Britain’s New Plastic Money Doubles as a Record Player Needle

Multimedia artist plays music with Bank of England's new £5 bill

October 11, 2016

Money may not be able to buy you love, but it can apparently play you a tune.

Great Britain began circulating its new polymer £5 bill last month, a note which the Bank of England said is “cleaner, safer, and stronger” than ever before. But after a month’s worth of fiddling around with it, intrepid British citizens realized the currency can also be used in place of a record needle.

Yes, in addition to being able to buy you £5 worth of tea and crumpets, the new note can also play your vinyl.

According to Gizmodo, this strange secondary use was first discovered by an artist named Michael Ridge who specializes in playing music with wacky things like cacti, fish bones, tortilla chips, and, now, British money.

“I found the edges of the new plastic £5 notes to be quite sharp and hence potentially good at playing vinyl,” Ridge told Gizmodo over email. “Set-up is very simple, a contact microphone is held on the back of the note which picks up and amplifies the music being played through the note itself, the contact microphone is connected to a small guitar amplifier off screen. The whole video [above] is recorded live with no editing.”

However, it should be noted that the note can damage any vinyl it’s used on, so be sure to test on a record you don’t necessarily care about.

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