bent festival :: last day

the last day of the bent festival. oh, sadness you are a mad ticking clock. i couldn't help but feel a little down. i've been lost in a dream of geekdom since tuesday, and now i must return to reality. when i arrived most of the exhibits were already deconstructed. a half life of the hopping scene the day before. i brought anthony and hektor to preach the digital way, but could only harp fantasy into the shell that remained.

the final workshop lecture was hosted by lorin edwin parker, titled, "how to make a robot sing from the heart." the lecture was a facinating historical account of vocal synthesis attempts since b.c. times. later participants were given guidance and kits for the manipulation of the speakjet chip, which permits robotic emulation of the human voice.

::listen to my speakjet

looking back on the festival, chia and i both agree it's the coolest festival in manhattan. the true spirit of passionate people comes out in all forms. in this case, it's the curiousity of new sound creations. i do confirm that all electronic instruments have a soul of their own; there are little ghosts in the shells awaiting attention. circuit bending is the reaching hand. it is new life, and in that sense circuit benders are creators. perhaps, that's the little high we all get. i am definitely changed. this festival has definitely awakened something in me, and i can't wait to get down and dirty and pursue it.


bent festival :: day four

today's bent festival was the best one yet. tons of people came out for the workshops and to explore. most of the audio exhibits were up and running. i attended a workshop hosted by table beast. in this workshop we modded the casio sk-1 and added a patchbay system. table beast was so helpful and friendly and his ardous knowledge of the casio keyboard line is astounding. his whole career is dedicated to modding casio's and has done many mods for professional musicians [name drop time: he did one for trent reznor]. the workshop was pretty intense, took about 3-4 hours.

:: watch video clip of mod ::

other highlights of the day included a lecture and book signing by
nicolas collins. his new book is called 'handmade electronic music.' wine and hors d'oeuvres provided by the publisher. hell yes! chia was also in this awesome workshop that ran in parallel to the casio sk-1 workshop. i sooo wanted to do that one. noah t. vawter taught how to build a one-bit groove box and fit it inside a cute vcr rental box.



bent festival :: day three

today, sandro and i snuck out of work early to check out the bent festival again. sandro's never been exposed to circuit bending, so we immediately took to some toys and i showed him how putting a pot in parallel with the toy's resistor can tweak the sound. every day there are more and more exhibits available. i'm guessing the final day will be the most complete exhibit presentation.

today's lecture was by kyle buza, which grazed over the possibilities of using max/msp/jitter to bend video game emulations. the subject was a little over my head, but very interesting. learning max/msp is definitely one of my future goals. it was nice to get a taste of its capabilities.



bent festival :: day two

today, took off early from work to make it to the bent festival open workshop. last night's intro had settled in, and i was eager to approach circuit bending with more predetermined intent. i attended a workshop hosted by justin jordan. in this workshop we built in house an lfo circuit which can easily be integrated into any instrument for bending effects. the soldering was tedious and everyone was scrambling like ants for parts and tools. i think over half of the class got their circuits to work. after taking this circuit home and playing with it more, i discovered a couple of things and had an new music instrument epiphany. i plan on designing this new instrument in the next month.

there were more exhibits on display and some of the instruments that the performining artists had on stage were truly amazing. this festival is one of the best festivals because of the level of interaction you have with other attendees, speakers, and the musicians. a great curiosity shoppe.

:: listen to my bent instrument


bent festival :: day one

yesterday i went with chia to the starting day for the bent festival. circuit-bending is the creative short-circuiting of low voltage, battery-powered electronic audio devices such as guitar effects, children's toys and small synthesizers to create new musical instruments and sound generators. yesterday was the kickoff lecture by george lazenbleep. what is inspiring is how elemental and simple circuit bending is. anyone with a curious mind can do it. as an EE, i guess i was just in denial about ever taking the time out to fuck with the electronics of toys.

after the lecture we were all provided instrument toys to bend. immediately everyone started taking about their toys and bending. the room was filled with noise, bloops, and bleeps. if you ever want to turn yourself into a child, try circuit bending. the feeling of unknown results , the curiousity, and the manic excitement; i couldn't help but feel like a kid again. geeks of the world unite. every night after the workshops are concerts of electronic, laptop, circuit bending artists. i missed yesterday's show but will definitely check out today's.



performance :: avey tare and kria brekken

avey tare of animal collective and kria brekken played an intimate show to a crowd of about 50 people at the stone in the lower east side last night. the stone is a small performance space for experimental and avant garde music; no refreshments or merchandize. only music. kria had a beautiful grand piano to play. the sound mix was gentle and balanced; not even a cricket chirped. avey and kria played a handfull of acoustic and piano songs, rotating between instruments and even playing piano duets together. it was so calm, felt like we were over for dinner. avey tare later endearingly asked the audience, "does anyone need anything?" content silence was the response, the performance, more then enough.

:: watch short clips of the show ::

:: listen to MD recording ::
:: untitled 1
:: untitled 2
:: untitled 3
:: untitled 4
:: untitled 5
:: piano instrumental
:: untitled 6
:: i've got mine (chris smither cover)
:: guitar instrumental


zine release :: o sirhan. o sirhan

this week i saw two shows to support the release of o sirhan. o sirhan, a brooklyn based music zine. it's printed in 8.5"w x 11"h, some color prints, bound editon of 1000, and featured interviews, art, and photo diaries of artists such as animal collective, hanry flynt, devendra banhart, 7 year rabbit cycle, mary halvorson, deerhoof, david waldorf, and edie song. copies are available at earwax, kim's video, downtown music gallery, anitmart, clovis books, and othermusic.

::watch clip of true primes ::

true primes took stage at cakeshop on thursday wit
h a strong presence, rolyn on drums this time and with an extra guitarist. the next day, che and rolyn took stage again at good bye blue monday in bushwick. opening that night was a che side project, the willing; really beautiful electronic fx noisescape. twi and humble feather set up next for their first live performance. anthony, hektor, and i were all really happy with the performance, finally after months of rehearsal. true primes took stage again, always impressing me with che's dirty electric beats and samples. after true primes, gregory stovetopp rocked out to originals and covers with a psychobilly twang, covering the whole room with his powerful yelling voice. next, fx violinist, core ogg the coalman took stage. it's the most pedals i've seen on stage for one person ever. unfortunately i had to bust out before seeing the closing acts by members of people and hi red center, under the banner name of quartet.

:: clips from the show ::
:: listen to twi and humble feather
:: listen to core ogg the coalman