Meredith Silverman
Rosie Daniel

Spherical Miracle Machine

The Spherical Miracle Machine is an acoustic, gravity-driven, two-person musical interface in which different types of balls fall into containers lined with various percussive surfaces.

New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The Spherical Miracle Machine was created to be an entertaining (and somewhat chaotic) musical interface for two people to play/perform together. Different types of balls (ping pong, marbles, wooden, and bouncy) are released from containers mounted on an eight-foot tall structure made of steel plumbing pieces that spins on a rotating base. The interface has two components - the game aspect in which the players aim to get specific balls in specific containers as they fall, as well as the auditory aspect, in which balls hitting various percussive surfaces provide an array of sound (some musical and some less-than-musical).

Our goal for this project was to design a musical instrument that is completely acoustic - no electronics allowed. As the creators of the only acoustic instrument in our class this semester, our intent is to show that while electronics can produce incredible sounds, it is still possible to design an interface that relies completely on the inherent sound-producing qualities of common household materials. To further this principle, we used recycled materials, especially leftover materials and trash produced by the ITP community, whenever possible.