Musical duo Ritornell have worked with designer Katharina Hölzl to create business cards that can be read by a music box to play out different tunes.
Ritornell — comprising of composer Richard Eigner and pianist Roman Gerold — is an experimental music group that combines electronica with a range of extraordinary acoustic instruments including a music box, egg whisks, toilet brushes and chopsticks. They wanted a business card that matched the creativity of their live show so they approached Hölzl.
Hölzl told Wired.co.uk: “The music box that plays an integral part in Ritornell’s concerts seemed to be the perfect medium that could add an acoustic layer to paper and also represent the playful, improvised character of their shows.”
Hölzl created long strips of these cards which collectively played a long piece of music, but could be given out individually. She explained: “I’m especially fond of the idea that everyone who receives one of the cards has a connection to the entire composition.”
Each card had small circles and triangles (which the music box reads) laser-cut into them and distributed like a graphical score. The music box was scaled in C major so, according to Eigner “a lot of visual combinations sound great.”
He added: “The cards work just as well with the separate subdivisions as they do with the whole long paper strip.”
The cards were designed to be played by a specific small music box that has been customized by Hölzl with typography.
Hölzl explained that it was a challenge finding paper that would “look beautifully graved and cut by the laser, while fitting through the music box and furthermore being strong enough to meet the requirements of a business card.”
Check out the business cards in action in the video above and see more images in Wired UK’s gallery.