Supernormal Record Player Workshop



Our buddies, Supernormal host a DIY Paper Turntable Workshop to test your new vinyl purchases from Supersonic’s Market Place. Come along to learn how to make your own portable, manually spun turntable and take it away with you. Materials provided – just bring records! Supernormal folk can also be found playing some tunes from their upcoming music programme and other obscurities over the weekend.


Record Player Orchestra



Roger Clarke, founder and creator of the Record Player Orchestra, will lead a workshop that will give you the opportunity to experiment with the record player as an instrument. Engagement with the stylus’s physical placement on the vinyl is key and no prior skill or expertise is needed. By discovering how to play the record player, participants can start to understand the qualities and particularities of this instrument, what kind of playing might be possible and what might be more problematic.

The Record Player Orchestra are brought to you in partnership with A3 Projects Space. Based in Digbeth, Birmingham A3 supports contemporary artists to develop their work and their relationships with audiences.



Moog Sound Lab



Hosted at Birmingham City University, in partnership with the Supersonic Festival and Moog Music Inc.


Supersonic Festival is delighted to be partnering with the internationally renowned Moog Sound Lab and Birmingham City University to create a four week artist residents programme, which will be based at the Parkside campus. The Moog Sound Lab is focused on organic experimentation and is a unique opportunity for artists to explore analog sound-scaping, synthesis and effects.

‘The butterflies-inducing bassline on Donna Summer’s I Feel Love, the unmistakable melody wiggling through New Order’s Blue Monday, the sound of the Millennium Falcon taking off in Star Wars, the sounds of the guns in the new Star Trek movies, most of Kraftwerk’s seminal 1974 album Autobahn and a pretty much endless list of other game changing songs and records from the last four decades all share one thing. The greatest pioneer of electronic music wasn’t a musician, but an eccentric physicist with a longstanding love of taking things apart and putting them back together again. When Robert Moog (it rhymes with “vogue”) unveiled the Moog synthesiser to the world in 1964, he not only radically changed music, but culture itself.’

The lab moves to different venues and was previously Pioneered at Rough Trade NYC. It becomes a temporary residency space, offering a unique opportunity for artists to explore, experiment and create. A physical manifestation of the intersection of music, art and technology, the lab offers a unique resource to artists to make new work.

Artists include:

Sarah Angliss, an award winning composer, roboticist and historian of sound.

Gazelle Twin, the twisted Cronenberg-inspired persona of producer, composer and artist, Elizabeth Bernholz.

Free School are a Birmingham retro-futurist, mask-donning disco duo, exploring a unique fusion of Electro, House, Balearic and Kosmiche.

Seán Clancy, Lecturer in Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire will work in collaboration with Thomas Parkes to  develop a new composition built from a vocabulary of analogue sources and samples that will explores tensions between found and original material, between narrative and rupture, particularly as these might be seen to correspond to elite and vernacular values.

Balandino Di Donato will be exploring the Moog lab via touch less control and sound spatialisation as part of his  pioneering research into Integra Live technology.

Mike Dring  will produce a new soundscape based on his interdisciplinary interests from architecture to glitch art. He takes inspiration through field recordings or through interpreting the pattern of movement prescribed by the built environment.

Jason Nicholson reworks the principles of The Harmonograph to produce exquisite physical drawings that seek to illustrate the relationship between musical frequencies, mathematics, art, design and new and existing technologies.

Andy Pilsbury will be developing, Helix, a new interactive online platform that allows users to participate in a multifaceted art project combining high-speed photography, moving image and ethereal soundscapes to create surreal flourishing landscapes.

 Steven Chamberlain (Selloptape Cinema), sound artists Tom Tebby and  Justin Wiggan collaborate on Birmingham: Symphony of a Metropolis, an ambitious new soundtrack. The piece, or ‘city film essay’, is a re-working of the 1927 Walter Ruttman film, Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis


The residency will take place at Birmingham City University’s Parkside campus. A multi-million pound centre of excellence in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.   It will sit alongside the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media Graduate Shows 2015.




Dirty Electronics – Horn & Bells Workshop



Audience members are invited to build a three-dimensional sound-object. The sound object will feature printed circuit board artwork and a DIY piezo flared horn that omits bursts of noise and generative electronic bell-like sounds.  It also comes with a rustic stick beater. Dirty Electronics have become synonymous with DIY electronic sound and a music that is born out of hand-made machines. 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.

Dirty Electronics have collaborated with many artists including Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle) Merzbow, Pauline Oliveros, Nicholas Bullen (Napalm Death and Scorn) and Rolf Gehlhaar (original Stockhausen group), and have released a series of sold out hand-held synths on Mute Records.

Please note that this workshop will be require sign up and places are limited to just 15 – there is also an additional charge to cover the cost of the materials (£34)
For weekend ticket holders only email ‘dirty electronics’ in the title to russell[at]





Join Six Organs of Admittance’s Ben Chasny for a workshop on his Hexadic system. Instructions on how to create unique tonal progressions, poetry and even games will be addressed. Each audience member will create their unique guitar compositions for the day with a chance to hear how they sound. Charts and diagrams will be provided for audience members to document and leave with their own compositions.

Over the last two years, Ben has assembled a comprehensive system of musical composition. Designed to free sound and language from rational order and replace calculation with indeterminacy, THE HEXADIC SYSTEM is a catalyst to extinguish patterns and generate new means of chord progressions and choices.

THE SYSTEM builds all of the tonal fields, chord changes, scales, and lyrics on this record, creating the framework for the songs with which the musicians engage. Yet THE SYSTEM is open; within the framework,
 Chasny’s own personal aesthetics—such as the production mode of loud guitars, the order of songs, the editing of length—were all conscious decisions made to communicate the pieces. The ex- act same combinatorial patterns used on this record can create infinite results, depending on the choices of the individual. Ben’s years of study have produced an operational agent that has not only built all the songs on Hexadic but is also a system anyone can use to restructure their ways of habit.

The workshop will be 1 hour and will take place at 14.45 on Saturday afternoon
Places are limited to 15 and are free to weekend ticket holders


Capsule Labs



Supersonic Ltd Edt. will launch Capsule’s inaugural Labs, an artist development and commissioning scheme devised to create more opportunities for commissioning experimental, cross-disciplinary art.

MortonUnderwood will host an If Wet  salon event to introduce a selection of artists that create ‘extraordinary objects’.  This will be the first commissioning opportunity as part of Capsule’s Labs and provide a creative exploration. Confirmed participating artists will include:

Ryan Jordan conducts experiments in derelict electronics, possession trance, retro-death-telegraphy and hylozoistic neural computation. He builds crude instruments that replicate fundamental electronic components which are the foundation of current digital technologies. Performing these live alongside high powered stroboscopic light he attempts to induce the hallucinatory and trance like states of the (oc)cult arts.

In this presentation/performance he will demonstrate his self constructed hardware built with raw minerals and metals and then spiral sideways into theories of cybernetics, neuroscience, art, music and physiology in an attempt to piece together our fragmentary daemons and split the nine-fold reality layers of human perception; from communing with the dead to disturbing the holographic brain; from trance states to opening flicker portals in optic nerve fibres; these practitioners practice dark hypnosis in psychoactive hyperventilation clubs.


Sarah Kenchington

Sarah Kenchington builds her mechanical instruments from discarded materials. Bicycle spokes, typewriters, the inner tubes of tractor tyres are combined to create unique musical machines which emit a discordant array of moans, squeaks and chimes. Kenchington’s work offers a contemporary manifestation of a long history of the artist giving birth to machines (from Leonardo da Vinci, through to Heath Robinson, Tinguely and Michael Landy), yet Kenchington’s machines are anything but automata, remaining fundamentally dependent on an interaction with the human to come to life.

Kenchington relishes the unpredictable nature of her instruments, a quality which means that despite being author of both instrument and the music it emits, she is never entirely in control of what happens. Her performances evolve in conversation with or in response to the machine, a process which for Kenchington is akin to playing an improvised duet with another musician.

watch video



Denise O’Sullivan ceramics


Denise O’Sullivan ceramics will be bringing a fun selection of vintage pottery at £5 per item, to the festival for you to dip into and create your own personal piece that you can take away and use at home.
Denise will also be exhibiting and selling a selection of her finest ceramic works and adorning the teahouse with her skull creations.


Get a Grip screenprinting


The GET A GRIP screen-printing workshop returns for another year, this time in honour of Supersonic’s tenth anniversary. The two-hour workshop, run from the GET A GRIP poolside studio and shop front, gives you an informal introduction to their manual water-based screen printing techniques.

The workshop is open to weekend ticket holders for £25 which includes guidance, materials and a 100% organic t-shirt to take home. Using elements developed by an independent illustrator, you’ll put together a multi-coloured design to print onto a t-shirt. No experience required – you’ll enjoy this workshop whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced printer.

To book a place, email [email protected] with ‘SCREENPRINT’ in the subject line – please also include your T-shirt size (Male or Female S/M/L/XL/XXL).

GET A GRIP, the Custard Factory’s resident print studio, can print to order and regularly supply DIY bands and organisations with clothing labels, illustrations, vinyl record sleeves and posters. For more information visit


Wildman Life Drawing


This workshop takes place on Sunday in the Market Place 3.00 – 4.00pm and then again at 4.30 – 5.30pm

No need to book, just drop in. Materials will be provided.

Huge and hairy and mute. . .he may be so large that his legs alone have the sizes of tress. His temper when aroused is terrible and his first impulse that of tearing trespasses to pieces. When moved to revenge, he nay make lakes disappear and towns sink to the ground. He devours human beings, preferring unbaptised children, and – according to a belief held in Italian Tyrol and in the Grisons in Switzerland- makes a practice of exchanging his own worthless progeny for human offspring’
Richard Bernheimer, Wild Men in the Middle Ages.

A life drawing class using a semi tame Wild Man as your model. Workshop conducted by Stephen Fowler,  an illustrator and printmaker based in London. He runs printmaking and bookbinding workshops and teaches drawing at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, Wallace Collection, Kingston University, University of the Creative Arts and Oxford and Cherwell Valley College.


Imperfect Cinema: Halide-Oxide


 Workshop takes place 7-9pm on Friday 19th October at the Custard Factory
To book a place, please email [email protected] with ‘Imperfect Cinema’ in the subject line

A fantastic opportunity to learn about DIY filming and provide visuals for one of the performing artists at the this year’s festival.
Imperfect Cinema is a Micro-Cinema Collective who explore participatory modes of production with a particular emphasis on DIY methodologies. This year Imperfect Cinema will be leading a workshop where participants are invited to consider the forge which birthed heavy metal music. Participants will explore the uniquely post industrial setting of the festival with cameras and media that are uniquely post-industrial and metallic!

Attendees will be able explore the ‘halide’ of super-8mm film and the ‘oxide’ of audio cassette tape used to capture video, by using redundant camera technologies to capture images which will be processed, prepared and edited by Imperfect Cinema into two distinct visual forms. The first will be the visual backdrop to the lo-fi monolithic grit of Drunk In Hell’s performance, an experience which should definitely not be missed, and the second is an alternative visual document of the festival which will form a unique part of the archive of its tenth anniversary.

Imperfect Cinema will be joined by renowned sonic and visual artist Nicholas Bullen to discuss Imperfect Cinema and its influences, including the seminal Crass Records ‘Bullshit Detector’ compilation albums which featured the first vinyl appearance of Napalm Death.

To book a place, please email [email protected] with ‘Imperfect Cinema’ in the subject line


GET A GRIP Screenprinting



For anyone interested in screenprinting and DIY production we are bringing you a screenprinting workshop in collaboration with GET A GRIP. You can design and print your very own Supersonic T-shirt to keep, a perfect festival memento.

GET A GRIP is an independent screenprinting business and shop located poolside at The Custard Factory in Birmingham. All the screenprinting equipment for printing T-shirts is set-up in the shop and our workshops are a laid back, fun introduction to printing, whether youʼre a beginner or not.
Using elements created by an independent illustrator, the aim of the workshop is to get you printing the multiple coloured images wherever you choose over a T-shirt. For £25 you will be given a white organic cotton T-shirt (we canʼt offer any other colours weʼre afraid, as this will then limit the ink colours which can be used in the workshop), which come in ladies or menʼs sizes small – XXL, and all the equipment, materials and expertise youʼll need!

Spaces are very limited for this workshop, so sign up quickly by emailing [email protected] with the subject SCREENPRINT.


Imperfect Cinema



Plymouth DIY Punk Cinema collective Imperfect Cinema will be inviting attendees at Supersonic Festival 2011 to contribute to an alternative documentation of the festival using endangered media technologies!


Participants will receive a workshop, both practical and theoretical, introducing them to Super-8 cinema and lo-fi modes of recording. Participants will then obtain their own recordings of the festival, documenting their experience of the event. Recordings will then be processed and edited to form a screening and performance of the work created.


The workshop will take place on Saturday 22nd October with exhibition of work taking place on Sunday 23rd October. This workshop is free to weekend ticket holders, but spaces are limited. Please email [email protected] to book a place on this workshop.


Imperfect Cinema  provides avenues for participatory activity and aims to socialise a free, democratic short-form cinema by valorising do-it-yourself ethics.





Dirty Electronics: Mute Synth


Workshop 4-hours

Performance c. 30 mins

Take part in building the Mute Synth and a large group performance with Dirty Electronics. The Dirty Electronics Mute Synth is a hand-held touch and tilt instrument with copper etched artwork and contoured printed circuit board that was designed in collaboration with Mute and graphic designer Adrian Shaughnessy. The instrument brings together many Dirty Electronics aesthetics and instrument designs into one device in particular creating an instrument of the hand (in terms of both playing and building), a noise-based device that utilises feedback, and exploring the relationship between artwork and circuit board. It combines sound synthesis with a sequencer/pulser, and it is knobless. The Mute Synth is controlled by using the conductivity of the human body to complete the instrument’s circuit when the copper etching is touched. There are touch points on both sides of the circuit board, and the instrument is designed to be played with thumbs and fingers. Two tilt switches on different planes allow for gestural control of the sequencer. Pulsating brilliant white noise and grunge in the hand!

This workshop costs £15 to weekend ticket holders and spaces are limited. Please email [email protected] to book a place.

Dirty Electronics Mute Synth from Dirty Electronics on Vimeo.


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, Anat Ben-David (Chicks on Speed) 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 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).


Craft workshop


Prick Your Finger
Workshop Sunday 24th 3-6pm

A craft and knitting workshop led by Rachael Matthews & Louise Harries aka Prick Your Finger, dedicated to making band inspired pom poms, think sparkly wool for Chrome Hoof style knitted treats.

The Craftspace Collective, responsible for the appearances of massive crocheted structures, hanging hedgerow woven gardens, Impromptu knitting and darning sessions and various other weird events in Birmingham City Centre, will be creating an inspiring space at this years Supersonic Festival. Escape the mayhem and take a moment to chill with the collective, maybe learn a new skill and discover the growing underground scene of guerrilla crafters, craftivism and DIY craft.


Kids gigs


Saturday 23rd October
11am + 2.30pm
mac Cannon Hill Park Birmingham B12 9QH
Tickets £5 Bookings 0121 446 3232
For 2 – 7 year olds and their families
A 1 hr workshop & performance exploring experimental music aimed and kids and their families.
Ever since Schoenberg and Kandinsky became pen pals back in 1907, avant-garde art and experimental music has been attempting to find some common ground.  But, it’s not been easy.  While modern art is a mass phenomenon, experimental music is often derided and ignored by the masses.  Here’s our contribution towards a solution: ‘Big Sounds for Little People’.  If you couldn’t guess from the snappy title, it’s a gig, for kids and their families, which aims to introduce children to experimental music at an early age.

Featuring US based, Dosh, a one-man band, a virtuoso, and West Midlands local circuit-bending fiend Glatze.  Glatze uses customised instruments (including: circuit-bent Furby dolls and kids’ toys) that have been specially rewired to create all sorts of musical wizardry. Dosh a multi-instrumentalist; combines a host of instruments into an exciting and unique live experience.  See firsthand how these unlikely instruments are used to make noise / sound / music, and to have a go yourselves.

Produced by Capsule + mac with support from Bright Space + SAM


Noise Boxes


photograph by Hellocatfood

Supersonic Noise Boxes – workshop

When: 2pm, SATURDAY, 23rd October
Number of places: 20
Cost: Free to weekend ticket holders plus £10 contribution for materials, each participant will get a Supersonic Noise Box Kit, for you to make and keep. You will need to bring your own thing to house it in (see details further on)

What: A 3hr workshop led by sound artist mr.underwood aka Glatze to build a 3 oscillator screaming, light-controlled Noise Box. Each participant will build and take home their Noise Box. This will be based on the unit shown in the demo video, with a few nice tweaks and additions to make it even cooler!

Noise Box – Supersonic from Sam Underwood on Vimeo.

What is the Noise Box?:
A sci-fi electronic drone instrument whose pitch is controlled with gesture.  The frequency of the sound output by each of the three oscillators in this Optical Theremin is determined by the intensity of the light falling on each sensor. Vary the light using your hands or by shining a light directly onto the unit . Use just one oscillator for a more playable instrument, or all three at once for a noisy cacophony of sound!

Suitable for: All skill levels. Complete beginners welcome – we’ll teach you how to solder etc. Mr.Underwood and his team will assist you throughout the build of your 3 oscillator Supersonic Noise Box.

Booking: email admin[at] , marking the subject field as “noisebox” a payment request for the materials contribution will then we sent to you, places will be offered on a first come first serve basis.

What you will need to bring:
You will need to bring your own enclosure to house the electronics. Something with the following minimum internal dimensions: 140mm (long) x 90mm (wide) x 40mm (deep), you will be provided with all other components, instructions and tools you will require to complete the build.

Your £10 materials cost covers the circuit board, the various components and the project amp. The only thing we leave up to you is what you would like to put it in. We do this to provide a level of personalisation and customisation. So, please bring a sturdy container of some kind to house it in.

Mr.Underwood is a musician, sound artist and instrument designer. His established projects go under the names of Mr.Undewood and Glatze. He started instrument building many moons ago, starting out with odd acoustic instruments and then he got into circuit bending. From this, he has started to develop a series of electronic and mechanical instruments, including his midi-octopus. A great believer in knowledge sharing and a DIY culture, Mr.Underwood is delivering a series of workshops throughout 2010.


John Richards and the Dirty Electronic Ensemble


Workshop: John Richards and the Dirty Electronic Ensemble – FULLY BOOKED

Build your own Sudophone and join the Dirty Electronic Ensemble for a performance at Supersonic Festival. This DIY instrument changes pitch through using the conductivity of the human body. The workshop explores the idea of self made electronics and interactive environments for music and performance. Richards encourages participants to seek new ways of creating electronic music & will culminate in a performance of pieces devised by the workshop participants.

Capacity for this workshop is limited to 25 places therefore it is essential that you book in advance, no knowledge of electronics or previous experience at building electronic musical devices is needed.

TO BOOK A PLACE email info[at] with DIRTY ELECTRONICS in the subject heading, this is free to all SUPERSONIC FESTIVAL ticket holders, there are only 25 places so its a first come, first served basis!!! SORRY

John Richards completed a doctorate in electroacoustic composition at
the University of York in 2002, and he is currently part of the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Following from the Dirty Electronic Ensemble performance will be a screening of Motherboard, a new technology show, with a big twist. It’s about the human side of technology, and technology’s place as humanity’s and culture’s great enabler. Initial subjects include: the video game pioneer and cosmonaut who spent $30 million to fly into space, a research facility where human decomposition after death can be scientifically studied and robotics pioneers who are developing their own version of the exoskeleton from Aliens.

Expect jetpacks, rocket bikes, head transplants, artificial intelligence, pretty girl robots, plants that can play music, submarines and technologies used for smuggling drugs and hundreds more amazing stories from the future that is happening now.

Motherboard is produced by VSB TV