A couple weeks then after returning to New York, I receive a package from my mother containing a DIY Music Box Kit made by the Kikkerland company. Little did I know what sort of ideas and inspiration this would spawn! A great way to explore how shapes, patterns and distances (rhythm) can make music. The impressions the creative experience leaves on the mind too is quite interesting, and when you step away to do something else, or play an actual instrument, you can't help but feel the distance from one thing to the next like a hole punched across and vertically through a surface of time...
The Kikkerland model covers two octaves in the key of A-flat, and there's just no way to go wrong. When punching the card, I wasn't thinking 'notes', but just progressions of shapes, interrelating and developing visual patterns... But even then you don't really know how it's going to come out in the end, and the surprise playing it back when you're done is beautiful. The toy comes with laminated paper strips and a special puncher to make the holes/notes. You can buy extra strips because you run out of them so quickly, and when you make a long piece you need to tape them together. Also, if you want to do away with a note you punched you can just put tape over it. After considerable use though, the music box's plastic gears and crank start to squeak and don't take the paper as well, so you have to use your finger to assist it, or just purchase another. Here is the audio and video of the Kikkerland music box music. When I first started making these pieces I only had low quality video with a digital point-and-shoot camera, but soon thereafter the HD cameras became available. I'm including the low-quality videos anyway. 1) Study No. 2
; 2) Study No. 3
; 3) Study No. 4