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Oct 042012
Robbie Hunsinger

Robbie Hunsinger

I don’t know how Soundcrawl director and co-founder Kyle Baker does it. I have enough trouble organizing a one day festival. Soundcrawl 2012’s schedule spans five continuous days! And every single event is a major attraction for lovers of sound art and avant garde music.

As the Soundcrawl home page states, “Soundcrawl is a sound art and new media organization presenting works by best and brightest new media artists and composers in a unique ‘opt in’ gallery format. Since 2009 we’ve received 450+ works by 90 composers in 43 countries on 6 continents, and presented 72 to audiences in Nashville, Tennessee.”

Check out our 2011 interview with Kyle Baker. The really cool thing about Soundcrawl is that it’s interlocked with the October 6th First Saturday Art Crawl. As you roam from gallery to gallery, you’ll discover sound stations playing Soundcrawl official selections.

But this year, that’s just the beginning. Here’s the schedule of events:

Saturday Oct 6th

First Saturday Art Crawl, 6-8pm The Arcade

Tracy Silverman, 9:30pm Brick Factory

Sunday Oct 7th

 Soundcrawl: Art of the Future, 5PM – 8PM

Monday Oct 8th

Soundcrawl Presents Benton-C Bainbridge & Tony Youngblood,  7PM

Tuesday Oct 9th

Soundcrawl Presents Tim Hinck, 7PM – 9PM

Wednesday Oct 10th

Soundcrawl Presents Robbie Lynn Hunsinger,  7PM – 9PM

I’m really looking forward to Robbie Hunsinger‘s performance. The Facebook event page states, “This concert will feature opportunities for audience participation along with several premieres: a duet for arduino and soprano sax, a composition for alto sax and vocoder, and a multimedia composition for two English Horns and Bass. This last piece is her third project in a multimedia series based on source material captured from a canoe in Ebenezer Creek, an eerie, historic black water swamp in Georgia. This will be Hunsinger’s first composition for multiple player interactive multimedia and each player will independently control imagery in real-time.”


There’s also video artist Benton C Bainbridge‘s collaboration with some young ruffian. 😉

That event’s Facebook event page states, “An evening of FastMappin’; wherein video artist extrodinaire Benton-C will map projections onto what you bring while Tony Youngblood provides mind-expanding musical accompaniment. Put it in the Beam and Benton-C will Map it.” Guaranteed fun.

There’s also electric violinist extraordinaire Tracy Silverman (whom Terry Riley liked so much he wrote a symphony for), digital media manipulator Tim Hinck, and the carnivalesque symposium known as Art of the Future:

Grab your interesting friends and head down to downtown for a great night of sounds and wonders as Soundcrawl presents Art of the Future, an eclectic mix of live performances and innovative media installations in a carnival atmosphere.  Stroll through cutting edge new media from 5 until 8pm: interact with a video, listen to sound art from a world away,  tweak the knobs on a sound sculpture, lose yourself in an electric haze of sound from accomplished performers, take in new visual art, experience what’s possible when imagination and technology mix.

Every event except the Art Crawl is happening at my favorite Nashville creative space Brick Factory Nashville. Don’t miss it!

Joe Nolan wrote a great SoundCrawl preview over at the Nashville Scene.

Brick Factory Nashville
(Inside Cummins Station)
Suite 126
209 10th Ave South
Nashville, TN 37203

Oct 042012

Pimpdaddysupreme performing surgery at CBB 2012. Projection & photography by Matt the PM


I’m happy to say the Circuit Benders’ Ball went off without a hitch! Well, at least no major hitches. The workshops were filled with enthusiastic students of all ages, and Brick Factory Nashville was packed for the performances. Native Magazine, Nashville Arts Magazine, and The Nashville Scene all came out. Check out the Scene’s articles here and here and their photo slideshow here.

Thanks again to all the bands, workshop teachers, attendees, our Kickstarter backers, and our sponsors Yazoo Brewing Company, GetLoFi, and Brick Factory Nashville.

Sep 282012

2012 Circuit Benders’ Ball Nashville

A celebration of hardware hacking, art, music, and the creative spirit.

Saturday, September 29th at Brick Factory Nashville

Sponsored by:

Workshops 10am to 7pm.

Art and music 8pm to 1am, $15 at door or until September 27th via Kickstarter.

Brick Factory Nashville
(Inside Cummins Station)
Suite 126
209 10th Ave South
Nashville, TN 37203

Get tickets to the Ball and lots of great rewards via our Kickstarter campaign!

What is Circuit Bending?

“Circuit Bending is the creative recycling of common discarded technology, often children’s toys, by opening the device and soldering in new connections to create unique musical and video instruments.” – Roth Mobot

What makes circuit bending so cool is that ANYONE can do it! All you need is curiosity, a screwdriver, and a willingness to experiment. Circuit bending is a gateway into electronics, art, music, and making!

What is the Circuit Benders’ Ball Nashville?

The Circuit Benders’ Ball is a daylong symposium dedicated to the art of the bend, taking place on Saturday, September 29th. It will feature two stages, over a dozen performers, an interactive art gallery, and workshops.

We have invited circuit bent artists from Tennessee and beyond to perform and lead electronic workshops. The afternoon workshops are open to all ages and all levels of experience. In the evening, experimental musicians and sound artists will perform with circuit bent instruments, custom-made electronics, and/or battery-powered electronic devices.

If you’re curious about experimental music, making stuff, electronics, art, hacking, and sonic mayhem, this event is for you!

The Ball will take place on Saturday, September 29th, 2012 at Brick Factory Nashville, a hackerspace, community workshop, educational facility, art gallery, and performance space.


Roth Mobot – Chicago
Blight Side of Life
– Nashville
Brain Lesion
– Murfreesboro, TN
Elegant Bassterds (Ben Marcantel and Derek Schartung) – Nashville
Josh Gumiela, Kelli Shay Hix, Lucas McCallister – Nashville
Hadals – Nashville / Montgomery, AL
Joey Molinaro – New York City
Nashville Robotic Philharmonic – (Zack Adams of CMKT4) Benton, KY
Pimpdaddysupreme – Nashville
Pineapple Explode – Nashville
Posttaste (Tommy Stangroom of Square People) – Nashville
Teletron Orchestra (Dylan Simon and Ken Soper) – Nashville / Murfreesboro


Times are approximate and are subject to change.

IN STAGE: 8:15-8:30 Posttaste
OUT STAGE: 8:35-8:50 Elegant Bassterds
IN STAGE: 8:55-9:10 Kelli Shay Hix / Josh Gumiela / Lucas McCallister
OUT STAGE: 9:15-9:30 Pineapple Explode
IN STAGE: 9:35-9:50 Teletron Orchestra
OUT STAGE: 9:55-10:10 Brain Lesion
IN STAGE: 10:15-10:50 Roth Mobot


IN STAGE: 11:05-11:20 Pimpdaddysupreme w/ Matt the PM
OUT STAGE: 11:25-11:40 Hadals
IN STAGE: 11:45-12:05 Joey Molinaro
OUT STAGE: 12:10-12:25 Blight Side of Life
IN STAGE: 12:30-12:50 Nashville Robotic Philharmonic

House DJ of WEIRD: Gabriel Batres

Visual Artists:

Benton Bainbridge
Rhendi Greenwell

Josh Gumiela
Ryan Hogan
Matt the PM
Aric Vance

Tilman Zitzman


Build a BuckAWatt Boost Kit

Build a Buckawatt Boost Kit Custom Printed Circuit Boards

Tickets for the workshops are limited. While a few tickets may be available at the event, we highly recommend you purchase your tickets in advance via TheSkillery.com.

Chip to be Square: Build Your Own Synthesizer

10:00AM – 1:00PM, Brick Factory Nashville

Build your own square wave sequencing synthesizer! A synthesizer is an electronic musical instrument capable of producing a wide range of frequencies (notes) to make melodies. Square waves are one of the most commonly used waveforms in all synthesizers. They sound somewhat rough to our ears and might remind you of old 8-bit video game systems such as the Atari 2600 or Nintendo Entertainment System.

By the end of the 3 hour session, you will have built your own synthesizer! Workshop cost includes all supplies. Just bring yourself. No previous electronic experience necessary.

Price: $55. Buy tickets.

Intro to Circuit Bending w/ Roth Mobot

2:00PM – 5:00PM, Brick Factory Nashville

In this workshop, you will take apart an old toy and make a brand new musical instrument! You’ll be able to identify and explore the basic components of a typical circuit board, the basics of soldering, install output jacks, switches, body contacts (and more!), and control a world of new sounds. Workshop cost includes all supplies EXCEPT the toy. Just bring yourself and 2 toys to bend. No previous electronic experience necessary.

IMPORTANT: This workshop is BYOT (Bring Your Own Toy). Participants are required to bring 1 battery-powered device (with batteries!) to the class. It’s best to bring 2 toys … Some toys just don’t bend. Sometimes a toy fries during the workshop. We don’t want anyone to be left out.

What’s a good toy to bend? Find out on Roth Mobot’s workshop page: http://www.rubbermonkey.org/rothmobot/workshops.htm

Price: $45. Buy tickets.

Build a Buckawatt “Bend-a-Boost” Modular Boost Kit

5:30PM – 7:00PM, Brick Factory Nashville

In this workshop, attendees will learn how to build and design a single stage amplifier using sockets. Attendees will practice beginner soldering skills, populating a circuit board with sockets, before experimenting with a number of different custom biasing configurations with no additional soldering.

The Bend-a-Boost is a transistor-based boost kit. It can be used to add color and character to other devices and can be configured in a number of different ways to create signal clipping and oscillations. It has practical applications for circuit benders and stomp box lovers alike and teaches building blocks of amplification, overdrive, and fuzz. Workshop cost includes all supplies. Just bring yourself. No previous electronic experience necessary.

Price: $45. Buy tickets.

Official Sponsors:

Sep 252012

Great news! We reached our $1000 Circuit Benders’ Ball Kickstarter goal! We owe a big debt of gratitude to all of our generous backers! Thank you! We couldn’t have done it without you!

If you haven’t backed us yet, you still can. Great rewards are still available, including one last workshop super bundle: All three workshops and a VIP “free beer” Badge to the Ball for the discounted price of $140! All in all, that’s  a$40 savings, and there’s only one left. Go snatch it on our Kickstarter page.

Other rewards included single workshops, passes to the Ball, CBB t-shirt, posters, one-of-a-kind art pieces and more!  Josh Gumiela, teacher of the CBB workshop Chip to be Square: Build Your Own Synth, very generously donated a “One-of-a-kind Sound Sculpture” for one lucky backer. That’s still available too!

MAJOR thanks to the excellent circuit-bending blog GetLoFi.com for pushing over our $1000 goal. With their very generous contribution, they’ve become an official sponsor of the Ball alongside Yazoo Brewing Company and Brick Factory Nashville. GetLoFi is hosting a U.S. tour in October, featuring Talking Computron and The Ring Toss Twins. They’ll also be selling some of their unique handmade instruments. One of my favorites is the brilliant NES Guitar.

Check the tour schedule to see if they’re coming to a town near you!