This Ludicrous New Instrument Makes Music with 2,000 Marbles



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#device#marbles#music box#video

This Ludicrous New Instrument Makes Music with 2,000 Marbles

March 2, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Swedish musician Martin Molin has long had experience with esoteric instruments like the glockenspiel, traktofon, or Theremin, but he may have topped his musical prowess with the invention of his own new instrument: the Wintergatan Marble Machine, a hand-cranked music box loaded with instruments including a circuit of 2,000 cascading steel marbles. As the devices cycles it activates a vibraphone, bass, kick drum, cymbal and other instruments that play a score programmed into a 32 bar loop comprised of LEGO technic parts. The marbles are moved internally through the machine using funnels, pulleys, and tubes.

Molin began work on the marble machine in August 2014 and hoped to spend about two months on the project. Its complexity soon spiraled out of control as all 3,000 internal parts had to be designed and fabricated by hand, a time-consuming process that eventually took 14 months. An early version was designed using 3D software, but it was easier for Molin to create parts on the fly leading to it’s Frankenstein appearance. The musician shared much of his progress in regular video updates that he shared on YouTube.

Despite the extreme interest an oddity like the Wintergatan Marble Machine is bound to generate—especially on the internet—don’t expect to see it on tour anytime soon, as the contraption has to be completely disassembled to move it. Molin hopes to build additional music devices, some smaller, or perhaps more suited for transport. You can read a bit more about it on Wired UK.

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Cleveland radio station stops playing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” after listeners voiced concerns about meaning in the “Me Too” era – CBS News

Radio station stops playing “Baby It’s Cold Outside” after listeners voice concerns about lyrics in #MeToo era

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” has been around since the 1940s, but in today’s “Me Too” era, a Cleveland radio station has decided to stop playing the song that some have called “date-rapey.”

“Neptune’s Daughter” (1949)

A Cleveland radio station has stopped playing a popular Christmas song that’s been around since the 1940s, CBS Cleveland affiliate WOIO reports. Star 102 Cleveland listeners raised concerns about the lyrics of the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” with some saying the words send the wrong message in the era of the #MeToo movement.

Radio host Glenn Anderson wrote about the station’s decision to stop playing the song. “We used to play the song ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside,’ but you’re the Christmas Executive Officer at Star 102 and you told us it’s no longer appropriate,” Anderson wrote on Tuesday.  I gotta be honest, I didn’t understand why the lyrics were so bad…Until I read them.”

The song is sung as a duet between a man and a woman. The woman makes it clear she is worried about being with the man late into the night, while he adamantly tells her to say with him because, “Baby, it’s cold outside.”

Anderson shared the song’s lyrics, which include lines like: “Say, what’s in this drink?”, “I really can’t stay / Baby don’t hold out” and “I ought to say no, no, no / Mind if I move in closer?” The woman also wonders aloud what others might think of her if she stays. 

Written in 1944, song rose to popularity in the 1949 film “Neptune’s Daughter.” It was sung between Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán’s characters, and then by Betty Garrett and Red Skelton, who reversed the roles.

Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalbán’s perform “Baby It’s Cold Outside in the 1949 film “Neptune’s Daughter”

“Neptune’s Daughter” (1949)

The song was written by popular Broadway composer Frank Loesser, who originally performed it as a humorous number with his wife. But the lyrics, in today’s context, have taken on somewhat more sinister connotations. After the “Me Too” movement gained momentum last year, more women have been speaking out about sexual harassment and assault, and society has become more aware than ever of how widespread the problem really is. The suggestive lines in the song now drum up images of men like Harvey Weinstein, who’s been accused of preventing women from leaving hotel rooms, and Bill Cosby, who was convicted of drugging and sexual assaulting a woman. 

Criticism of the lyrics in “Baby It’s Cold Outside” actually has been building for several years. Some Twitter users called out the “date-rapey” undertones of the song in 2013, and a number of publications have run articles questioning the song’s meaning.

I know “Baby it’s cold outside” is from another era but hearing it in 2013, the lyrics feel really date-rapey. Uncomfortable stuff.

— Emily (@elusiveemily)

2013: The Year We All Independently Realized How Creepy And Rapey The Lyrics To “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” Are

— len damico (@lendamico)

In 2014, Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé released a duet of the song and changed a few lyrics to be more family-friendly, with lines like, “Maybe just a soda-pop more / Put some records on while I pour.” They also had child actors playing the roles of the couple in the music video.

In his blog post, Anderson said the song has no place on today’s radio, but also asked listeners what they think and included an online poll question about it. 

“Now, I do realize that when the song was written in 1944, it was a different time, but now while reading it, it seems very manipulative and wrong,” Anderson wrote. “The world we live in is extra sensitive now, and people get easily offended, but in a world where #MeToo has finally given women the voice they deserve, the song has no place. What do you think?” The results of the poll are not visible on Star 102’s website.