Not going to lie. I was coaxed to sleep a few nights ago watching Wintergatan’s newest project, the Marble Conveyor Belt, churning out music. The combination of audio produced by the marbles, and the visual of the marbles moving through this inexplicably complex musical marble sculpture is absolutely hypnotizing. I slept earlier than usual and I am not the kind who sleeps early. Just for that, Marble Conveyor Belt is definitely worthy of a mention here.
Man, this is better than counting sheep in helping me in entering la la land. Not that the video good. It is. In fact, it is an impressive work of art. Here are the details you may want to know about this mind-boggling musical machine:
• each crank turn lifts 8 marbles
• ratchets and pistons make load and unload marbles on exactly the same point every time
• pistons are connected to the crank with a 2:1 gear reduction, allowing the conveyor belt to be in sync with the music and in half time
• parts of the beats are contributed by the sound of the ratchets and the marbles climbing the fish stair
• there is only one kick drum that plays 2-4 like a snare normally would
• pistons have 40 mm throw
• pitch of the chain is 15.875 x 2 mm – exactly twice the marble’s diameter
• ratchets move 40 mm and it only grabs onto the chain to move it at exactly 31.75 mm per crank turn
• carriers are flame-polished CNC-ed acrylic
• chain was custom made in Japan
• marbles are intentional stuck over the demagnetizer wheel, only dislodging when new marbles arrive into the pipes from below to ensure perfect demagnetization
My mind is blown. How the heck anyone dreamed up such a complex machine, let alone one that produces sweet tunes? I guess that’s what sets genius apart from the non-genius like me. Go on, have a look at the video. Be warn though, we are not responsible for your sleepiness.
Image: YouTube (Wintergatan).