Book: Handmade electronic music: the art of hardware hacking

From foreword by David Behrmann (completely pegs my experience of reading the book):

It [the book] carries the maverick, inventor-tinkerer tradition of Harry Partch, Henry Cowell, and David Tudor into the twenty-first century. And it does so in a light, deft way – its charmingly simple, casual instructions hide the fact that its author is a sophisticated fellow who has done a lot of thinking, conversing, and music-making in the course of his travels and explorations.

Comes with an audio CD of examples. Here are the track descriptions:

Track notes

Circuit sniffing

1. Andy Keep, “My Laptop Colony – colony in My Laptop”, 3’11”

Used a telephone pickup to listen to his laptop while it was running concert software.

2. Nicolas Collins, “El loop” (excerpt), 2’17”

A ride on a Chicago elevated train, recorded thru stereo telephone pickups.

3. David First, “Tell Tale 2.1”, 1’6”

Theremin-like interference between two portable radios.

Jumping Speakers

4. John Bowers, “Study One for Victorian Synthesizer”, 4’34”

Speaker, batteries, clip leads, metal scrap.

Piezo music

5. Collin Olan “rec01” (excerpt), 3’10”

Freezing and thawing ice.

6. Peter Cusack, “Baikal Ice” (excerpt), 2’39”

Spring thaw in Lake Baikal.

7. Richard Lerman, “Changing States 6” (excerpt), 3’38”

Butane torch blowing/bowing metal whiskers on piezo disk.


8. Ute Wasserman, “Improvisation” (excerpt), 3’03”

voice processed thru gong, percussion.

9. Nicolas Collins, “It Was A Dark And Stormy Night” (excerpt), 1’10”

Voice-triggered percussion, tuned metal resonators.

Laying of hands

10. Josh Winters, “Radio study #4”, 2002, 2’14”

AM radio, damp fingers.

Composers Inside Electronics

11. David Behrmann, “Players with circuits”, 6’00”

Behrmann and Gordon Mumma ring modulate oscillators and piano, make sidebands.

12. Christian Terstegge, “Ohrenbrennen” (“Ear burn”), 13’38”

Four oscillators, photocells, candles. You do the math.

Circuit bending

13. Phil Archer, “Yamaha PSS-380”, 4’37”

Making arbitrary connections.

14. P. Sing Cho, “Long Nosed”, 5’10”

All-bending quintet.

15. Maestros, “Electricity and its Double”, 2’54”

David Novak and James Fei, bassoon and electronic toy.

16. Jane Henry, “The Chip is down: Jerry goes to Glory” (excerpt), 2’01”

Violin and greeting card.


17. Robert Poss, “Dicer”, 2’35”

Guitar processed by two “Fuzzy dicers”.

Optical music

18. Stephen Vitiello, “World Trade Center recordings”, 2’05”

Photocell on eyepiece of telescope, nighttime traffic.

19. Norbert Möslang, “Blinking lights”, 4’00”

Listening to blinking bicycle lights.

20. Yasunao Tone, “Imperfection Theorem of Silence”, 2’05”

CDs intentionally glitched with Scotch tape.