Atelier Macumba presents a Night of Primitive Electronics

Posted in Announcement on August 7th, 2016 by admin

primitive electornics flier dirty





17 AUG 2016 20:00 doors, 20:30 sound
55 Herzbergstrasse, Berlin-Lichtenberg

Event is held in the ground floor “cold hall”, next to the former Canteen.

GROWTH is a forest of ambiguities. It is an inward gaze, a state of being, and a largely improvised performance by the hands of Berlin based non-musician Lars Ennsen which may be classified in terms of minimal, ambient, and drone.

RANDOM SONIC ATTACK landed on planet earth approximately half a year ago. A collaboration between Goolyk & Damn Jar. Cassette tape album is in the processing state. In the meantime you can listen to one studio improvisation and one live recording here:

HÉLÈNE CANUET is a polymorphe French photographer, writer and performer. Rare on the art scene over 4 years , her work was only show in few galeries in Berlin. Lyrical, surrealistic or conceptuel her propositions are always very personal, almost intimate on the edge of poesie and social politic. Based on improvisation some of her projects seems done to snaked emotion and fired expectation.

For her collaboration with instrument-builder DEREK HOLZER this evening, Hélène will present her spoken-word texts as material for the DELILAH TOO VOICE ENCODING SYSTEM.

The students of SONIC COLLEGE [Haderslev DK] will present the results of their SOUNDBOXES workshop at 20:30 sharp to a limited audience in a separate, darkened hall. Please be ***pünktlich*** if you plan to experience this!

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Atelier Macumba on Hiatus!

Posted in Announcement on July 12th, 2016 by admin

Due to some studies at the Media Lab of Aalto University in Helsinki, I will be on hiatus for a while. Therefore:

I am no longer accepting any bookings for workshops or concerts until January 2017.

I am no longer accepting any instrument orders until June 2017, and even then my production line maybe undergo some changes.

Thank you for all your support as friends, customers and admirers over the last few years. It’s been a great ride. Watch this space or my more-frequently-updated Facebook page for updates:

XR-VCOs Custom Synthesizer

Posted in Documentation on July 12th, 2016 by admin


Another vehicle for interdimensional travel completed! This one features seven identical Thomas Henry XR-VCOs with three different timbre modulation options (hard sync, “skew” waveshaping and a J3RK/Stroh Modular crossfader between triangle/sine and square), all with voltage control, plus voltage-controlled frequency modulation, a summing mono output and even a headphone amp.

When I think about the human-hours that went into this instrument, I start going a little bit insane. Completing this would not have been possible without the assistance of Lars Ennsen and Damian Jaroszonek. Thanks düdes!

Videos someday….



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2 Day SoundBoxes Workshop in Berlin

Posted in Announcement on March 13th, 2016 by admin


2-3 APRIL 2016

Explore DIY electronics and sound art performance with your own SoundBox during this two-day workshop in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

SoundBoxes are small, primitive electro-acoustic instruments built from a wooden box, a speaker, a small audio amplifier and a contact microphone. They can create a variety of drone and reverb-type sounds through feedback between the speaker and microphone, or they can bring out the hidden sounds found within everyday objects. They also have small touchpoints which can be used to produce a variety of “circuit bending” sounds.

During the first day, we will learn about electricity, how it becomes sound and then how to build the SoundBoxes themselves. On the second day, we will explore the possibilities of the SoundBoxes, with the goal of collaboratively creating a score for a sound performance of approximately 10-15 minutes in length.

This workshop does not require any previous knowledge of electronics, only an interest and a curiosity in both sound and instrument-building.



nonlinearity I from macumbista on Vimeo.

nonlinearity III from macumbista on Vimeo.

SoundBoxes Workshop + Performance Berlin JUL 2015 from macumbista on Vimeo.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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Benjolin 2016 Pre-Orders Now Open

Posted in Announcement on February 13th, 2016 by admin


I am now accepting pre-orders for the next run of Benjolin V3 and Butterfly Benjolin chaotic sound instruments. Pre-orders will be accepted up to 05 MARCH 2016 with a 50% deposit required. Projected delivery of this run will be mid-APRIL 2016.

The Benjolin is a standalone synthesizer designed by Rob Hordijk from the Netherlands. It contains two oscillators (one LFO and one VCO), a voltage controlled filter and a circuit called a “Rungler”, which allows chaotic cross-modulation possibilities between the different parts of the circuit. Hordijk refers to the Benjolin as a circuit which has been “bent by design.”

These hand-made Macumbista Benjolins are officially licensed by Hordijk, and have been further customized with a patchbay, which can be used to interface with other modular synthesizers or to setup further control voltage feedback systems within the Benjolin itself, attenuators on the three control voltage input and LEDs displaying the internal state of the Rungler. The double version, which I have named the Butterfly Benjolin, allows incredible amounts of chaotic cross-modulation between the two halves of the instrument.


The price of the Benjolin V3 is EUR 495 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 416 (shipped outside the EU), and the price of the Butterfly Benjolin is EUR 895 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 752 (shipped outside the EU), plus shipping.

Please contact me using the CONTACT page here, or through MACUMBISTA at-the-domain GMAIL dot COM.



Current wooden box options for the Benjolin V3 are natural finish and “hammered” green, blue and red (limited supplies of all “hammered” finishes!!!!). The Butterfly Benjolin comes in natural finish only.



As of the summer of 2015, all the aluminum front panels of my Benjolins and Butterfly Benjolins are engraved and milled by CNC machine at the FabLab Berlin.





Additionally, there are a number of customizations available for PRE-ORDER ONLY:

CUSTOM TEXT ENGRAVING: rename your instrument with your own custom engraved text, up to approx 25 characters. EUR 15 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 13 (shipped outside the EU)

LOOP SWITCH: The LOOP switch locks the otherwise chaotic pattern of the Rungler into a loop. The UP position is a loop of 4 steps going forward, the MIDDLE position is the normal chaos of the Rungler, and the DOWN position is a loop of 4 steps forwards and 4 steps backwards. EUR 25 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 21 (shipped outside the EU)

EXTERNAL INPUT SWITCH: The external input 6.3mm jack on the back of this Benjolin allows a signal from another source to be sent through the Low Pass Filter of the instrument. Selecting “EXT” on the FIL INPUT switch sends this signal to the FIL input, where the cutoff and resonance controls of the filter can be used to affect it. When the FIL INPUT switch is in the “INT” position, the PWM signal, mixed with a small amount of RUN voltage, is sent to the FIL (this is the normal Benjolin signal path). EUR 25 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 21 (shipped outside the EU)

EXTERNAL RUNGLER CLOCK:: A jack of your choice (banana, mini-jack or 6.3mm jack) on the back panel of the instrument provides a switchable clock source for the Rungler of the instrument. The DOWN switch position clocks the Rungler from OSCILLATOR 2 of the intrument, the UP switch position clocks it from the external clock input. EUR 35 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 30 (shipped outside the EU)

RUNGLER BITS OUT: Three colored banana jacks on the back match the colored LEDs on the front, and give a +5.6V gate voltage when the corresponding LED lights up. These are the individual bits of the Rungler, which are summed together through a simple Digital-to-Analog Converter to provide the RUN control voltage. EUR 25 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 21 (shipped outside the EU)


Duelling Benjolins from macumbista on Vimeo.

Two Benjolins cross-patched to modulate each other function identically to the Dual “Butterfly” Benjolin.

A Static Environment for Complementary Instabilities from macumbista on Vimeo.

This long-take shows an example of symmetrical cross-patching between the two halves of the Butterfly Benjolin, and gives an idea of the self-modulation possible with this dual instrument.

Thank you for your kind attention!


Winter Solstice 2015 SoundBoxes

Posted in Announcement on December 22nd, 2015 by admin

fish scales#1

These 9 SoundBoxes are available as of 22DEC15. Each includes a resonant spring contact microphone. The boxes with transparent speakers are pictured with the Japanese paper used to line the inside of the box.

The Type A SoundBoxes (92mm black speaker) can be purchased for EUR 83 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 70 (non-EU) plus postage costs.

The Type B SoundBoxes (77mm backlit transparent speaker + Japanese paper lining) can be purchased for EUR 95 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 80 (non-EU) plus postage costs.

Cash discount for Berlin-Lichtenberg pickup!!!!

To order, please contact me by email: and include the name of the SoundBox you are interested in in the subject line.

More info on the SoundBoxes here:


Triangles #1 = SOLD!!!!



Waves #1 = SOLD!!!




Paper #1 = SOLD!


Paper #2 = SOLD!



Paper #4 = SOLD!

SCOPE presents Derek Holzer & Marco Donnarumma #85 (DEC 18)

Posted in Announcement on December 10th, 2015 by admin

spektrum gig

SPEKTRUM art_technology_community
Bürknerstr 12, 12047 Berlin, Germany
18 December at 20:00

SCOPE presents: Derek Holzer & Marco Donnarumma #85

Doors: 19:30 / Start time: 20:00
Event presented by Scope – curated by AudeRrose

Derek Holzer – MACUMBISTA [Vector Synthesis]

Solo performance for self-made analog synthesizer, analog vector video monitor and room by Derek Holzer. His live performances are largely improvisational journeys through different types of non-linear feedback processes, performed on a selection of self-made analog electronic synthesizers. He uses the unstable and chaotic patterns these machine create to explore the physical affects of volume, frequency and complexity within a given architectural space. During this live performance at SPEKTRUM, he will introduce some of his recent experiments in vector-based audiovisual synthesis. For fans of Maryanne Amacher, Bernard Parmegiani, Eliane Radigue and Slayer.

Marco Donnarumma – Ominous and Music for Flesh

In this performance, Marco plays two pieces with the XTH Sense , a biowearable musical instrument he created 5 years ago. By performing whole-body, physical gestures, his body emits bioacoustic sounds which are amplified using wearable microphone sensors, interactively live sampled and diffused through loudspeakers and subwoofers. In this way, he creates music by literally composing the sounds emitted by the muscle tissue of his body in real time. The natural sound of the flesh and its virtual counterpart blend together into unstable sonic objects. This is what he termed Biophysical Music, music that is a joint result of physiological technology and markedly physical, visceral performance.


Derek Holzer (1972) is an American instrument builder and sound artist based in Berlin DE, whose current interests include DIY analog electronics, the relationship between sound + space, media archaeology and the meeting points of electroacoustic, noise, improv and extreme music. He has performed live, taught workshops and created scores of unique instruments and installations since 2002 across Europe, North and South America, and New Zealand.

Italian born, living and working in Berlin, Marco Donnarumma is a performance artist, sound artist and writer. His work lies where performance art and sound art converge through technology. He has played interactive sound by amplifying sounds from his body, has induced visitors in altered states of self-perception by feeding sounds from their bodies back to their skulls and bones, has immersed audiences in multichannel sound and video produced by the strain of his muscles while he pulled 50Kg stones, and has physicalised digital viruses in the body. The focus of his practise is on how to configure human bodies and machines through sound. He uses biotechnologies, software algorithms and body sensors to create intensely physical actions, concerts and live installations which are renown for combining rigorous science, technical sophistication and critical thinking.

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VIDEO: SoundBoxes Workshop + Performance Berlin JUL 2015

Posted in Documentation on November 11th, 2015 by admin

SoundBoxes Workshop + Performance Berlin JUL 2015 from macumbista on Vimeo.

SoundBoxes are small, primitive electro-acoustic instruments built from a wooden box, a speaker, a small audio amplifier and a contact microphone. During the first of two workshop days, participants learned about electricity, how it becomes sound and then how to build their own personalized SoundBoxes.

On the second day, they explored the possibilities of the SoundBoxes through a series of listening and improv exercises, with the goal of collaboratively creating the score for an immersive, surround-sound performance inspired by the works of Alvin Lucier, Pauline Oliveros, John Grzinich, David Tudor, Gordon Monahan and others, performed in a darkened room for an eyes-closed audience.

In the piece, a swarm of individual, simple sound sources such as tones and textures are modulated and moved through the space physically by the performers to create a complex sonic environment. Delicate and intimate sounds pass closely near the bodies and ears of the audience, while stronger, more extreme sounds occur at the edges of the space to give a sense of the architecture of the room and the objects in it.

More info:


Mert Aslantürk
Itai Bauman
Nicola Gomiero
Claire Guerin
Bethan Lloyd
Zeno Mainardi
Manami N
Rory O’Brien
Javier Salthú
Max Virnich
Ben White
Chris Zahn
Lea Zamiecka

Video by Montse Torredà Martí

18-19 July 2015, Atelier Macumba Berlin

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Berlin Circuit Bending Workshop with Tasos Stamou

Posted in Announcement on November 4th, 2015 by admin



Atelier Macumba presents the second public workshop in our Berlin-Lichtenberg studio with London circuit-bending master Tasos Stamou. An introduction to hardware hacking which provides a practical and theoretical background in modifying and alternative electronic instrument design techniques using recycled electronics. It is suitable for beginners, as well as to more experienced hackers and sound explorers who wish to push forward their ideas and projects of innovative sound interfaces.


– Learn all the necessary techniques to turn ‘hackable’ electronic sound toys into useful sonic devices and experimental electronic music instruments.
– Participants will design an experimental music instrument and take it home!
– Practical, hands-on workshop, including all tips to the most common and effective circuit bending modifications.
– Theoretical introduction to handmade electronic instruments, including historical context and presentation of contemporary artists utilizing DIY electronics.
– Participants are welcome to bring their own electronic toys for hacking, otherwise “hackable” toys will be provided from a large selection. Please contact us with any questions regarding “hackability” of your own devices.
– Workshop participants will have the chance to perform with their own hacked instruments as members of an improvised circuit bending ensemble after the workshop completion.


EUR 40 (including one sound machine, all material and components)

Participation in this workshop is by PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY to

Location and further details will be provided upon registration.


Tasos Stamou is a sound artist, a dedicated circuit bender and an instrument modifier/designer. He is an active member of music tech communities (Music Hackspace & Hackspace London, Hellenic Electroacoustic Music Composers Association). He has been utilizing his hacked creations into various performances (such as at the BENT Festival, New York) and recordings of obscure electronica ( Absurd, Triple Bathe, Orila, Lal Lal Lal, Kukuru Recordings). He has been leading hardware hacking workshops in festivals (Green Man Festival, SOTU Festival Lithuania, Athens Video Art Festival, NXNW Festival in Cologne, etc.) and music tech labs (Macumbista Studio in Berlin, Cafe Oto, Music Hackspace and Noise=Noise in London, STPLN in Sweden, WORM in Rotterdam, etc.).


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Signal Culture Residency

Posted in Announcement, Documentation on October 3rd, 2015 by admin

Broken Rope [Benjolin Vector Graphics test 3] from macumbista on Vimeo.

From 5-15 OCT 2015, I will be Toolmaker in Residence at Signal Culture in Owego New York.

While there, I intend develop a PCB which can be used for producing vector graphics, viewable via Vectrex, Wobbulator/hacked TV, laser display or other analog systems, which takes one or two audio inputs as well as control voltage. This board should include function generators, quadrature oscillators, phase shifters and multipliers, and could produce either traditional Lissajous figures using the analog multipliers or raster-type effects using synced function generators. The ultimate aim of the board is not only the development of artistic works, but also it’s use as the core of a future analog vector graphics workshop where participants both build and experiment with the circuit.

The lo-res sketches included here were created in September 2015 in Berlin using a vector monitor [V INPUT, H INPUT, Z-AXIS INPUT, PULSE MARKER INPUT] + Dual “Butterfly” Benjolin.

Benjolin Vector Graphics [test 1] from macumbista on Vimeo.

Event Horizon [Benjolin Vector Graphics test 2] from macumbista on Vimeo.

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