Above: our friends at 2playerproductions shot this beautiful video that gets at the heart of what circuit bending and DIY electronics are about. It’s a look at some of the work of casperelectronics / Peter Edwards. And yes, Barbie is involved.

Who are the people in your DIY music neighborhood?

Well, quite a few of the DIYers here on Planet Earth are converging this week in New York. Lover of circuit bending, creative electronics, and DIY music hardware are gathering for the massive Bent Festival in Manhattan, complete with performances, workshops, and a book launch. And we’ve got a special edition planned of Handmade Music featuring several artists from Bent, too, in our monthly free event. For the rest of the planet, I hope to share some of these goodies well beyond the borders of the five boroughs.

To give you a taste of the kind of work we’re doing, check out the videos here of Chiptune Marching Band, getting kids making noisy circuits for the first time and the fantastic electronic workings of Peter Edwards’ brain, plus NPR radio coverage of Ranjit Bhatnagar’s hand-crafted “Instrument a Day.”

Here are the highlights of the events.

Bent Festival, April 16-18, The Tank in Manhattan


  • Nightly performances by Dr. Bleep, VBLANK, Christopher McDonald, Computer at Sea, Rhythmmemory, Playboy’s Bend, Die Schrauber, Peter Edwards/casperelectronics, E-Squared, Family TV, Devgon Ash, Ken Rei, Dr. Rek, Pixel Form, Boring Machine, Burnkit 2600, Anti Social Musik Order, plus Handmade Music veterans Lesley Flanigan, Loud Objects, Tristan Perich, and Don Miller / No Carrier … plus free beer every night at 7p.
  • Nic Collins launching a new edition of his book Handmade Electronic Music – The Art of Hardware Hacking. (Can’t wait to read that.)
  • Workshops on making your own Noise Box or miniRungler (sounds like Dr. Seuss), working with sensors and networks and big installations of lights that switch on and off, microcontroller programming, circuit bending, circuit design, and other Brainy Topics for beginners. There’s even a family-friendly workshop on making your chiptune marching band instruments.

Chiptune Marching Band from jamie allen on Vimeo.

And from your cheery neighbors here at CDM and our friends —

Handmade Music returns with a special Bent Edition – free, Thursday, 4/16, 3rd Ward in Brooklyn:

  • “modular synth meets circuit-bent Barbie dolls. noise, drone, dance party with Peter Edwards of casperelectronics.”
  • A surprise mystery instrument(s) from Handmade Music superstar Ranjit Bhatnagar, who promises it’ll be “something weird.”
  • Me, with the DIY Radio Shack contact mic and some custom software, showing you how to have fun with cheap impulse-buy contact mics and make music with water
  • Hopefully surprise cameos from Bent Festival’s Jamie Allen and Jo Kazuhiro talking about the circuitry, the music, and the magic of the Chiptune Marching Band
  • Free beer courtesy Pabst Blue Ribbon, while it lasts

Presented by createdigitalmusic.com with our friends at music trend-setters XLR8R.com, DIY bible makezine.com, and self-made marketplace Etsy.com

Hosted by artists’ facility and happening location 3rd Ward

7:30pm, Thursday, April 16 – FREE!
3rd Ward is located at 195 Morgan Ave., at the corner of Stagg St., in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
(near the Grand St L train)
RSVP: handmade@3rdward.com

Facebook event page

See also lots more at:



For more on handmade music and Ranjit’s brilliant, self-motivated hand-crafted Instrument a Day project, NPR did a fantastic piece on All Things Considered:

An Instrument A Day, Crafted By Hand [audio, interviews, and sound examples of some wild and wonderful instruments]