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Musical magic from crisp bread and Lego

Metro Teknik · 8 Sep 2008
Uppdaterad 15 Feb 2011

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A Japanese designer is working magic at a Swedish research institute with his highly unusual musical instruments. Yoshi Akai does things differently: crisp bread instead of vinyl records; pieces of Lego instead of synthesizer keys. “This one’s a bit of a secret. I got the idea from a magic show,” says Akai.

Stroking an invisible sound ball, he is able to make sweet music with the gloves he is wearing. The gloves contain various sensors that control the volume, character, pitch and speed of a particular sound. Black cables lead to a black box on his back where the music is generated. This is the sound musician’s secret.

Akai has been at the Interactive Institute in Kista for a year and a half.“Electronics was a hobby I had as a child when I wanted to make fun things. Then I remembered being a terrible musician at school and decided to make simple instruments with fun interfaces.”

He is most proud of his Lego player, where the different coloured pieces each have their own sound. But the crowd-pleasing crisp bread player is perhaps the most Swedish instrument in his arsenal.

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