10am – 5pm (with lunch): Workshop Oscillator Machine (W.O.M.) with Tom Bugs. Take home your very own W.O.M.! – £50
10am – 5pm (with lunch): CRACKLEHACK with Daniel Schorno, STEIM (Amsterdam). Create your own beautiful Cracklebox to take away with you. – £50
Work with Daniel Schorno from STEIM to make your own Cracklebox to TAKE AWAY and keep!
Below is the beginning of Michel Waisvisz’s writing on the Cracklebox in March 2004. Michel was the founder of STEIM and a pioneer, with his instrument ‘The Hands’, of electronic music driven by touch. His ideas and principals underpin the whole of STEIM’s engagement with electronic music and its performance. To read more, click here.
M.W. – “Sometime in the early-sixties I started touching the inside of my fathers short-wave radio receivers. Before that with my brother René I had given ‘concerts’ at home by placing our fingers on circuit boards of transistor radios that were ‘wrongly’, but usefully, interconnected with wires. The little electrical shocks were nice and the changes in the sound were exiting and magic mind-openers. Through touch I was able to start playing with short wave sounds in a way that would later become ‘sound music’.
I had already heard some of the early recordings of electronic music, but these often sounded so dull, so constructed, so without musical soul. Touching the inside of audio electronics was way more exiting to me. I knew this could change ideas about electronics and music. Touched electronics sounded rougher and sort of rebellious against the clean and high-tech quality of the electronic music from the fifties and early sixties.”
For more inspiration see –
Oscar Ramos – Alternative PCB for Cracklebox
Bertram Dhellemmes & DS – Crackle Guitar project
Aniela Marie Perry / Calarts – Modified version of STEIM Crackle-Box
EIG – eponymous instruments group
Michel Waisvisz’ original page
12pm – 4pm: DIRTY ELECTRONICS with John Richards. A sell out event at the ICA earlier this year, join John Richards to build your own limited edition BEAM synth! – £25 (including kit)
Dirty Electronics will create a performance and instrument around the idea of ‘twisted bodies carry electricity’, with a brand new Dirty Electronics instrument unveiled for BEAM 2011. This four-hour workshop on the festival Saturday will involve a hands-on building session and the creation of an artistic environment for shared experiences. An underlying question will be: “How might a collective building process and touch-based instrument create new paradigms for performance?” The workshop will culminate in a large group performance on the Sunday of the Festival. No prior knowledge of electronics or building instruments is required.
Since 2003, John Richards has been exploring the idea of Dirty Electronics that focuses on face-to-face shared experiences, ritual, gesture, touch and social interaction. In Dirty Electronics, process and performance are inseparably bound. The ‘performance’ begins on the workbench devising instruments and is extended onto the stage through playing and exploring these instruments.
The Dirty Electronics Ensemble is a large group that explore these ideas and whose members are often made-up of workshop participants. The workshop is central to the Ensemble in that all of the musicians have to build their own instrument for performance. In 2008, the group performed pieces specially written for the Ensemble by, amongst others, Japanese noise artists Merzbow, Pauline Oliveros, Howard Skempton (founder member of the Scratch Orchestra), Gabriel Prokofiev and Nicholas Bullen (ex-Napalm Death and Scorn). Other notable collaborations include working with Rolf Gehlhaar (original Stockhausen group), Chris Carter from Throbbing Gristle, Keith Rowe and STEIM (Amsterdam). In 2011 Dirty Electronics created a specially commissioned hand-held synth for Mute Records. Workshops and performances with Dirty Electronics have taken place internationally including: the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre (London), FutureEverything (Manchester), Short Circuit Festival, the Roundhouse (London), Bent Festival (Los Angeles), Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) (Germany), Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) (London), Supersonic Festival (Birmingham), Tokyo University of the Arts (Japan), University of the Arts (Berlin), and IRCAM (Paris).
1pm – 7pm: SOLDERING WORKSHOP a beginners guide to soldering with Rajiv Bose and David Smith from the School of Design and Engineering – *FREE* sign up on arrival
1.15pm – 2pm MOVING MUSIC: how to make and use motion sensors A presentation workshop with Jonathan Green – *FREE*
Jonathan Green has been working with motion sensors in music for nearly ten years and has built up a random knowledge of devices and techniques. This workshop is an opportunity to see the cutting edge in wireless motion sensing technology, and to ask questions and make suggestions.
Motion sensors are all around us, hidden in many everyday objects. But how can they be used to capture our movements and make music? From circuit boards to software mapping to wearable sensors, this workshop uncovers the inner workings of motion sensors. Secret ‘cheats’ will be revealed (do you really need a soldering iron?) as well as links to labour-saving devices (the wheel has already been invented) and access to Jonathan’s Max patches (bring a USB memory stick). Manufacturers ensure that working with sensors is actually very easy… …if you know where to look!
2pm – 5pm: MUSIC WITH iPHONES Atau Tanaka and Adam Parkinson demonstrate music-making iPhone technology – *FREE* sign up on arrival
iPhone / iPod Touch instrument workshop
Participants will need:
iPhone or iPod Touch, Macbook, Headphones (sharing one between two works well). The laptop is essential; Atau and Adam will have a couple of extra iPods
The iPhone – along with similar mobile devices – offers a new paradigm in post-laptop digital performance, and the workshop will give people the tools to begin unlocking this potential.
The device combines both control interface and sound generating capabilities, giving access to gestural control and the soundworld of computer music, without the need for a laptop. The accelerometers which typically serve as tilt sensors to rotate photos allow high precision capture of the performer’s gestures. The multitouch screen, otherwise used for scrolling and pinch-zooming text, becomes a reconfigurable graphic user interface.
The workshop will use the RJDJ application, which allows people to develop software instruments and controllers using Pure Data software, before sending them to the device with no need for jailbreaking. The workshop will suit people of multiple abilities. Those with no experience of using Pure Data will still be able to modify existing patches and turn them into sensor instruments, which is a great gateway into learning Pure Data itself. Those with knowledge and experience of how to use Pure Data will quickly be able to design their own patches and run them on the iPhone. We’ll make sure that everyone goes away knowing where to look on the web for further help and support amongst the large online communities already using Pure Data.
2pm – 6pm: PSYCHEDELIC D.i.Y TOILET ROLL GOGGLES A workshop ideal for beginners in hardware hacking and interested in stroboscopic light and sound/noise with Ryan Jordan – *FREE* sign up on arrival
Psychedelic D.i.Y. Toilet Roll Goggles with Ryan Jordan
The Psychedelic D.i.Y. Toilet Roll Goggles workshop invites you to build your very own hallucinogenic, drug free goggles and perform sounds with them! This workshop is ideal for beginners in hardware hacking and for those interested in stroboscopic [strobe] light and sound/noise.
The participants will build their own psychedelic/stroboscopic goggles and simple hardware synths from 555 timer circuits and CMOS4093 chips. These electronic noise machines will then be used to control lights, specifically stroboscopic light and we’ll also hook you directly into a sound system to create your own personal hallucinogenic flickering noise machine.
5pm – 6.30pm: AVR MICRO-CONTROLLERS PRESENTATION WORKSHOP An amazing opportunity to find out what makes Chikashi Miyama’s instruments work – *FREE*
An amazing opportunity to find out what makes Chikashi Miyama‘s instruments work! Sign up to a workshop with him to learn about the brain inside the interfaces: AVR micro-controllers produced by ATMEL. In Chikashi’s workshop, he will demonstrate the basic features of the micro-controller, discuss several musical application (PWM, MIDI, etc), and introduce how he employs it in his own interfaces.
All of Chikashi’s self-designed interfaces utilize AVR micro-controllers to collect data from the sensors and send this info to the host computer. AVR micro-controllers are available all over the world, inexpensive, and easy to program. In fact, AVR is used as the core component of Arduino.
6pm – 7pm MUSIC FROM MOTION PRESENTATION WORKSHOP Composer, thereminist and roboticist Sarah Angliss shows how we can borrow a trick from insects to create music and kinetic works that are sensate to their surroundings – *FREE*
Music from motion – inspired by insects
Composer, thereminist and roboticist Sarah Angliss shows how we can borrow a trick from insects to create music and kinetic works that are sensate to their surroundings, responding instantly and meaningfully to gestures, flying insects and other forms of motion. In this workshop, Sarah introduces the concept of ‘optical flow’ and shows how a webcam coupled with Max/MSP or PureData can be used to create works that are inspired by this form of insect vision. This workshop will include an introduction to the open-source cv.jit algorithms of Jean-Marc Pelletier – algorithms Sarah has been using to create music from the flight of butterflies at London Zoo.
9am – 11am: MUSIC FOR SLEEPING & WAKING MINDS For festival early birds and those emerging from the festival sleepover, join artists from the Sonic Arts Research Centre as they talk about their work over breakfast! *FREE*
During a lovely FESTIVAL BREAKFAST the Biomuse Trio (Eric Lyon, R. Benjamin Knapp, Gascia Ouzounian) will host a workshop on physiological and emotional interfaces in music following the Music for Sleeping & Waking Minds event. There will be an informal discussion session on the previous night’s event, followed by a demonstration of different bio-music interfaces and interaction designs. Sunday Day-Pass holders are welcome to attend.
2pm – 4pm: MASSED ORCHESTRA Your chance to play alongside Leafcutter John, John Richards, Chikashi Miyama and many more of the BEAM artists – play what you’ve made over the course of the weekend, or just rock up and join in! *FREE*
On Sunday at 2pm we will begin our final BEAM festival performance, consisting of an amazing array of instruments that have been dreamed-up, designed, cobbled together or built to beautiful perfection over the weekend. Leafcutter John will lead a large group whilst other artists who have performed throughout the festival will be on hand to guide and direct you in your interface debut!
Intervention performances from the OPEN SPACE will also be welcome during this jamboree, set up by our preceding performance from the virtuosically energetic Tim Exile.
N.B. YOU ARE WELCOME to join in the Massed Orchestra but only auto-powered and auto-amplified objects will be allowed..!