This article first appeared
Musical Instruments Volume
14 #4, June 1999
A Future by Q. R. Ghazala
Circuit-bending is the electronic art of the implementation of the creative
audio short-circuit. This renegade path of electrons represents a catalytic
force capable of exploding new experimental musical forms forward at
a velocity previously unknown. Anyone at all can do it; no prior knowledge
of electronics is needed. The technique is, without a doubt, the easiest
electronic audio design process in existence.
instrument, often a re-wired audio toy or game, is an alien instrument.
Alien in electronic design, alien in voice, alien in musician interface.
Through this procedure, all around our planet, a new musical vocabulary
is being discovered. A new instrumentarium is being born.
Countless audio gadgets
are experimental musical instruments waiting to happen. Circuit-bending's
anti-theory approach to electronic design makes accessible to all audio
explorers an endless frontier of original sound-forms to discover. And
fantastic instruments to create.
Within these adapted
devices, along with the unusual voices of circuit-bending, are often found
aleatoric music generators. That is, chance-music composers that stream
unpredictable audio events, elements shifting and re-combining in fascinating
also found while circuit-bending. These allow electricity to flow through
the player's body, flesh and blood now becoming an active part of the
electronic sound circuit. This interface extends players and instruments
into each other, creating, in essence, new life forms. An emerging tribe
of bio-electronic Audio Sapiens.