Ben Cowden’s “Wayward Calliope”

Craft & Design Music
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Marky likes it!

One of the highlights of our tour of the Maker Faire grounds last Thursday was this “Wayward Calliope” by artist Ben Cowden of Applied Kinetic Arts. Turn the crank, and a combined mechanical and pneumatic power transfer system activates a choir of slide whistles to produce a sound that is simultaneously beautiful, creepy, and hilarious. Somehow. It’s rather harder to appreciate in a noisy exhibit hall, so if you were at the Faire and saw, but couldn’t hear, be double-dog-sure to check the vid.

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan