circuit bending

WHAT is CiRcuit-Bending, aNti-theORY & clear-illOGic?

This article first appeared in Experimental Musical Instruments Volume 14 #4, June 1999

:Of 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.

The circuit-bent 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 ways.

Body-contacts are 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.

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