“Handmade music” has now been taken up by groups in cities around the world, without any central organization. It’s an open celebration of experimentation in music making and sound. Here, we get a look at the event series we’ve been running here in New York that helped spawn those others.

Part of what I like about playing live is that it is unpredictable. We get to get together and try things, play wildly divergent styles of music, and explore ideas for what to play, all with a friendly group of people. So, here – thanks to the lovely videography of our friend Thomas Piper, himself a terrific musician – we have footage of an all-MeeBlip performance, Michelle Temple & Aiwen Wang-Huddleston’s startling Diptych with paper and contact mics and speakers, and, below, Philippe LeSaux and Chris Gilroy with live electronics. (There were other, dancier, Game Boy-ier acts, too, though we don’t have video of those.)

It’s a variety show, so each night can be completely different. If you’re in NYC, mark your calendars for Saturday, April 2 at Culturefix. But wherever you are, we can find some ideas about how to imagine live electronic playing today.

And for a completely different take, at the bottom we have the latest video from Porto, Portugal’s own Handmade Music.

Photo courtesy Thomas Piper. Used by permission.

Photo courtesy Eric Beug. Used by permission.

Photo Slideshows: Handmade Music NYC, Plus Open Lab

This installment, we also led an “open lab” at which people could bring in and hack any project they like. We got a MeeBlip assembled and tested, we had monome artists modifying patches (including none other than proto-monomist Daedelus), we had strange NES and Arduino creations … check that out, as well.

Handmade Music Porto, Portugal

Digitópia, at Porto, Portugal’s hulk of an arts space, Casa da Música, runs their own show-and-tell. What’s special about this performance venue is that, situated in the lobby of a set of theaters, it’s completely open to the public. (By contrast, walking into, say, the Disney Hall or Lincoln Center typically requires tickets.) And they’re doing terrific research and creation, too, as part of their series. I hope we get to check in with them soon.