Optical Music Machines

Ed Devane
Picture of Optical Music Machine installation

Instantly create your own cool rhythms, grooves and melodies by colouring black lines on a piece of paper and placing it in one of these Optical Music Machines by Irish artist Ed Devane.

There is a circular template on the paper so it looks like a vinyl record or CD divided into segments. You can colour in any of the segments you choose using a black pen. Next, you place your visual pattern into one of the optically sequenced music machines. The machine reads your drawing and plays sounds wherever it notices the black sections. If you have a lot of black sections it will sound complicated but if you have less it may sound more mellow and relaxing.

Just like that, you’ll hear your drawing turned into music and played on the installation! You can adjust the volume and speed too for added fun. If you like, you can then fill in another page and create a whole new musical pattern for the machine to play.