Slightly Windy / Reuge (music box makers)
This was a project done at ÉCAL for Reuge in collaboration with the Campana brothers. Reuge is a music box manufacturer company since 1865. They possess an incomparable knowledge and craftsmanship in music box making.
Before visiting the Reuge manufactury, I had never seen nor heard an authentic 144 blade music box. I was moved by the beauty and the finesse of the mechanism creating the movement and the melody. It takes us to a world of lightness and gentleness.
There had to be a way to transpose and intensify this emotion into the new music box.
This is how the music box works:
The motor gives movement to the cylinder. The pins on the cylinder hit the blades of the keyboard. The pins are placed accordingly to the music chosen in order to play the right notes. It is this action that creates the melody.
The music box Slightly Windy uses this movement to animate the barley. It translates the lightness of nature being lulled by wind and music.
Since the power generated by the motor is just enough to create the rotation of the cylinder; one of the challenges of this project was to enable the barley to move without creating a resistance that could slow or stop the motor.
The mechanism parts are made of brass. It has a gold look-a-like effect and good machining properties. The resonance case is made out of peach tree wood known for its musical properties. It is used for musical instruments because of its resonance. Real barley painted in gold is used at the tip of the brass tubes.
The track ('Son of a Preacher Man' by Dusty Springfield) played by the box was custom made.
I like this although I don't get the relevance of 'Son of a Preacher Man'. Maybe 'I've Got a Brand New Combine Harvester' or a piece of music more elegantly pastoral would have worked better? However, it did remind me of the very limited edition music box that Badly Drawn Boy produced back in 2000 that played eleven seconds of his 'I Love You All'. And I'd love to see one of these being used to translate some futuristic techno track via those cute enchanting chimes.