The Screechophone


MAKE contributor Larry Cotton fashioned this interesting playing card instrument, the Screechophone –

I built this bizarre musical instrument–based loosely on the playing-card-in-the-bicycle-spokes principle–a while back, shot a quick video, then cannibalized it for parts. As you’ll see, the bicycle spokes were scaled down to a small white plastic gear. The card remained.
I called it a screechophone for reasons which will become obvious as you watch (and listen) to the video.

The whole thing was synced to accompanying music from a mini-CD through an ancient Commodore 64 computer, programmed in BASIC. A transparent disc printed only with black arcs spun with the CD and was read by a photocell.

Shame it was only temporary – but hey, that’s why we have video – Larry Cotton’s Screechophone on Vimeo

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