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Bleep Circuit Benders Make for Bleeping Good Time

Attn: Arts/Editor Reporter

Bleep Circuit Benders Make for Bleeping Good Time

The “bleep” workshop crew, champions of music made using machines, bring circuit bending – the art of torturing, transplanting, and grafting electronic sound-making devices – to life in a once-only show at Happy on Wednesday the 26th of July, from 8pm.

“We take cheap battery-powered noise-making toys, ones you can buy from The Warehouse or The $2 Shop, and disassemble and deliberately short circuit their electronics – teaching them to speak with the most alien and unique new voices you have ever heard,” says Damian ‘frey’ Stewart, the organiser of the event. “Then we take them to the stage, and see what kind of music we can make with them.”

The circuit bending show is preceded by a workshop on Sunday the 23rd of July from 4pm – the Sunday before the show – and thanks to a grant from the Wellington City Council’s Creative Communities funding scheme, it is free and open to anyone who would like to join in the torturing.

Those who just want to hear the new voices the circuits are given can come along to watch the show, which costs $5. The show will feature the circuits that were taken to the workshop and tortured, transplanted, and grafted – or bent, if you prefer – engaging in short musical duets and group performances with the aid of their torturers, transplanters, and grafters.

Given all of the torturing of poor defenceless circuits going on, does Stewart expect electronics rights activists to come chasing after him? “I don’t think so. I mean, the circuits are clearly happier when they’re making better sounds. If you were a toy phone that could only make eight different noises wouldn’t you rather be speaking a more interesting language? I know I would.”

This show is the second in the “bleep” series of workshops and performances for people who make music using machines. The idea behind the workshops, the first of which drew 18 participants, is to get like-minded people together, to explore new musical ideas, and to have lots of fun – and then perform the ideas explored in a live show at Happy the following week.

“People shouldn’t be put off by the idea of music made using machines,” says Stewart. “If you’ve ever seen inside a piano, you’ll know that it’s a complicated mechanical device – it’s a machine. It’s the musician that makes the music – the musician playing the piano, or in our case, bending the circuit.”

For participants in the workshop, some componentry and equipment will be provided, but they will need to supply their own circuit to bend. “Something electronic and battery powered that makes sound that you don’t mind disassembling and modifying – a toy phone, a keyboard, a Furby doll, a speak’n’spell toy computer, anything really.”

To register for the free workshop on Sunday the 23rd of July contact:
Damian Stewart
027 305 4107

Gig details:
bleep #2: circuit benders
Wednesday 26th of July
$5 on the door


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