Digital Enhancement – The Antique Music Box Sequencer

steampunk music sequencer

Reader Martin Bircher sent word of a new interactive sound installation, Digital Enhancement.

Digital Enhancement consists of an electrified Symphonion Brevet No. 28 music box, a synthesizer, an amplifier and four headphones.

The Symphonion musical box dates back to the beginning of the last century and its mechanical workings are combined with digital technology to convert it into a MIDI sequencer.

The original music, embossed on steel plates, can be played on the synthesizer, which is programmed to mimic the sounds of the Symphonion. In order to operate the sequencer, a hand-cranked dynamo serves as a remote control.

Here’s a demo of Digital Enhancement in action:

Details on the project are available at Bircher’s site.

3 thoughts on “Digital Enhancement – The Antique Music Box Sequencer

  1. Hmm, that’s a pretty avant-garde tune for a century ago…

    I’m waiting for someone to label this conversion an “outrageous act of vandalism” to a valuable antique. Meanwhile, as outrageous acts of vandalism to valuable antiques go, I like it a lot.

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