From a previous hackday at InterAccess; photo (CC-BY) Rob Cruickshank.

Handmade Music is spreading. Toronto’s InterAccess has been a hub of terrific DIY activity in sound and other fields, otherwise known as a General Gravity Well of Awesomeness, and they’re now doing their own Handmade Music, kicking off this month.

Full call below, but as with other events, there is an open call for work (and some nice thoughts on why now is a wonderful time for DIY).

Even if you’re not in Toronto, it’s nice to read their take on why this stuff matters. I’m gratified they’ve found this inspiring. I’ve certainly been inspired by … well, all of you!

Making an arduinome housing. Photo (CC) Patrick Dinnen


Friday, February 19th, 10PM
InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre
9 Ossington Ave.

Organized by Stephen McLeod, Andrew Lovett-Barron, and Alex Snukal.

InterAccess is hosting a party where DIY/handmade/experimental music performers and makers get together and show off their stuff. Haven’t made anything yet? Doesn’t matter, just come out and see what people are up to. We already have some confirmed performers but we want MORE!

We want your circuit bent speak ‘n spell!

We want your home made theremin!

We want your gigantic modular!

We want your trash can drum kit!

We want your insane Max/MSP (or PD) patch!

We want your monome!

If you’ve built something and you make music with it, we want to hear it! Doesn’t work? Bring it anyways! The night starts out with a show and tell, and aside from this initial event we will be holding regular workshops and get-togethers, that anyone regardless of skill level are welcome to attend and share ideas. In fact, we want to make Interaccess a space where people doing interesting things with electronic music can regularly gather, learn, and perform.

To participate, please email Alex Snukal at alex.snukal at interaccess dot org.

Great Time to Make Electronic Music

There has never been a better time to make electronic music, and here’s a few of the reasons why:

Monome ( adopted an open hardware/software approach and this has led to a creative and prolific DIY community, committed to finding new and interesting ways of interacting/performing/experimenting with the device. Users are encouraged to make it their own, either through writing/modifying their own software or building their own ‘version’ through a kit, or even sourcing the parts themselves and making something completely new.

In fact, many intrepid DIYers have build monome clones (called Arduinomes) using the Arduino! If you haven’t heard of the Arduino, it’s an amazing open source piece of electronics that lets you connect sensors and control things from your computer. Like the swiss army knife of the DIY electronic world, Arduinos have been involved in countless projects and we can teach you all about them.

This all leads directly to the software that is run on many a monome or Arduino: Over the last decade, Max/MSP and Pure data, both created by Miller Puckette, have been adopted by the international music and multimedia community as programming languages of choice for innovative musical and visual composition. As visual node based programming environments, they differ from the more familiar text based languages by having their roots in electronic musical synthesis using virtual patch cables to route messages to objects which stand in for synthesis modules, a style of creation more in line with Wendy Carlos than Alan Turing. With relatively recent addition of Jitter for Max/MSP and Gem for PureData, these techniques and tools are making there way into the visual realm as well, rounding themselves off as key tools for the modern musician, visualist, and multi-media artist.

And of course, we have been heavily inspired by the excellent Handmade Music events in New York and elsewhere!

Here’s an amazing guy who makes all his own strange electronic instruments:

Some videos of the monome in action.


making the noise:

Official Post by snukal

More details soon, and we’ll definitely be sharing the best projects from Handmade Music worldwide.

Hacking away at InterAccess. Photo (CC-BY) Rob Cruickshank.