Like A Cross Between A Guitar and A Lightsaber

Georgia Tech’s global reputation as a premier engineering institute is well-documented. Less well-known is the institute’s penchant for exploring the intersection of technology and art. Yet each year, the fine minds of Georgia Tech undertake various projects that unite seemingly discrete fields in an effort to inspire innovation (remember Characters?)  

One example of such a collaboration is the annual Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. The competition seeks to uncover the next generation of musical instruments, and is an opportunity to merge music, design, and engineering. According to Georgia Tech, “Wired magazine called the competition an ‘X-Prize for music,’ and contestants liken it to a TED Conference for new musical instrument designers.”

Hosted by Atlanta radio favorite Mara Davis, the competition included creations that stretched the limits of the imagination. From a 36-string steel bowl instrument to a violin-chimes hybrid inspired by parts you can find at Home Depot, to “if an electric guitar and a light saber had a baby,” the instruments surprised and delighted the audience with never before seen approaches to the aural experience. 

Watch the video to catch a glimpse at several of 2017’s instrumental innovations, then place your bets, before you read about this year’s winners. Next year’s competition will take place in early 2018, so there’s still plenty of time to develop your own musical masterpiece.

Hero image courtesy of Guthman Musical Instrument Competition