Ahhh Christmas. A time for family, tinsel, parties, last minute shopping and steampunk chocolate coin machines.
Wieden and Kennedy have created an amazing Willy-Wonka-like installation in the window of their Hanbury Street offices. Made out of “a pinch of magic and a lot of copper” the machine physically and sonically comes to life when you insert a pound coin. The coin first travels down a custom made Xylophone, tuned to play the first 3 bars of Jingle Bells before disappearing into the smelting furnace.
To create the sound design for the rest of the installation, we first made a series of recordings from the machine, banging it, rattling the pipes, even blowing the horns. We took these back to String and Tins HQ and built a series of sound design actions, which when heard in sequence, describe the journey of the coin from coin slot to dispenser. Once safely down the Xylophone run, the machine creaks into life. You hear the coin melt in the furnace, chocolate begins to bubble, hot milk sizzles down metal tubing and a stamper clonks out a chocolate coin to be cooled then dispensed via a clockwork conveyor belt. To make the sound clearly audible from the street Feonic speakers were used to turn the panes of glass into giant sounding boards. Considering how noisy it is near Spitalfields they work remarkably well.
The video below gives you a cinematic overview of what’s in store but it’s an even more rewarding experience in person…. and you get a W&K chocolate coin! If you’re out that way doing your last minute shopping, go and see it for real. The installation runs until 6 January from 9am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Big thanks to all at W&K for getting us involved.