In the spirit of the ‘maker’ movement and in an attempt to engage with the materiality of music technologies I have designed and built some handmade electronic music instruments. This emerged at a time when I was involved in co-chairing the New interfaces for Musical Expression conference that celebrates such handmade instruments and the musical practices they afford.
The 8 Box
Based on a Teensy, Arduino-like micro controller, the 8 box employs sound output direct from the PWM pins on the board and explores the sonic and musical potential of only having two parameter controls; pulse width and frequency. This approach results in a raw and edgy timbre peppered with occasional analog and digital glitches and emergent properties. A kind of post-digital practice as articulated by Cascone (2000) and expanded in Ferguson and Brown (2016).
Here is a video of the first performance with the 8 Box – Init for the 8 Box.
Cascone, K. (2000). The Aesthetics of Failure: “Post-digital” tendencies in contemporary computer music. Computer Music Journal, 24(4), 12–18.