MATRIXSYNTH: Circuit Bending as an Aesthetic Phenomenon by Jørgen Skjulstad

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Circuit Bending as an Aesthetic Phenomenon by Jørgen Skjulstad

Jørgen Skjulstad wrote in to let us know about his Master thesis on Circuit Bending. For those unfamiliar with Circuit Bending, or those that simply dismiss it, this should give you a better understanding of the history and aesthetic behind it. You can download and read Jørgen Skjulstad's thesis here. Below are two playlists from Jørgen, one featuring the Yamaha PSS-270, and one the Casio SK-1.

Abstract
To circuit bend is to open up low voltage keyboards and toys, and apply random connections to their circuits to make them produce new sounds. The term was coined by Qubais Reed Ghazala. This text seeks to show why circuit bending can be considered an aesthetic phenomenon. This is done by giving it an historical background, and by relating it to aesthetic theories and practices. In order to show the practical part of circuit bending, four experiments are carried out. First, three workshops document circuit bending in different contexts. Then, the circuit bending a of Casio SK-1 keyboard is documented, and its new sounds and playability are analyzed. The aesthetic theories and practical experiments will in turn be used to explain why circuit bending can be considered an aesthetic phenomenon, to place it in the field of music and art, and to explain why this interdiscicplinary practice can be valuable for finding new ideas in music and technology.



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