Watch as a Yakovlev Yak-42 jetliner* was transformed last month into a giant percussion instrument, allowing a unique duet between vocalist (our friend Jekka) and machines.

As part of last month’s Polytech Festival in Moscow, the performance is one of a number of international collaborations taking place around the museum’s art programs. A small army of teenagers got to participate in getting the whole thing working – learning about sound, sensing, and physical computing in the process.

The last time we caught up with the Playtronica collective, they were engaging kids in science and electronics through the power of vegetables. Now they’ve upgraded from cucumbers to enormous jets.

Powering all of this is technology from a different capital city – London and Mogees, the “play anything” sensor-to-music interface. Now, interestingly, Mogee already has its own instrumental sounds; I’m curious how this might be applied to more flexible sound-making and triggering interfaces. But for now, it’s a lot of fun – touching the plane triggers sound. Ableton Live does the heavy lifting, hosting the plug-in and sounds and backing.

And what’s nice to me is that Jekka’s song (catchy pop, already) is earnest and intimate, coasting along atop a bed of delicate chimes, making the aircraft more ethereal than industrial.



Polytechnic Museum is near the jet and rocket thanks to their temporary home on a former fairground just out of the center of the city. I know all about that as I was there just after the festival as part of an unrelated event.

More details:

For the first time in history on May 24th the Yak-42 airplane was played as an instrument during a performance with Jekka, SKVT and Playtronica team with the help of the Mogees technology.

Mogees – is a novel technology that turns physical objects into unique music instruments by converting the vibrations that we make when we touch them into sound on the fly.

Playtronica – is an interactive music platform and constantly changing playground for children and adults. Playtronica teaches self expression through sounds and rhythms and to create DIY music instruments.

SKVT is a community of active young people who are determined to accomplish the boldest and most interesting projects with the Polytech museum as its base.

Jekka is a Moscow-based singer-songwriter and producer

Music and lyrics – Jekka
Music production for Mogees – Conor Barry
Camera and edit – Evgeniy Todich


Thanks for this!

Got other ideas like this – other examples, or other places to go with this? Let us know!

* I’m such a dumb Westerner I thought at first it was a Tupolev Tu-134. Ha! Amateur! Man, vtol is going to pretend he never met me.