April 12, 2007

Amateur Mad Scientists Ahoy: The Bent Festival

Tonight (LA time) is the opening of the 2007 Bent Festival, an annual three day event of workshops and performances dedicated to circuit-bending, the art of making music by short-circuiting dinky old electronic audio devices like kid’s toys, guitar effects and cheap-o keyboards. The event, which started out four years ago in Manhattan, has now turned into a bit of road show. This year it will be happening in Los Angeles (April 12th – 14th) and Minneapolis (April 19th – 21st), along with New York (April 26th – 28th). If you want get a feel for what ensues at one of these festivals, check out the YouTube link at the top of this post - it's a short doco about the 2006 Bent Festival.

If (like me) you can’t make it to any of the dates on the tour, but still want to get involved in this mad scientist world of lo-fi audio experimentation, then head for the website of Reed Ghazala, the “Father of circuit-bending”. On it, you’ll find a helpful manual to get you started, and an assortment of mp3s coaxed from some of Reed’s circuit-bent creations. Thrill to the sounds of the morpheum, aleatron, and vox insecta, then go away and make one of your own.

Posted by Warren at April 12, 2007 07:34 PM | Experimental