A friend of mine sent me a video yesterday. It shows an amazing machine that sends balls, presumably using air pressure, in the manner of a tennis serving machine. These hit various pieces wood and metal and even strings to produce a very listenable jazz-rock score. According to the accompanying blurb the machine is made from components used in farm machinery, is displayed at the University of Iowa and is to be donated to the Smithsonian.
Watching a small image on my computer I was taken in for a while. It is still a wonderful piece of work and well worth watching but is actually a CGI animation. If you would like to see it in Real Player or similar send me your email (email me via my website if you'd prefer) and I'll send it on. It seems to be doing the rounds as a hoax so hopefully I'm not offending anybody's copyright.
It is a remarkable 'invention', makes jazz-rock accessible and will, I am sure, inspire some real instruments in a similar vein. Enjoy.