Traditional ethnic music boxes come to London

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A collaboration that started between one of Britain's best known universities and an ethnic community in China will see traditional music boxes taking a starring role at an event which opens Saturday in London.

Photo shows a traditional Dong music box. [Photo courtesy of Dr Nick Bryan-Kinns]

A collection of music boxes were crafted in Hengling village as part of an interactive project with Queen Mary University in London (QMUL). The idea was to combine traditional Dong crafts and music with the concept of music boxes used in the western world.

The boxes in "Intersections", a free exhibit with immersive installations, haptic interactions, kinetic sculptures and much more as a showcase of Msc and PhD students from the Media and Arts Technology CDT program at QMUL.

The event runs from Saturday until next Thursday. It will include a symposium, talks and demonstrations as well as an exhibition focusing on the relationship between the arts and science.

Queen Mary academic Dr Nick Bryan-Kinns set up a collaboration with Hunan University in 2012 after he led an expedition to find partners for QMUL. The two universities have since created a collaborative masters program, as well as joint research projects and now two summer camp activities.

The Hengling music box project, is a collaboration between Hunan University, Queen Mary University of London and British company b00t Consultants. They were made specially for the project and have never previously been used or displayed in Britain.

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