Circuit bending: Hacking a Furby in the music

The way forward for Music, episode 3

For that third episode of The way forward for Music, I’m in Margate, England, standing before 44 Furbies which have been hacked and wired together to produce a giant, playable organ.

You may have seen this absurd instrument if this went viral online captured. It’s the development of Mike Fight, also known as Look Mother No Computer, a mad researcher of sorts who’s designed a reputation for themself by modifying toys such as these rows of slack-mouthed Furbies using a process known as circuit bending. And, because he shows me round his studio mentioning other far-out circuit bent creations having a laissez-faire attitude — like his flamethrower synth — it rapidly becomes obvious he is not driven by anything except sheer curiosity. It’s precisely how his mental abilities are wired (pun intended).

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Circuit Bending For Novices

[Editor’s note – the next excerpt is obtained from the approaching book, Junkyard Jam Band, compiled by David Erik Nelson and graciously presented to Artist by No Starch Press. To purchase it, or for more information, mind to www.nostarch.com/jamband]

The Slinkiphone (Project 1) and Scratchbox (Project 5) hint in a fundamental truth from the modern day: there are numerous really neat sounds hiding within your toys and electronic devices. Opening cheap electronics and feasting around the sonic goo within is known as circuit bending. This type of exploration was pioneered by artist Reed Ghazala, the “;Father of Circuit Bending,” who happened across his first bends like a teen within the mid-1960s. Ghazala has tirelessly promoted the creative potential of musically upcycling electronic devices since. Within this project, you’ll get the ft wet with three entry-level bends.

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