This Music Played On Pencil Strokes Is Art

Listen closely, and you can hear notes in every stroke.

Listen closely, and you can hear notes in every stroke.

Samantha Cole

It’s hard to hear it on the first listen. Turn your sound up a little. Don’t be distracted by the algebra—close your eyes and think about who shot first.

Holy shit it’s that goddamn Cantina Song from Star Wars, “played” on the strokes of a lead pencil. It’s like ASMR on Adderall.

There’s a whole, new subreddit dedicated to pencil musicians, but the community generally considers Dani Ochoa, the creator of this video, the genius who started it all.

Occasionally, she imparts her wisdom to her fans. “You gotta get yourself one of those Dixon Ticonderoga pencils,” Ochoa wrote in a comment thread about her art. “I’m tellin ya, that’s where the talent lies.”

A nearly-sharp pencil, combined with the perfect “toothy” paper surface, provides the right setup for lead-based greatness. “Also pressure and direction of stroke really makes a difference in pitch.”

I’ve watched this video at least a dozen times. I still can’t do math, but I can hear the music perfectly.