Idyllic Amsterdam’s Amstel River, steps away from STEIM, makes nice inspiration. (Cross-processed film photo, which looks more like it feels being there.)

In late September, CDM travels to Amsterdam and the legendary STEIM, a hub for research and experimentation in electro-acoustic music. The Patterns + Pleasure Festival will explore live electronic music practice and more, from controllerist laptop musicians like Edison and Moldover to the likes of sculpture-trained artist Nina Boes working with drawing and video instruments. The afternoon of September 28, we’ll have an open celebration of DIY electronic music culture with a special installment of Handmade Music.

If you’re in the Netherlands or nearby, we hope you’ll stop by. And if you have something you’d like to share, for show-and-tell, performance, and mingling with artists participating in and attending the festival, we have an open call for works.

You can see our video from last time. The video doesn’t really convey what a blast we had. Don’t be afraid by the crackles and whistles, either; I love that there’s a range of sound in electronic inventions, from the crackly experimental to instruments that work in more conventional contexts, too.

This installment already promises to be far bigger. I can’t wait. And if you’re far from the lovely winding canals of Amsterdam seen below, we’re working on extensive coverage so you can feel like you’re there from anywhere on the planet.

Here’s the call for works; feel free to spread it around:

Open Call:
Handmade Music at STEIM

As part of the Patterns + Pleasure Festival
28 September 2011
14:30 – 17:30
Frascati Theater, Amsterdam
Deadline: Friday 9 September 2011

Hosted by and STEIM; curated by Peter KIRN with Takuro Mizuta Lippit

Attention, makers of things that make music! Be part of an open laboratory, a science fair-style show and tell of work. We want to see your creations, including but not limited to:

Custom circuitry
New custom synthesizers
Creative controllers
Open source hardware and software
Audiovisual software
Original acoustic and electroacoustic instruments
Sound art/sculpture
Circuit-bent designs
Instruments and composition and performance tools made with game technology, mobile technology, Kinect cameras, and the like

The essential element is that you’ve built something yourself, in hardware, software, or both.

Please be prepared to show a self-contained presentation of your work. Some display/projection and amplification will be available, but we encourage you to bring your own displays and speakers if you can.

We will setup works for show-and-tell style exploration, as well as brief (5-minute demos) and short (5-10-minute), variety style performances and jams. We’ll also lead a discussion with artists and engineers, and encourage you to meet other makers and exchange ideas and techniques.

We are unfortunately unable to provide expenses for travel, so you will need to provide your own transportation to and lodging in Amsterdam. All projects will be covered on

Please submit:

1. Your name, as you’d like it to be listed
2. Your project name
3. If applicable, a link to a project site
4. Photos of your project (a link to Flickr, Picasa, blogs, etc. is fine)
5. (Mandatory) Video and or audio documentation of your project in action (Vimeo, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.)
6. Space requirements
7. Technical requirements (power / audio / safety concerns if applicable)
8. A brief description (two sentences is fine) of your project.
9. If you wish to propose a performance, please describe in short how you perform with your tool.
10. Your contact information, so we may respond

Submission form:

We prefer to capture information on the submission form, but if you have difficulty with it, please email peter (at) createdigitalmedia [dot] net directly with the subject ‘STEIM HANDMADE MUSIC’