Wherever you are in the world, here’s some geeky inspiration to kick off this summer weekend. And if you’re in the Los Angeles area, you should absolutely, positively be on Venice Boulevard tonight at 8pm at hacker venue CRASH Space for Handmade Music, gone LA.
In the lineup: circuit bent toys, robotic guitars, MakerBots, monomes, and microcontroller synths, with Altitude Sickness, Ian Hattwick, The Sweaty Caps, Theron Trowbridge, and Vince Wong.
It’s free at 8 pm, but if you can donate the recommended $10, you can help CRASH Space become a not-for-profit.
Here’s a look at what these crazy California kids are up to. At top, Altitude Sickness is known for his Tupperware-housed creations. Check the Vimeo page for that video to grab MIDI remote scripts for Ableton Live plus Max patches for nanoKONTROL, monome, and more. Inspired by a previous post here on CDM, he assembled a bunch of custom controls for live performance and then uploaded the results for anyone to enjoy. But Altitude Sickness isn’t the only guest star tonight…
The Makerbot, the homebrewed, open source, 3D fabrication / CNC product, has been making music for some time. Above: a stirring rendition of “Still Alive” by Jonathan Coulton. But Crash SPACE have not one, but three Makerbots, leading to the first (that I know of) Makerbot ensemble. And they’ve got some extra MIDI code running between them.
Result: extra polyphony.
Lastly, Ian Hattwick’s Guitamaton, inspired by African rhythmic modality, turns the guitar into a robotically-controlled percussion instrument. Ian describes it thusly:
Guitamaton is a computer controlled musical instrument which explores the percussive and resonant qualities of the acoustic guitar. It melds the precision of microprocessor control with the unpredictability of vibrating metal and wood, and brings an added level of embodiment to computer based music by placing the sound creation process firmly in the physical world.
Enjoy these videos and links, and anyone who is in LA and makes it, be sure to send us any documentation you capture. (I’ll be in NYC, perhaps watching your Dodgers play the Yankees.)
Updated: There’s also the Xylovan, which is exactly as awesome as it sounds. California, always innovating in the vehicle department.