Hardware Hacking with Nicolas Collins

20 Apr 2009 - 11:00
21 Apr 2009 - 19:00
Hacking Workshop with Nicolas Collins in Tokyo

Handmade Electronic Music – The Art Of Hardware Hacking - a Project-Oriented Workshop with Nicolas Collins

Monday 20 April & Tuesday April 21
11.00-19.00 daily with one hour lunch break
The workshop ends with a performance/installation by all participants & a book release party

Course Participation fee: 100€ (or 50€ per day)
Registration is required for this workshop and can be done via the contact form (choose the category 'workshop')

Please register early to ensure a place.
Places are limited to 20.

“Assuming no technical background whatsoever, Handmade Electronic Music carries the reader through a series of sound-producing electronic construction projects, from making simple contact microphones, to transforming cheap electronic toys into playable instruments, to designing circuits from scratch. Along the way the technologies are put into historical and aesthetic context through a dozen essays about artists who have used similar devices to make significant musical breakthroughs, and through an audio CD containing examples of their music. I set out to regain the radical rethink of Alvin Lucier’s Vespers: to disassociate music and sound from the limited types of objects sold in music stores, and through this disassociation to prompt new musical discoveries; and at the same time to explore how this drama of interaction between object and idea has played out in experimental music of the past 50 years. An appendix includes an extensive list of books, periodicals and websites devoted to experimental music and technology of the past half-century, and the DVD includes project tutorials, 87 1-minute video clips by hackers around the world, and twenty tracks of music by artists discussed in the body of the text.
My workshops follow the text, in content and spirit. One to five days of intensive electronic experimentation culminate in a group installation/performance. Participants leave empowered, carrying several new instruments and the skills needed to continue inventing and building on their own.”

Workshop Leader: Nicolas Collins
New York born and raised, Nicolas Collins studied composition with Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University, worked for many years with David Tudor, and has collaborated with numerous soloist and ensembles around the world. He lived most of the 1990s in Europe, where he was Visiting Artistic Director of Stichting STEIM (Amsterdam), and a DAAD composer-in-residence in Berlin. Since 1997 he has been editor-in-chief of the Leonardo Music Journal. He is currently Chair of the Department of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent recordings are available on PlateLunch, Periplum and Apestaartje. His book, Handmade Electronic Music – The Art of Hardware Hacking, will be published by Routledge in 2006.

The Berlin workshop will be divided into two days:

Day 1:

Alternate microphones (contact mikes, coil pickups, speaker/headphone- as-microphone, electret binaural mikes, tape heads, etc.);
Homemade transducers form sending sound through objects for physical filtering (cheap “Rainforest”);
“Victorian synthesizer” (making an oscillator with just a speaker and a battery);
“Laying of hands” on a radio circuit board (the poor man’s Cracklebox).
“Circuit Bending” (new noises from old toys).

Day 2:
Circuits from scratch: oscillators, tremolo/gate/panner, mixers.
preamp/distortion, weird analog signal processing.