In winter 2015 we were commissioned by D-Lab to create Twinklr: A Modern Music Box. This was a proof of concept – could we build a compelling musical toy that combined a touch screen and a tactile handle that enabled people to quickly and joyfully make music?
Tom showed some people in London, and we ended up applying for and getting a spot on the MV Works programme at Makerversity to make the next version. One where a user could change the musical key that the music box played in, the scale that the on-screen stave represents, the speed of the handle ‘gears’, change the length of their loop, have different playheads moving at different directions and at different speeds AND control external synthesisers:
Twinklr is more than just an improvement on an old formula. It has some tricks that only a digital music-box could do.
To play the new version of Twinklr is actually a joy. It’s just as much fun as before to just create and edit melodies. Now you can transpose, stretch, multiply what you’re playing. I found that within minutes I’d be having as much fun with just Twinklr as with a guitar and a board full of loop and delay pedals. Then, controlling analogue synthesisers, putting your Twinklr melody into an on-board sequencer, and before you know it you’re controlling a world of sound with just the turn of a handle and ten dots on a screen.
The new version of Twinklr was presented as part of the MV Works exhibition at Somerset House in London, before being used in a live performance from St. Johns at Hackney broadcast live on Radio 3.
Tom’s code is Open Source and can be found here.
If you’d like to find out more, exhibit, or borrow Twinklr, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org