Aug 122016

Make Nashville is a local maker’s group that recently launched an East Nashville makerspace. Each month, they host a public meetup centered around a particular topic. This month, the topic is circuit-bending!

What the heck is circuit-bending? It’s the art of re-purposing old electronic toys and transforming them into musical and visual instruments. Here’s the Wikipedia entry.

If you dabble in bending, bring your creations to show off. If not, come learn about the practice. Tyler Blankenship will be on hand to talk about the 2017 Circuit Benders’ Ball and Modular Art Pods @ Queen Ave.

The FREE meeting happens August 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the makerspace, which is located at 947 Woodland St, Nashville, TN. It’s also a great opportunity to tour the space and inquire about membership. More info at the event page.

Intro to Circuit Bending class at the 2012 Circuit Benders' Ball. Photo by Angelina Castillo.

Intro to Circuit Bending class at the 2012 Circuit Benders’ Ball. Photo by Angelina Castillo.

Aug 122016
Justice Yeldham

Justice Yeldham

Nashville’s vital experimental curators FMRL Arts is presenting Ditch Fest, a three-day festival of music and visual art.

The fest takes place at Betty’s Grill on August 14 through 16. FMRL Arts is taking the unique approach of time-releasing the lineup, one festival-day at a time. Thus far, all we have is the lineup for day one, which is subtitled “Time Fades Away.” Keep checking the FMRL Arts site for updates on days two and three.

But the day one lineup? It’s spectacular.

First off, we have Sidney, Australia based audiovisual artist Justice Yeldham who is one of the most creative people alive. At the fest, he’ll be performing with broken pieces of glass and contact mics. He also creates pinball machines where the ball strikes guitar strings, piano strings, and tuning forks and remote-control car races where the cars “play” records doubling as the racetrack. The drivers sit in repurposed racecar game cabinets. They control the rc car through the game cabinet steering wheel and view the track through the monitor, which broadcasts the rc car front camera. It’s a brilliant idea, and I won’t be surprised if this type of racing becomes a phenomenon around the world.

Next up, we have Bryan Lewis Saunders of Johnson City, TN. Update: Saunders had to cancel. In his place is the artist Depths & Chained. Of him, FMRL states:

Inspired by the music of Henryk Gorecki and Gyorgy Ligeti, the regal melancholy of seminal second-wave of black metal records, the work of ambient composers Eliane Radigue and William Basinski, kosmiche music, classic harsh noise and the churning, pulsing fervor of Brighter Death Now, Depths & Chained serves as an exploration of the space in which these influences can co-exist.

Then there’s Pico Dorado, Scott Bazar‘s method for musical improvisation where each performer is assigned a color.

Finally, we have Cleveland, TN solo artist TORSCHLUSSPANIK, which is a German word that has no English counterpart. It literally translates to “gate shut panic” and speaks to the fear that time is running out. Her music incorporates heavily-distorted found sounds cut up into audio assemblages. Check out the stream below.

Admission for Ditch Fest day one is a $10 to $15 sliding scale. Show starts at 9 p.m.

FMRL Arts presents Ditch Fest
Day One: Time Fades Away
Featuring Justice Yeldham, Bryan Lewis Saunders, Pico Dorado, and TORSCHLUSSPANIK
August 14, 9 p.m., $10 to $15
@ Betty’s Grill, 407 49th Ave N, Nashville, Tennessee 37209

Aug 112016


Purchase Tickets

I’m happy to announce that I’ll be teaching one of the first workshops at Make Nashville‘s brand new space!

The class is called “Papercraft Automata” and is open to students ages 11 and up. (Younger students are welcome with parental accompaniment.) If the first class is successful, I hope to make it a continuing series.

Using Rob Ives’ wonderful paper automata designs, I will teach you the basics of mechanical movement. Each class will explore a different mechanical movement concept including crank sliders, scotch yokes, geneva cranks, gear boxes, worm gears, rack and pinions, and more

In the first class, we will learn all about cams by building the Hungry T-Rex Dinosaur! This is a great introduction to mechanical movement because the kit provides several sets of cams that change the dinosaur’s animation.

Cams have been around for hundreds of years. They are the main mechanical principal behind self-writing, self-drawing, and music-playing automata such as the one featured in the movie Hugo. There’s so much you can do with this one simple concept!

Date: Sunday, August 21 from 12pm to 4pm.
Location: Make Nashville, 947 Woodland St, Nashville, TN
Class fee: $7 for Make Nashville makerspace members. $12 for non-members.

We will supply all tools and components, however if you have a favorite cutting mat, pair of scissors, or Exacto-knife, feel free to bring it along.

Buy your tickets here. This class is limited to 18 students and is expected to sell out, so reserve your spot quick.

Learn more about the Hungry T-Rex here.

Purchase Tickets

Jun 012016
Tony Youngblood's Blue Box Pod In Progress

Tony Youngblood’s Blue Box Pod In Progress

The wonderful Sara Lee Burd (who was just named Executive Director at Seed Space) interviewed me about Modular Art Pods for the June edition of Nashville Arts. Check it out here.

Modular Art Pods takes place at OZ Arts Nashville during their OZ Art Fest, June 21 through 25 with a special Thursday Night Things performance June 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. Learn more at