Niklas Roy’s Music Construction Machine

If you think of a music box, the first image that might come to mind is that of a small tabletop device with a simple mechanism and a single instrument. Usually a row of chimes triggered by points etched on a roller. If you are a bit more ambitious maybe you thought of a player piano with a roll of perforated paper carrying a tune, but yet again with only the single voice of one instrument.

mcm_06[Niklas Roy] however has a different vision when it comes to mechanical music. He’s created an entire ensemble with real musical instruments, a drum kit, keyboard, and electric guitar. His Music Construction Machine is no simple music box with a single tune though, it generates a constantly changing melody through a mechanically implemented algorithm with a complex interaction of cyclic variables that periodically alternate between harmonic and discordant. Unfortunately we can’t find any audio examples of the installation at work.

There is a timeliness to this post, the machine is part of an art installation at the Goethe-Institut Pop Up Pavillion on the Nowy Targ square in Wrocław, Poland, and it will be exhibited until the 10th of July. We hope some of our Central European readers will be within range and can make the trip. If you do, we’d love to hear some sample audio from your visit.

We’ve featured [Niklas]’s work many times before here at Hackaday. Just a few highlights are a past musical project powered by water, God on the CB radio, and his all-terrain mobile beer crate.

UPDATE: [Niklas] has posted details of the exhibition in Wroclaw on his blog, including several videos like the on below the break that show the machine in its full glory.

8 thoughts on “Niklas Roy’s Music Construction Machine

  1. Wow! Those moments when Hackaday is faster than yourself with publishing your own projects :)

    I’ve just updated my website with the final documentation of the project: http://www.niklasroy.com/project/191/MCM

    But for your convenience, here are some sounds and videos of it:

    [soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/238528659" params="auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true" width="100%" height="450" iframe="true" /]

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEy7A0p0v8g&w=560&h=315%5D

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwrP_qOXAus&w=560&h=315%5D

    1. It was the subject of a conversation behind the scenes here, judging whether it was better to point people in that part of the world at the machine while it was still being exhibited, or to wait for videos to surface. Since the exhibition is finite the former course was picked.

      Thanks for the videos.

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