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â€œThe Jazz Club Mechanicsâ€
This jazz trio is made up of a pianist, a drummer and a double bass player. By turning the lever on the side of the piano, a series of gears operates two cam shafts: one moves the piano keys and as a consequence, also the pianist's fingers placed on them; whilst the other moves the â€˜hammersâ€™ on the piano strings. Another gear operates the piano pedal and pianist's foot, making them move together.
By turning the lever behind the drummer, a straight-toothed gear operates the corresponding cams which move the drummer's four limbs so that he plays a â€˜base timeâ€™: the right hand plays the â€˜eighthsâ€™, the left hand and the leg right alternately play the â€˜quartersâ€™ while the left leg operates the Hi-Hat.
The handle on the double bass player operates the cam shafts which move one of the fingers on the right hand, together with the right foot. A special â€˜Maltese crossâ€™ gear moves the left hand which slides across the neck of the double bass.
Â It was a visit to the Leonardiano Museum in Vinci that inspired me to make my first prototypes. The genius of Leonardo allowed him to create incredible feats of engineering, all achieved without any of today's technology.Â
Leonardo's lantern gear was the inspiration behind the "The Elastic MachineÂ F=kÎ´"
Several months after the trip to Vinci, I visited a Renaissance market where I saw a wooden pinball machine.Â Although it was quite basic, the children playing with it were having a great time. I wondered whether Leonardo would have been able to make one, but it probably would never have occured to him as theÂ first pinball machine was invented in 1935 by the American company, Gottlieb.Â
I imagined what it would have been like to like in Leonardo's time, and thought about what sort of pinball machine he might have invented, using Leonardian gears and the rules of physics: levers, kinetic energy and gravity.Â After many attempts, the 'Flipper 7Â° Quadrante' was born. After its succes, I decided to make another one, that was more 'medieval' than the first. As I live in a small Rennaisance village, which has it's own castle, I decided to use that as a model so the 'Flipper il Castello' took shape.Â Â
After this, I happened to spot a picture of St George and the Dragon, so my imagination led to to include a dragon in my next pinball machine. The "Flipper il Drago" works according to a system of levels, pulleys and weights, inspired by Leonardo's writings.Â
As well as being passionate about Leonardo's machines, I'm also interested in the Medieval period and a king and his loyal knights were the inspiration for 'La Catapulta' game.
Watching the film "The First Knight" aroused my fantasy and so I set to work on the construction of a new game "The Joust of 7" that slowly came to life like all the others!
The last work I did started from the idea that there were more players and then I made the pinball "The 4 Knights", a game where four players must join forces to get together to the same goal.
All my games are handmade and built with recycled wood, mainly pine and beech. Each piece that makes up the game, is crafted with care, and made in wood to make it more durable and able to withstand humidity, dust etc.Â
Each game must be treated with care, because, as the saying goes, 'wood lives until its burnt', almost as if it possesses a soul. To ensure that each game lives as long as possible, you have to treat it with respect.Â
As I'm an eternal dreamer, every time I see a project come to live, I imagine how much Leonardo himself would have enjoyed playing with it...and sometimes I hear him laughing next to me.Â