3D-Printed Orchestra of the Future
Although it might at first look like an Elven treasure from a Lord of the Rings movie or a futuristic weapon straight out of the latest Mad Max epic, the weird object in the image above is actually a musical instrument. It’s a two string ‘piezoelectric’ violin that has been created by Monad design studio in Miami. The design is deliberately organic and is intended to represent tree roots; apparently it’s a nod to our planet’s ecosystems.
The intriguing-looking 3D violin is not alone. It has two equally interesting relatives in the orchestra including a single-string bass called a ‘monobarasitar’ and a more recognisable cello. The instruments are part of a display that took centre stage at the 3D Print Design Show in New York earlier this year. Those attending the show were also treated to a recital featuring a small 3D printed didgeridoo and its larger cousin, a hornucopia which is designed to wrap around the player like some sort of huge ‘alien’. Audience comments on the tableau were mixed; “Someone could lose an eye with one of those things!” was overheard!
Sounds even weirder
The instruments not only look strange, they sound odd too. Designers Zalcberg and Goldemberg insist that their futuristic musical vision is proving popular with more traditional classical musicians who have approached them with requests for bespoke designs. The new technology would enable orchestras to effectively create their own unique look, as well as incorporating a totally individual sound.
It seems that the technology behind 3D printing knows no bounds. Although aficionados and traditionalists insist that nothing can replace the centuries-old craftsmanship of instrument manufacture, they do concede that there is room for something new. Perhaps the future will see whole orchestras made up of instruments that not only sound different, but double up as art installations too. It’s an intriguing prospect.
Check out the instruments in action:
Image source: theguardian.com
About Alison Page
Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at http://www.theladywriter.co.uk