"Circuit bending" is the name of the technique
or artform or science, if you like of experimentally
and creatively modifying the electronic circuits of mass produced
electronic musical instruments, toys and suchlike to make new,
different, and unique instrumentes, with new, different and unique
sounds and musical possibilities.
Circuit bending is a laymans shortcut into an area
that is generally the domain of technical experts. Many circuit
benders works from a, more or less rigid, 'anti-theoretic' basis
and a conviction that originality comes from curiosity more than
from theoretical knowledge. But generally its agreed amongst circuit
benders that at least some electronic skills and knowledge is
worth acquiring. Circuit bending is a method for the creative
individual to get past the functional end expressive limitations
the producers have chosen to build into their mass produced instruments
or toys, or to make musical instruments out of appliances never
intended for that use. Circuit bending transformes mass produced
consumer goods into unica.
Often the musical posibilities of circuitbent instruments
give occasion for new creative ways of thinking about music and
composition, because rarely the tones and timbres they produce
fit within classical scales and musical traditions. Unpredictability
is often one of the finest characteristics of circuitbended instrumentes.
They are experimental instrumentes for experimental music, and
they often demand untraditional playing tecniques.
My circuitbent instrumens
In 2002 I got taken in by circuit bending,
when I found the website of circuit bending-"guru" Q.
Reed Ghasala (www.Anti-theory.com). Since that summer I have finished
the instruments shown and described here, as well as a few more
that I haven't got a page created for yet. Moreover there is a bunch
of unfinished circuitbending projects in my workshop, waiting to
Most of the subpages have sound samples or musical examples.