Slightly Windy by José Ferrufino


Slightly Windy by José Ferrufino

This music box designed by ÉCAL University of Art and Design Lausanne graduate José Ferrufino uses the movement of the musical mechanism to cause sticks of barley to gently sway.

Slightly Windy by José Ferrufino

The box has a brass mechanism, peach tree wood resonance case and real barley painted gold and attached to brass rods.

Slightly Windy by José Ferrufino

A custom made cylinder plays the song Son of a Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield.

Slightly Windy by José Ferrufino

The project was a collaboration between ÉCAL University, the Campana Brothers and music box manufacturer Reuge.

Here's more from Ferrufino:

Slightly Windy / Reuge (music box makers)

This was a project done at ÉCAL for Reuge in collaboration with the Campana brothers. Reuge is a music box manufacturer company since 1865. They possess an incomparable knowledge and craftsmanship in music box making.

Before visiting the Reuge manufactury, I had never seen nor heard an authentic 144 blade music box. I was moved by the beauty and the finesse of the mechanism creating the movement and the melody. It takes us to a world of lightness and gentleness.

There had to be a way to transpose and intensify this emotion into the new music box.

This is how the music box works:

The motor gives movement to the cylinder. The pins on the cylinder hit the blades of the keyboard. The pins are placed accordingly to the music chosen in order to play the right notes. It is this action that creates the melody.

The music box Slightly Windy uses this movement to animate the barley. It translates the lightness of nature being lulled by wind and music.

Since the power generated by the motor is just enough to create the rotation of the cylinder; one of the challenges of this project was to enable the barley to move without creating a resistance that could slow or stop the motor.

The mechanism parts are made of brass. It has a gold look-a-like effect and good machining properties. The resonance case is made out of peach tree wood known for its musical properties. It is used for musical instruments because of its resonance. Real barley painted in gold is used at the tip of the brass tubes.

The track (Son of a preacher man by Dusty Springfield) played by the box was custom made.

See also:


Corn Craft by Gallery FUMI
and Studio Toogood
Autarky by Studio
Baked by

Posted on Thursday August 26th 2010 at 4:34 pm by Joe Mills. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • fma

    Its very elegant and beautiful. What if part deux were reversed, meaning the movement of swaying reeds would play an instrument?

    • Xit

      I agree that this would make the objet even more poetic and gives more sense to the protruding barley.

  • Phil

    Beautiful. Simply Beautiful.

  • Jordan

    Field Of Reeds (2008)

  • klaus_77

    What a lovely object, thumbs up.

  • carlo/ Jambon

    Veryyyy nice work Joseee!!! Amazing music box.

  • bodkin

    I like it very much. The only thing that jars slightly is the painted barley, it might have been nicer to use something that was left natural, but it’s a small point in an otherwise beautiful object

  • Lovely musicbox. Simple and poetic!

  • Wouldn't an audio file be appropriate for this article?

  • This is really really nice.

    I'm particularly happy that it seems like a diversion from painted metal pipes and bits of CNC milled oak that tends to shroud ECAL output.
    This shows poetry and imagination. Congratulations.

    (…. this is NOT to be a naysayer – but there is a very nice connection here with the work of Tinguely (a Swiss man!). Here is a radio that uses a feather to control the tuner:

  • ctata

    so subtle. the most beautiful thing about a music box is you never know when and where the music ends. so is the wind. slightly windy and full of coincidence…

  • Michael Hynes

    So here we are on the internet with a work of design/art that involves sound and movement, and all we can experience is a still, silent photo … what's wrong with this picture?