A Circuit-Bent Hit!

Electric Earth Music

I had a lot of fun at the Something Different Show in Arcata last week. I had never performed circuit-bent music as a solo artist for a live audience before. Now, I can’t wait to do it again!

Circuit-bent music is harder to listen to than it is to play. Fortunately, I had an encouraging and supportive audience that rose to the occasion. I sincerely appreciate everyone who came out to hear me play.

This gig encouraged me to explore the potential of this collection of instruments. A rehearsal for this show, dubbed “For Tatiana,” a 25+ minute-long onslaught of electronic gibberish got almost 300 views in it’s first 10 days. That’s a hit in my world!

Today, I share a piece I recorded with just one of the instruments I brought to the Something Different show:

I bent this instrument years ago. I used it for a memorable solo…

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For Tatiana: Circuit-Bent Improvisation 5943

Electric Earth Music

My friend Sean Powers asked me to bring some of my circuit-bent instruments and play at his puppet/variety show: “Something Different” at the Exit Theater in Arcata on Weds. May 31.

I accepted the challenge. I enjoy making circuit-bent and other odd music in my home studio, but performing live is a whole different ballgame. After thinking about it a bit, and trying a few things out, I arrived at a combination of instruments that I think appropriate to the occasion. I especially like the aesthetics of this setup, so I posted a photo of it on Facebook.

My friend Tatiana, a fellow didgeridoo player and electronic noise artist with Otolithia asked to hear what it sounds like, so I recorded this piece for Tatiana Musique.

I recorded it all in real time, in one take, on one track, in mono, with no edits, overdubs or enhancement, because that’s how…

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Dragsho4Kids, It’s Not Gonna Lick Itself

Electric Earth Music

There’s something really queer about the whole phenomena of drag shows for kids, and by “queer” I don’t mean “gay” or anything to do with gender or sexual orientation. By “queer” I mean “suspiciously peculiar.” What I found especially suspicious was how quickly, and forcefully, the people who protested the appropriateness of a drag show as children’s entertainment were labeled “anti-gay,” “homophobic,” and “hate mongers,” and everything they said was labeled “Hate Speech” in our local media, even though no arrests were made and no charges filed. I found that very queer because Hate Speech is a crime. Accusing someone of Hate Speech, when no charges have been filed is the equivalent of calling someone a murderer, without any evidence that anyone has been killed. That really stuck in my craw.

The truth is, very few people really want to see a drag show. Even among adults, most of us…

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Saturn: An Electric Didgeridoo Drone

Electric Earth Music

I’ve been promising an album of electric didgeridoo drone music for some time now. Here’s your first taste of what is to come:

I recorded this track at home using solar power. The images of Saturn are courtesy of NASA. I find playing and listening to these electric drones deeply satisfying musically. Robert Fripp described music as “a vessel to contain silence.” I think this piece meets that criterion. Silence is restorative, grounding and healing, I think you will find my electric drone music a pleasing way experience it.

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Live at Radio Artifact

Electric Earth Music

I had a great time in Ohio! Radio Artifact is located inside a retired catholic church in Cincinnati, OH.

Inside, Urban Artifact Brewery makes unique flavors of fruit-tart, basically fruit-beer. I had a delicious brew called “The Gadget” that was unlike any adult beverage I’ve had before. Very fruity, dry and crisp, but with more body than hard cider and a deep blackberry flavor.

Within Urban Artifact, lives the recording studio and sound-stage called Radio Artifact:

This past Friday, April 21, I had the pleasure of playing Radio Artifact, along with Nora Barton AKA Planchette who makes ethereal new music with an electrified cello and effects pedal-board, and Kevin Poole AKA Umin who produces intricate Gamelan-like grooves with an eclectic collection of instruments including guitar, ukelele, hacked Gameboys, animal skulls and bones. Here’s what happened:

Andrew Tetrick, and Devin Brooks at Radio Artifact organized and executed the show, and…

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Hemp Disconnected: A Psychological War for American Dependence

Electric Earth Music

This project started as an idea for a one-hour radio talk show. I assumed it would require a few hours of preparation to make it unfold in real time on live radio. Things change. This idea morphed into Hemp Disconnected: A Psychological War for American Dependence, a nearly two-hour long documentary that I’ve been working on for over a year now with my co-producer Myles Moscato.

The movie features Sonny Bono, Dr William Courtney, Debby Goldsberry, Jack Herer, Marie Mills, Theresa Mills, and Ed Rosenthal, and in it they talk candidly about their roles in the long battle to legalize marijuana (cannabis), a battle that largely defined their lives. The War on Drugs shaped all of our lives to one degree or another because it steered the course of history.

In Hemp Disconnected we see the propaganda campaign against marijuana as an example of a new kind of warfare developed…

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Psychological Operations

Electric Earth Music

Another project required me to watch a lot of old propaganda films. The other project focuses on anti-marijuana propaganda, but looks at how propaganda works in psychological warfare to manipulate the behavior of whole populations. Through that project I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the psychological siege that characterizes life in the digital age, and the degree to which this siege warps our perception of reality. Psychological warfare may, in fact, turn out to be more destructive to humanity than nuclear warfare, if only because no one hesitated to use it, and its use continues to escalate.

These are very dark thoughts to contemplate. Dark thoughts like those put me in the mood for circuit-bent music. When the machine leads you to a dark place, the sound of machines breaking-down and glitching-out is music to your ears. An extended glitch from my bent Casio ML1 forms the twisted spine of…

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Bent Broken Festival March 25

Electric Earth Music

The 2023 Bent Broken Festival premiers on March 25th, featuring a number of videos from Tin Can Luminary and the Orchestra of the Unwanted, and a few more from me without the alias. Personally, I think Circuit-bent noise is some of the most exciting music happening right now, and many of the most eminent artists in this field will be represented at BBF23 including Tim Kaiser, Bill T Miller, Igor Amokian, BOINGdweeby, Psychiceyeclix, and Freeform Delusion.

Circuit-bending refers to the art of creatively rewiring electronic toys to unleash their untapped sonic potential. Once unleashed, the artists then develop performance techniques to play these unique instruments, and compose music to highlight and showcase their newly liberated sounds. Circuit-bent music is very punk, and very geeky at the same time, and what I like about it most is how it resonates with the zeitgeist of our time.

None of the videos I’ve…

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