Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal

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An evening pause: Played on an instrument which the website calls L’orgue de barbarie. To me it resembles a glorified organ grinder, except that it plays a wide range of midi-type sounds. Very clever. And it succeeds in making a Michael Jackson song sound interesting to me, for the first time!

Hat tip Rocco E.



  • danae


    Apparently, these barrel organs are of modern manufacture, assembled by hand at the makers, Orgues Odin, in France. This model has 114 flutes, and excellent tone.

    Thanks, Rocco E!

  • wodun

    That’s pretty cool but I kept wondering why the guy was doing this in a scrap pile of wood. Also, looks like if he ran a bar across part of it, he wouldn’t have to use his hand to keep the paper in place.

  • danae

    The woodpile? Probably artistic license, based on a feeling that the juxtaposition of beat-up, weathered wood with a finely crafted wooden object is interesting.

    Other players just crank out tunes on this instrument without trying to smooth the moving cardboard, but most music doesn’t require piercing as intricate as what’s seen here. Mathis must be thrilled to know that he racked up over a million views in a day, following HuffPo’s posting of his video.

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