When you think of machines, what comes to mind? Do you imagine large construction machines that can dig voluminous holes through mountains, pave public streets, remove tree stumps, and demolish buildings? What about agriculture machines that can pull a tree out of the ground, harvest a grove of oranges in an hour, and plant a field full of wheat? But machines aren’t only made for functional means; machines can also be used to make beautiful music. Player pianos and other automata have played songs for crowds for hundreds of years. The Marble Machine, created by the Swedish band Wintergatan in 2014, uses steel marbles to play a vibraphone, bass guitar, cymbal, emulated kick drum, high hat and snare drum, and their videos have received over 59 million views! In Machines That Make Music, you’ll create machines that strum your Stratocaster better than Jimi Hendrix, keep a beat better than Greg Landfair, Jr., and play new kinds of songs that investigate pitch, rhythm, dynamics, timbre and texture using servos, motors, linear actuators and more.
In Machines That Make Music, students will work with a musician and a roboticist to research musical instruments and state of the art machines to create innovative musical machines. Using the combined power of digital design (computer aided drafting, 3D modeling) and rapid prototyping tools (laser cutters and 3D printers), students will concept, design, and build these high-tech music machines full-scale. We’ll be using Formlabs’ Form 2 printer to print high strength 3D printed parts for the machines. In addition, students will be learning about music theory and machine theory. Bring your musical fuel, we’re going to be jamming!
Digital Fabrication (Laser-cutting, 3d Printing)
- Enrolling students must be between the ages of 11 to 13 (or grades 6-8)