Dirty Electronics: Mute Synth

Sat 22nd October 2011
This is an archive item from Supersonic 2011
Theatre Space

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 admin@capsule.org.uk to book a place.

Dirty Electronics Mute Synth from Dirty Electronics on Vimeo.

Bio

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).

www.dirtyelectronics.org