Classes and Workshops
This extended media course focuses on adult students familiar with traditional sculpture practices. By taking a hands-on approach, students learn electronic theory, prototyping, and hardware hacking.
Skills: Soldering, pcb and breadboard construction, reading schematics and data sheets, circuit bending, and electronic design theory.
Robotic Music and Automata
Participants will learn the programming and electronics involved in animating mechanical objects using real-time MIDI control and sequencing techniques. By examining physical examples of instruments and artwork, the seminar will explore a practical approach to constructing mechanical musical instruments and animatronic puppets as well as various programming strategies.
Students learn basic MIDI programming/recording, construction, and basic electronics utilizing power transistors, mosfets, and relays. They will be exposed to a variety of mechanisms and actuators, AC/DC solenoids, motors, and lights as well as the functionality of the micro controllers and software. By using MIDI, participants will learn the techniques to perform and record movements by plotting of movements over a piano-roll-like timeline on the computer. The main focus of this class will be to build mechanical musical devices that will be programed to be installed in a gallery or to perform with in a live musical or theatrical context.
Topics: A Brief Presentation/Seminar on Mechanical Music, Automata, Kinetic and Robotic Artworks, Experimental Musical Instruments
Skills: Programming micro controllers, electronic music, history of automata and kinetics in art and music, electronic and mechanical prototyping, and acoustic design theory.
The Experimental Luthier
Luthiers (Lute Makers) are woodworkers who build stringed musical instruments. Their practice explores a variety of means by which energy transforms and travels from a plucked or bowed string into sound.
This workshop covers traditional, lesser known, and new experimental approaches to string musical instrument design and performance. Half of the time is spent reviewing the works of master instrument designers and half of the time is spent preparing (modifying) a stringed instrument that each student brings to class. I supply each student with an experimenting kit which includes a kora bridge, a tromba marina bridge, spring raddles to attach to low strings, damping material, and a scraper bow. We also build contact mics and rosin bows. It’s quite a noisy, intensive, and informative afternoon.
Skills: Acoustic theory, instrument design history, basic woodworking, basic electronics, custom 2d laser fabrication, instrument maintenance, performance techniques.