Having something pretty won’t necessarily make you make better music. But from the carved face on a viola da gamba to the shine of brass on a trumpet, musicians have long imbued the objects that make music with visual features reflecting the unseen beauty of the sounds they emit.
And this suitcase for sound, the work of Swedish design Frédéric Sebton, is beautiful both aesthetically and in its practicality.
This one-off creation houses the “Verbos Composition Suitcase” – a very practical and reasonably affordable starter kit of Verbos modules, the title a cheeky reference to the (unrelated) VCS modular. Inside are the modules made by Mark Verbos, himself a creator with an impeccable sense of taste. I admire Mark, because his modules aren’t just fetish objects: Mark is an oustanding musician, and a terrific engineer, someone whose dedication can inspire people whether their craft is in circuits or not.
Apart from looking good, the VCS configuration eschews a show-off, how-many-toys-can-I-collect modular that might never get out of your living room, in factor of a design you might actually carry to a gig. And that means if you happen to get to your gig on, say, swift and environmentally-friendly Swedish public transit rather than in a truck.
And… oh, jeez. I really should apologize at this point. I’m not trying to separate you from your money, least of all to try to make you all go out and get modulars. But … well, please, let’s see more designs like this.
While it’s just a one-off, Sebton will soon offer custom cases. There’s a waiting list you can get on – yes, that includes you, Trent Reznor and Björk and Herbie Hancock, you lucky superstars, you.
As Martin Wheeler notes in comments, Mark’s modules are affordable – especially if you confine yourself to a reasonable suitcase like this. A couple grand will easily get you started, which is less than the price of a lot of standalone hardware synths and workstations. So, I jest. However… I also know sometimes celebrities do get on those waiting lists.
On the Sebton site (and Frédéric’s Instagram feed) you can discover other beautiful things. Thanks, Frédéric! We can keep stereotyping Scandinavia as a wonderland of aesthetic treasures so long as you … uh, keep making them.
And if your wallet is screaming at me right now, don’t forget that great Scandinavian and Japanese design starts at far less (Teenage Engineering, KORG):