.

Movement through the video game is airy and light, gliding or swimming through scenic terrain all while accompanied by the upbeat, ambient sounds of Virgo’s music.

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Image Courtney Levine (via Creators Project)

The debut of the Water Planet video game took place, fittingly, at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami. In an interview with the Creator’s Project, Virgo speaks about the importance of VR games such as this one bringing important insight and education to users – for her, this mission was to remind her audience about the importance of our ocean’s futures and how it intertwines with our’s.

The physical setting for the debut matched the many oceanic levels of them game, lighting the ICA with turquoise and inviting artist Mark Terra to design and install a number of related sculptures. Terra brought to life the many different landscapes features in the game, turning the ICA into a fantasy world itself. Images from the game were projected onto the sculptures, and ambient music played to complete the imagery.

The game is available on Steam and is compatible with Oculus and HTV Vive.

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