What sort of musical instruments can you make out of plastic credit cards? You might imagine results are limited. But with some clever use of mics, and brilliantly-simple application of time-tested ideas ranging from single-string monochords to music boxes, the results are eminently, wondrously sonorous. And the project benefits greatly from having some compositional intent behind it; the music is focused and makes those credit cards expressive.

The project was a promotion for local Austrian banks, but they’re just as effective as promotions for making your own, unique instruments.

Vienna-based composer Dr. Richard Eigner describes the project and the team with which he collaborated on his blog:

Mario Wienerroither, Gernot Ottowitz (Audiobakery) and me have been approached by Young & Rubicam with a very intriguing idea: build instruments out of cash cards and write a musical piece with the freshly assembled sonic devices for their client »Erste Bank & Sparkasse«. Challenge accepted! You can see the result above. The video was shot by our dear friends from Jenside. This page features my very own cash card instruments designs.

Just what sorts of instruments are we talking here? Here are a few:

  • Musicbox Cash Cards
  • Cash Card Duochord
  • Cash Card Kalimba
  • Cash Card Laserbass
  • Cash Card Monochord
  • Cash Card Ratchet Snare
  • Cash Card Ratchet Shaker

Erstebank Cards of Change Instruments [ritornell.at]

Music boxes are a speciality of Richard’s, with exquisite results. Previously:
Punched-Hole Tunes: Ritornell’s Musicbox Business Cards, as Delicate and Magical as the Music