Our own Michael Colombo created an instrument called the Magnetotron as a project for his New Interfaces for Musical Expression class at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Inspired by the glass armonica and the Mellotron, this instrument is made out of a large spinning cylinder with audio cassette tape glued to it. Recorded on each strip of audio tape is a different note, which can be played by placing paddles on them. Colombo says that while some people think it sounds like a “banshee or a weasel,” he has a lot of fans that like it and appreciate how he is repurposing old analog technology.
Making Music with the Magnetotron