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6 reasons I like Wintergatan

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13th May 2016 | 01:06

  1. If you have not yet seen the Wintergatan Marble Machine video, you should. It is totally amazing: a musical instrument and a Heath Robinson machine and a marble run and a great tune. It has been viewed nearly 19 million times since it was published on the 29th February.

    Wintergatan have a lot of videos on YouTube most of which tell the story of the construction of the Marble Machine. I loved watching them all: an impressive combination of experimentation and skill.

  2. The Starmachine 2000 video is also great. It interleaves a stop-motion animation (featuring Lego) filmed using a slide machine (which apparently provides the percussion riff for the tune) with the band showing some of their multi-instrument virtuosity.

    The second half of the video tells the story of another home-made musical instrument: a music box driven by punched tape, which you can see playing the melody at the start of the video. Starmachine 2000 was published in January 2013, so it's a tiny hint of their later greatness.

    I think the synth played on the shoulder is also home-made.

  3. Sommarfågel is the band's introductory video, also featuring stop-motion animation and the punched-tape music box.

    Its intro ends with a change of time signature from 4/4 to 6/8 time!

    The second half of the video is the making of the first half - the set, the costumes, the animation. The soundtrack sounds like it was played on the music box.

  4. They have an album which you can listen to on YouTube or buy on iTunes.

    By my reckoning, 4 of the tracks are in 3/4 time, 3 in 4/4 time, and 2 in 6/8 time. I seem to like music in unusual time signatures.

  5. One of the tracks is called "Biking is better".

  6. No lyrics.

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Comments {3}


from: hobnobs
date: 14th May 2016 10:38 (UTC)

I hadn't seen The Marble Machine as I've pretty much dropped off the web outside of work-requirements, but it is a fantastic achievement in music, engineering and creativity which has left me very impressed. Thanks for mentioning it here. :)

Unusual time signatures are fun... Dave Brubeck loved messing around with them as well, and gave us Take Five (5/4) and Unsquare Dance (7/4) to name but two.

(If you want to hear some fun tempo changes, then the intro to YYZ by Rush is excellent. Ostensibly 5/4 it quickly mixes up a few other time signatures before kicking into the instrumental itself.)

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 14th May 2016 10:43 (UTC)

Yeah I have a few Brubeck Quartet albums :-) Also Fear of Fours by Lamb is a fun concept but their music isn't really my thing.

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from: hobnobs
date: 14th May 2016 10:52 (UTC)

Hmmm, Lamb's genre doesn't really do it for me, but I'm always up for interesting tempos so I'll dig through Spotify when I get home and see if the album is in there.

Ta. :)

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