The Music Construction Machine, built by Niklas Roy, is a large, public, generative music box, which people can operate via a big hand crank. Rotating the crank moves various mechanisms inside the giant box, producing ever-changing melodies and rhythmic patterns, played with an electric guitar, a keyboard and a drum set. As the machine is contained in a transparent glass pavilion, people can observe and contemplate on its inner workings while cranking.
At the moment the installation is exhibited on a public square called Plac Nowy Targ in Wrocław, Poland, as a part of the city’s cultural capital program. Therefore, it is a machine for everybody. The music is generated by an algorithm, which is implemented entirely in mechanical hardware, and which iterates through all kinds of possible sequences of beats and tones. Thus, the machine permanently ‘constructs’ new ‘music’ while it is being operated, hence the name “Music Construction Machine”.
To see the machine details closer and also the audience’s response check the video below: