Building Your Vocabulary One Word at a Time
cir cuit – bend (‘sir cut bend) v, to rewire electronic devices to exploit their untapped, unintended, or unpredictable potential.
Q Reed Ghazala, now considered the godfather of circuit-bending, coined the term circuit-bending to describe the process he used to rewire electronic toys into bizarre, less than predictable musical instruments. Circuit-bending has since grown into a world-wide movement with Ghazala’s book, Circuit Bending as its bible.
You’ll likely see the term used frequently in this blog in coming weeks, in anticipation of, and preparation for the very first circuit-bending event ever held in Garberville, so far as I know. On Monday, May 21, at the Veterans Hall in Garberville, The Southern Humboldt Amateur Radio Club will host a pot-luck, and circuit-bending workshop led by the Dekalb Ill based circuit-bending band, CMKT4.
CMKT4 employs numerous instruments with bent circuits in their music, ranging from the sound modules from talking stuffed animals to educational electronic toys, to synthesizers and fuzz boxes. The three piece band also play more conventional instruments like drums, bass and guitar producing a sound that can take you to outer space in a swirl of sci-fi sound and then take you to breakfast at the Waffle House to show you the gritty dark side of America.
In the workshop, CMKT4 will teach you how to solder, show you the basics of circuit-bending and help you build your own contact microphone from a kit they provide. You can use your contact microphone as pickup for an acoustic guitar, or or almost any other acoustic instrument. It makes a great electronic drum trigger, and can turn almost any object into an electric musical instrument.
The cost of the workshop and kit is $15 per participant, and includes microphone kit, comic book instruction manual, use of tools and building supplies, and expert instruction. You will leave with a high quality contact microphone. Similar, often inferior, products sell in music stores for over $50, so attending the workshop pays off immediately. Besides that, the workshop will build your base of skills and knowledge and inspire your imagination.
CMKT4 will close the evening with a set of circuit-bent original music. I hope I see you there.