Handmade Music is Tomorrow Night in NYC; Gestural DJing in Videos

View Larger Map A reminder to those in the NYC area: CDM again joins up with Etsy.com and Make Magazine for Handmade Music night, a relaxed meet-and-greet of music technologists and people who make noise with things they’ve made. Currently expected: Chiptune / game music stuff, including Peter Swimm’s littlepiggytracker setup, Harsid4U SID (a la Commodore 64) synth Wii control (I’m bringing a Balance Board) Gian Pablo Villamil’s DIY synths, including the brand-new Mutation Synth. (See the previous Rhythmic Synth causing all manner of havoc with Nancy Garcia at the helm, playing with Thurstom Moore at NY’s No Fun Festival. …

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Handmade Music Returns: DIY Music Tech in Brooklyn 7/8, Video

Create Digital Music Night at ETSY LABS from Etsy on Vimeo. Handmade marketplace Etsy.com, DIY "mook"/blog Make, and createdigitalmusic.com again team up for another Handmade Music Night at Brooklyn’s Etsy Labs! For an idea of what it’s about (or perhaps inspiration for starting something similar in your corner of the world), see the video above. On tap: Chiptune gaming systems for music, strange alternative MIDI controllers and sound-mangling custom software, repurposed vintage synthesizer chips made famous by the Commodore 64, digital visuals, a musical Nintendo Wii balance board, and wireless sensing controllers… And more. Where/when: 7/8/08 – 7pm onward (free!) …

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Obituary: STEIM Founder, Cracklebox Inventor, Musician Michel Waisvisz

Sad news has arrived via Scott Looney: I have the sad news to report that STEIM’s founder Michel Waisvisz died peacefully in his home last night "after fighting the mean cells in his body for eight months" – which i assume is a reference to the cancer he had been battling. Michel developed one of the very first alternative controllers in the 1970’s called the Hands and subsequently the Krakdoos – aka the Cracklebox. He subsequently founded STEIM and served as its head for 27 years, and inspired many musicians and improvisers around the globe. Obituary at STEIM: Michel Waisvisz …

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Glam Machine, A Box That Makes Bent Retro Noises, and Other Nervous Squirrel Stuff

One box, many sounds, all toy-like and strange. Such is the vision of the Glam Machine. Norman Fairbanks, the man who brought us the all-Tenori-On album, has been teasing this creation, housed in a lovely wooden box with a giant VU meter on it, for a few days. Now we finally get to find out what it is — and apparently it was all inspired by Norman doing an interview here for CDM. Imagine a semi-modular box with glitchy sampler and the repurposed, Frankenbending sounds of electronic toy guts: The instrument will consists of three main sections: two modified toys …

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Bent Music Appears, Awkwardly, On Local TV – Film at 11

Something strange is happening on local affiliate news programs across the country: Circuit benders and other weirdo musicians are being asked to drop by and discuss their art for the American Public. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d be a little confused and freaked out if I woke up and saw this first thing in the morning (and I lived in Ohio): And it’s not just Dan Deacon. Dynamic duo Beatrix*Jar had a similarly awkward experience. There’s something strange about what’s going on here. The news people conducting the interviews are are genuinely enthusiastic, but there’s …

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DIY Circuits of the Bent Festival Kick Off in LA, Then NYC, Minneapolis

Shining, happy people bending toys. Photo by Beatrix*Jar — see our interview. Despite the name, the Bent Festival this year promises to be about not only circuit bending, but DIY sound in general. (Circuit shaping? Circuit straightening? General circuitration?) Our friend and CDM regular Mike Una has put together fantastic art installations for Minneapolis. Workshops in NYC and LA dig into the mysteries of sensors and tubes, the potential of video bending, and giant, battery-powered noise to drown out the rest of the world. And there are gobs and gobs of performers. Like the North American air currents, Bent begins …

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Free Faux Bent Instruments

Pristine digital technology — some people just can’t resist putting it in the service of recreating grungier, noisier sound-producing tech. Hot on the heels of Indirect-to-Digital – by-way-of-tape samples of the TR606 and 808, here are some digital recreations of circuit-bent noisemakers. Of course, I generally prefer to see circuit bending producing actual, DIY hardware — see our Circuit Bending Challenge — but it’s still an interesting exercise. (And it’s worth sampling some of this gear for live performance, especially when you can record sound before something, um, breaks. At least if it’s my project.) Rekkerd.org finds not one, but …

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Make Chats with Bender Maestro Gijs Gieskes

Circuit Bent Casio SK 1 from Gijs on Vimeo. Note: we are temporarily having problems with Vimeo’s embedded video. (So is MAKE, evidently, so it’s not our fault!) Click through to see the video, or enjoy the lovely garbled characters if they’re there. Regular followers of the music tech blogs know the wild and wonderful work of bender/inventor Gijs Gieskes (here or all over here), in which Casio keyboards get massive mechanical add-ons and Sega games become fuzzy, distorted video art. Phillip Torrone writes us to let us know MAKE has taken a closer look at the artist: In the …

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