Two of the greatest things ever, music and Legos, have joined forces for an animated art piece that will blow your mind, much like acid would. Veritably so, old-school acid is just what this contraption pumps out when it gets its gears going. A full on Lego acid music machine, dubbed Play House, is what PhD student Alex Allmont has created and presented to the AudioGraft Experimental Music and Sound Art Festival.
Melodies are generated by a dropped basketball that ends in one out of the four slots, after colliding with various pegs down its route. To keep the music in time, a main sequencer had to be constructed; Alex explains why and how he made the decisions to come up with the final product:
“I decided instead to use 2/4 with quarter notes, partly because going from 16 to 8 saves a lot of space and complexity, but also because it would generate a melody that repeats on every other beat, and I found this ideal for the hypnotic music I was producing. The construction is very simple because Lego has a 16-tooth gear, so to make an 8-step sequencer you need a central shaft with 8 of these gears on it and from each gear you drive another 16 tooth gear, each being rotated two teeth on from the last. Each driven gear is 1/8th out of phase with the last, and if you put little tappers under each gear and you have a sequencer that taps out 1/8th notes.”
Pretty awesome, if you ask me. Hypnotic beats coming from Legos sounds like it is too good to be true, but, it is here for real. Check it out below and follow the source link to see Alex’s in depth article on his project, Play House.