Our idea was to create a synesthetic sound experience by turning colours into music. Over the course of 4 years, this became Orbita: a rotating turntable that lets you place coloured magnets in order to create music. From piano rolls, to records, CDs, and even cassettes: the circle is perhaps the most influential shape in modern music history. Here are the circular innovations that inspire us.
Sound Burger by Audio Technica
A portable and wireless record player — a proto walkman. Looks more like a sandwich to us, though. It was an early 1980s portable player that used batteries. Basically: a vinyl version of the Walkman. It’s a really interesting take on the record player and envisioned the early days of personal listening experiences, but also the ability to take music with you wherever you go so that more moments can be decorated by music.
The Floating Record by Gramavox
It’s a belt-driven record player that holds vinyl upright developed on 2015 (and successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter). This brings a visual element to music, similar to album artwork. Especially cool with beautiful-looking records. We also find it aesthetically very pleasing when records spin.
FREKVENS by Teenage Engineering & IKEA
A limited edition set of household music equipment produced by music gadget makers Teenage Engineering in collaboration with IKEA. It’s composed of 22 items from lighting to a record player, so you can pick and mix in the classic style of IKEA. We would love to see more products become as easy-to-use and accessible as IKEA furniture. We love the minimalism of the device.
Styrofoam Turntable by Teenage Engineering
Lightweight styrofoam music players. Portable, but in a different way than the Sound Burger. We’re big fans of record players AND Teenage Engineering, so anything that might democratize vinyl gets a thumb up from us. We adore the simplicity.
Easy Record Maker by Gakken and Yuri Suzuki
A tool that can lets you engrave music from any sound source into a record, including from your phone. It’s a dream come true for anyone who’s ever wanted to make their own record or to make sure you have a vinyl version of that song you can’t get enough of.
Groove Pizza by the NYU MusEDLab
A circular rhythm app for making and learning music. Similar to our Orbita, people can place objects on the circle (in this case referred to as ‘pizza toppings’, which influences the sounds the circular sequencer is playing. We want to make music-making simple. And what are the simplest things? Shapes. This is half of our idea for Orbita realized in an app. (The other half is colours.)