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Spinning Spaghetti Monster

Last week I went to a different kind of Dork Bot meeting here in Seattle called the Catastrophic Cacophony Workshop.  It was a maker-style event where we broke up into teams of people and in 90 minutes had to build a robotic musical instrument out of one supplied motor and whatever other parts we could scrounge together. 

Our team started with the basic idea of a repetitive percussive instrument with multiple hammers hitting multiple objects.  So we constructed a platform to hold the motor and used tennis rackets to make a rotating frame that held a series of arms that struck objects as they went around.  We then built frames to hold up things like pot lids or copper pipes to be struck, and attached everything from small chains to bundles of spaghetti to the rotating frame to strike them.  The real enabling insight came from the women on the team who realized that by spacing the arms un-evenly we could create an interesting rhythm.  The one-two-and-three rhythm across a variety of instruments ended up sounding much like a drum circle that actually got people dancing.

Thanks to Espressobuzz for capturing our creation on video.  Thanks to Josh Kopel for bringing the event to Seattle, and Shelly Farnham for organizing.  And to my wonderful teammates whose energy and creativity made the Spinning Spaghetti Monster possible.

  1. Pretty cool.

    Trimpin has a robot instrument installed at the EMP in Seattle, see http://www.empsfm.org/exhibitions/index.asp?categoryID=218&ccID=54
    The whimsical nature of your presentation reminds me of some of Trimpin's other work a little.

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