Last night, we hosted our second “Handmade Music” night at Etsy Labs in Brooklyn, together with and Make Magazine. It was awesome. (Or, as Wesley Willis would say, “Handmade Music Night really whoops a camel’s ass.”)


  • Brian and Kelli, co-creators of the Monome, were on hand. Brian did a fantastic performance with Monome-manipulated xylophone samples and his custom Max/MSP patch. He’s a real virtuoso on the instrument he’s created; for anyone who doubts a grid of buttons can be an instrument, you need to see him play.
  • Ranjit, who brought the hit MIDI ironing board last time, had a mysterious wooden box with amplified spring door stops and little cranks that … made noise. He says he finished it hours before arriving, and heard it for the first time with the rest of us. Ranjit also has an adorable (and not at all yapp-y) Pomeranian named Samson.
  • Peter Swimm brought his NES, GBA, and Linux-based GP2x for some chiptune previews of a concert tonight at The Tank. Best of all: Vegavox, the first-ever NES cartridge album. (I heard a couple of “I gotta get me one of those” emanate from the audience.)
  • Jay Smith of Livid Instruments, despite the best attempts of TSA security peoples to remove vital components of his setup from his case, managed to rock out on his Viditar, a custom VJ instrument.
  • Eric Johnson had a pair of Theremin-like crutches, a work in progress (but already a big hit).
  • Updated: Gian Pablo Villamil brought along a home-built synth built into a FireWire CD-ROM drive case.

There were other projects, as well, that I either didn’t get a good look at or don’t have details on, along with the regulars (Limor and her x0xb0x, Mitch’s brain-hacking glasses, Maker vodcaster Bre and a little kit project that made noise…) If you have stuff I missed, say so in comments.

Videos coming soon (lots of people shooting video, in fact). Photos and more coverage:
Handmade music night @ ETSY with MAKE and Create Digital Music was AWESOME [Make]
Event photos by Phil Torrone from Make
My photos for CDM (and the CDM Flickr Pool)
8-bit / chiptune / Game Boy resources from Peter, from his presentation [] write-up

Etsy Flickr Photos

Got photos? Tag them “handmademusic” and add them to the burgeoning CDM pool.

A huge, huge thanks to Phil at Make, and Matt, Vanessa, Michelle, and the crew at Etsy for helping put this together. We’ll be doing it again soon. And anyone with ideas for how we take this to other corners of the world, let me know. (Let’s see, I’ll be in Pittsburgh for the first half of September…)