Wednesday, January 31, 2007

four weeks to go

The Single Block Classic will begin at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, February 27th, only four weeks away! Lars and I have registered and intend to build a working music box entirely out of ice. The sculpture will be based on the model Lars sent me a couple months ago, although we will have to change a few things.

The chimes will be solid and rectangular rather than hollow and cylindrical. The hammer mechanism will require significant modification due to differences of scale (long pendulums swing slowly) and material. We will have four chimes instead of one, enabling a tune to be played.

The tune will be Westminster Quarters, the familiar clock chime tune. As it was originally written for mechanical chimes not unlike ours, it has several features that make it well suited for our music box. For one thing, it only uses four pitches. Another nice feature is that no pitch is repeated quickly. Combined with the facts that it is universally recognized and continues our clock theme, these features made it an easy choice. The sculpture will be called "Counterclockwise."

There is still a great deal of work to be done in preparation for the event. Lars is making improvements to the wonderful power tools he made for last year's competition. I've been working on designing and testing chimes and hammers as well as making hot wire gear cutters.

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