Just like many other artists, LEGO builders find inspiration in the music they listen to as they create the wonderful models you see here on The Brothers Brick. It’s no surprise, then, that music inspires many LEGO models more directly, from minifig musicians to album art recreated with bricks.
New York based musician and LEGO builder Andy Grobengieser recently began creating miniature versions of iconic music synthesizer keyboards, starting with the classic Mini Moog, and his latest collection showcases four models that any synth geek should immediately recognize: the Korg MS-20, Roland Jupiter-8, Yamaha DX7, and Nord Stage.
The MS-20 holds particularly fond memories for me as it was one of the first synths I ever owned. It first went into production in 1978, but like many vintage synths it remains popular and is still used by electronic musicians to this day (although good luck finding one at a reasonable price!). It’s crazy patch bay was inspired by the Moog Modular, which Andy has also lovingly recreated in LEGO:
Most of these instruments herald from a “golden age” of synthesizers, and each had it’s own unique sound. Of course, no two synth enthusiasts would ever completely agree on which models had the greatest influence on the sound of 70s and 80s music. But I felt that Andy’s collection was missing one significant entry, a device that brought the term “sampling” into everyday use, and was central to work of cutting-edge artists like Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. I present to you… the Fairlight CMI!
TBB regular Letranger Absurde continues to refine his unique style and churn out one great character build after another. This week he graced us with not one, but two, new examples: the erstwhile King of Pop, and a lady assassin who seems to be taking her work a bit too seriously. Both feature stellar poses, great proportioning, and a delightful use of Mixel eyes. It’s almost enough to make this aged character builder wanna hang up his bricks! I tip my hat to you, sir…
Art in all its forms is a means of expression, be that joy, sadness, humour, grief, love. In the LEGO community it is not surprising that we turn to our bricks as a method of processing and dealing with emotions. This touching build by Chris Maddison is his tribute to a friend who sadly passed away too young. Sometimes it is best to just let a build speak for itself.
For those of us who choose to build with small plastic bricks, the actual act of carefully placing bricks together becomes therapeutic.
The final creation often expresses far more than words could ever say.
Trying to summarize almost half a century of accomplishments and innovation in a couple of paragraphs would be futile, so I won’t even try. Yesterday a singular artist departed this particular plane of existence, leaving us with a body of work that will no doubt be remembered for another half century to come (including one final album, released just a few days ago).
Somehow we overlooked this gorgeous LEGO sculpture of Bowie’s Aladdin Sane album cover, built by Gabriel Thomson as an entry for the 2014 MOCAthalon contest. So let’s fix that now.
RIP David Bowie (aka Ziggy Stardust, aka Major Tom, aka The Goblin King) 1947-2016.
Today we present a pair of builds paying tribute to the late Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister (1945-2015), a man who truly kept rocking so long as he was breathing. Eero Okkonen built a mini bust capturing the rock-n-roll legend’s likeness well.
A simple scene of Lemmy’s hat, bass, and whiskey, the only thing missing from Jonas Obermaier‘s scene is the ace of spades!
Celebrating that most famous of Christmas songs, deborah higden created this set of LEGO book ends (complete with brick-built books) that converts into a gorgeous diorama depicting the various gifts that my true love sent to me over the Twelve Days of Christmas – from French hens, to five gold rings (for five Elven lords?), plus other items in various states of disrepair (very relevant in this age of Internet-based shopping!). You can enjoy closeup photos of every one in the full album.
Right at the time when cold winter months are coming, umamen favours us with an incredibly touching and warming brick-built version of the artwork for Bob Dylan’s 2nd album “Freewheelin”. I have no idea how he managed to enliven this handful of pieces, but the way Suze Rotolo’s figure clinges to Bob’s makes my heart melt every single time. The background is something that takes a moment to notice, but contributes to the whole.
German-based Australian builder Arran Hearn is ready to fill the dancefloor and raise the roof with his 1:2 scale DJ setup! This creation started with a brick, namely part 58846 (Brick Round Corner 10 x 10 with Slope 33 Edge). Four of these bricks make up each of the platters on the turntable and, from that simple beginning, the 1:2 scale creation began to take shape. Arran’s DJ setup is complete with two turntables and a mixer, in the brilliantly named ‘battle-mode’ position – definitely beyond my knowledge as a mere easy-listening, sing-a-long chick!
Arran went to great lengths to accurately reflect the details with custom chromed “Barraki eyes” used for the spindles, custom designed transparent stickers for the outside rim of the platters and the custom boat studs used for the detailing on mixer controls. I had to look twice at the initial Flickr photograph to check I was actually looking at LEGO. It is all hooked up and ready to go, look at those cable tidies keeping all the wires in position.
And as if the attention to detail was not enough, power functions are brought via a 9V train controller to light the LEDs on the mixer and spin those platters. Arran also created this video showing off his model next to the real deal:
Every so often we come across LEGO versions of iconic album* covers, although more often than not they’re unconvincingly recreated using mini-figs. So it was refreshing to see umamen take a crack at some fully brick-built ones:
Pictured above: Nevermind by Nirvana (1991). One Step Behyond by Madness (1979). London Calling by The Clash (1979).
Album covers represent an absolute gold mine of immediately recognizable material for possible LEGO treatments. If you’re a builder, why not take a crack at some of your favorites – we’d love to see what you can do!
(*Album: How your parents got their music before iTunes)
We’re having an animal-centric day here at The Brothers Brick (at least so far). A parrot named Princess Yellow Feather sings selections from Everything Is Awesome!!! from The LEGO Movie — need I say more?
Even in the Bionicle universe people need to rock out once in a while. So meet Bio-Klaanian rock star Toa Kyberi, Toa of Sonic! This bad-ass was created by Finnish builder and master of the LEGO System/Bionicle mashup, Eero Okkonen. Read about this character’s full backstory on Eero’s blog.
If you wanna learn more about Eero’s unconventional character creations, or what it’s like to be a Finnish AFOL, check out my interview with him in Issue 31 of Brickjournal magazine.