Two Talks During CTM Berlin Next Week

Posted in Announcement on January 22nd, 2014 by admin

I have two presentations in the CTM Festival in Berlin next week, one during the MusicMakers HackLab Conversations alongside such luminaries as Marije Baalman and Robert Henke, and the other during the Education Networking Day. Details below. Hope to see y’all there!

MUSICMAKERS HACKLAB CONVERSATIONS
Weds 29 Jan at Kunstquartier Projektraum
15h // Probing the Past: A Media Archaeology of Handmade Electronic Sound
Derek Holzer/Macumbista.net

The utopias of electronic sound have hardly changed in its hundred-year history. We still want to imitate existing instruments, create sounds which have never been heard before and realize complex compositions without the need of an orchestra. It is only the tools which have become more complex. But there are dystopias as well, which come especially from using tools designed around other people’s way of creating sound, rather than your own. Instrument builder, teacher and performer Derek Holzer of Macumbista.net will discuss the inspiration of some of the pioneers of 20th Century electronic sound (including those found in the “Generation Z: ReNoise” exhibition) as springboards to some of his own creations, which the audience will have a chance to explore following the talk.

SLIDESHOW HERE

EDUCATION NETWORKING DAY
Sat 01 Feb at HAU 3
13:10 Neanderthal Electronics: Teaching Arts and Technology
Derek Holzer [USA/DE, macumbista.net]

Over the last six years I have developed a workshop program designed to teach art students without in-depth technical backgrounds about basic electronics and instrument building, which has been hosted by several, mainly Nordic schools of art, music and design. During this talk, I will share some observations about the relationship of arts and technology in education resulting from these workshops.

Tags: , , ,

Shapes of 2014

Posted in Announcement on January 1st, 2014 by admin

2013 took me from the high desert plains of Marfa, Texas to the northern countryside of Västernorrland, Sweden and the end of the world in Patagonia, Chile. It also saw the start of what is becoming quite a nice little occupation building handmade electronic sound instruments! And it went by so fast that I’m still making sense of it all…

I would like to thank the following folks for helping me on my way this last year: Tim Johnson, Nicolas Miller, Peter Kirn, Jan Rolf, Antti Ikonen, Carsten Stabenow, Mindaugas Gapsevicius, James Brewster, Markus Öhrn, Andreas Catjar, Timo Toots, John Fail, Katrine Møllebæk and the rest of the LAK crew, Andrew Dorman, Rasmus Lunding, Johannes Ahlberg, Johan Markwall, Björn Eriksson, Jake Harries, Derek Hales, Montse Torreda, Nataniel Alvarez and LiquenLab, Pablo Guerra, Claudia Gonzalez + Macarena Pola and the MakerSpace Santiago, Oscar Santis, Fernando Godoy + Rodrigo Ríos Zunino and the Tsonami Festival, Kathy Hardin, Steve & Daeryl Holzer, Tarin Lewis, as well as all the fantastic people I’ve met on the road!

I’ll be bunkering down in Berlin for a little while now, building more noise machines and planning my further travels.

One other thing I must mention, is that my father (whom I made the Machine Deva soundtrack for) has recently been diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing serious medical treatments. Like many Americans, and certainly like many American artists, he currently has no health insurance and the costs of his treatment have been quite high. I have been amazed at the support of his friends and family in Marfa Texas, as well as around the world, who have come together to help him. And one of my biggest wishes for 2014 is to see him well again. If you would like to know more about this, please click here.

May all your dreams take shape in 2014!

My best wishes from Berlin,
Derek

Tags:

Now Accepting Benjolin, SoundBox Orders for 2014

Posted in Announcement on December 21st, 2013 by admin

MACUMBISTA BENJOLIN V3

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 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.

Price is EUR 495 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 416 (shipped outside the EU) plus shipping. These are currently being made-to-order, so expect a wait time of a couple weeks.

Duelling Benjolins from macumbista on Vimeo.

WOLFTONE SOUNDBOX

The WolfTone SoundBox contains a children’s toy voice-changer circuit which has been modified to include three switches and six touchpoints which interactively modify the sound, 9V battery/DC jack power, a line-level/headphone output, a backlit transparent speaker and an interior lined with handmade Japanese paper. A detachable condenser microphone provides the input to the circuit, which can be either the performer’s voice or feedback from the speaker.

See below for a demo of the first prototype circuit. I have materials to build four more of these.

Price is EUR 250 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 210 (shipped outside the EU) plus shipping. These are currently being made-to-order, so expect a wait time of a couple weeks.

WolfToneBox Demo from macumbista on Vimeo.

SOUNDBOXES

SoundBoxes are small, portable and battery-powered electro-acoustic instruments. They can create a variety of drone and reverb-type sounds through feedback between a small speaker and a resonant piezo-electric microphone, as seen in this video. Or they can bring out the hidden sounds within found objects as seen in this video.

These SoundBoxes are unique, handmade works of sonic art, made from German cigar boxes dating from the 1930′s to the 1960′s, and feature either transparent and backlit 77mm black speakers or larger, black paper 92mm speakers, a resonant-spring contact mic, a line-out for recording and “circuit-bending” body contacts. They can also simply be used as cigar-box amplifiers for whatever other electronic instruments you might have.

Prices vary from EUR 80-100 (incl 19% VAT), depending on box and speakers, plus shipping from Berlin. Please get in touch for photos of available boxes. These are currently being made-to-order, so expect a wait time of a couple weeks.

Contact “macumbista” AT_THE_DOMAIN “gmail.com”. Thank you for your kind attention.

Tags: , ,

Macumbista Gira por Chile 2013

Posted in Announcement on November 13th, 2013 by admin

15-20 NOV: LiquenLab, Punta Arenas (workshop, concert & residency)
22 NOV: La Casa Rodante, Santiago (concert w/ Un Festín Sagital)
24 NOV: Stgo Makerspace, Santiago Mini Maker Faire (workshop)
26 NOV – 02 DEC: Ciudad Abierta, Ritoque (residency, workshop, concert)
03-08 DEC: Tsonami Festival, Valparaiso (workshop, concert)

¡Nuevas: instrucciones de SoundBoxes/Cajas Sonidas en Español aqui!

Muchas gracias a Fernando Godoy M, Rodrigo Ríos Zunino, Nataniel Alvarez, Sandra Ulloa, Oscar Santis, Claudia González Godoy, Macarena Pola, Michel de Un Festín Sagital, Ervo Perez, Alexander del Re y Montse Torredà Martí.

Tags: , , , ,

Derek Holzer and Seth Zahn play “Animals (for two analog modular systems)”

Posted in Announcement on September 14th, 2013 by admin

Derek Holzer and Seth Zahn play “Animals (for two analog modular systems)”

“Time Lapse” event, Berlin Art Week, Altes Finanzamt
Schönstedtstraße 7 – EG Neukölln 12043 Berlin
U7 Rathaus Neukölln (Exit Schönstedtstraße)
Sat 21 September 2013 20:00

Think less Pink Floyd’s pigs on the wing, and more what you might hear if you could amplify the kind of animals seen under a microscope. A live improvisation, built up from scratch on Serge and DIY analog modular synthesizers and played at high volume by two performers with nothing to lose. Derek Holzer is an American sound artist and instrument builder who has made Berlin his home for several years, while Seth Zahn is a more recent transplant to this city’s experimental scene from Brazil.

http://macumbista.net/
http://soundcloud.com/macumbista
http://soundcloud.com/dragns

Also playing:

Oscar Palou
and
Robert Rosshoff

Tags: , ,

Benjolin & WolfTone SoundBox Orders for Sept

Posted in Announcement on August 21st, 2013 by admin

Dear readers, I will be doing another run of Benjolins (four in total). Production will start on 01 September, with projected shipping date by 15 September. The design will be similar to the Benjolin 2013v2, seen here:

http://macumbista.net/?p=3579

and here:

http://macumbista.net/?p=3642

but slightly different, more “modular” in style, with attenuators on all the control voltage inputs, and without the external input to the filter on this run.

Price will be EUR 495 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 416 (shipped outside the EU) plus shipping
.

I also have three or four WolfTone SoundBoxes which can be made to order, with a choice of several handmade Japanese paper interiors. You can see details here:

http://macumbista.net/?p=3626

Price will be EUR 225 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 190 (shipped outside the EU) plus shipping.

Please let me know if you are interested by using the CONTACT page of this website, or emailing me at MACUMBISTA at the domain GMAIL dot COM, and thank you for your kind attention.

Tags: , , ,

TOMORROW NIGHT — LIVE SYNTH SET for BEDLAM CHAMBER on RADIO ON

Posted in Announcement on July 30th, 2013 by admin

Live internet radio from NK Projekt Berlin, starts 20:00 CEST, Weds 31 July. The show will also be archived on the radi0n website.

“Several years ago, I abandoned the digital sound world to spend (quite a bit of) time building a modular analog synthesizer based on the forms and functions of the legendary Serge and Buchla systems from the 1960s and 70s. In performance, I summon the chaotic, generative powers of this machine to explore the physical affects of volume, frequency and complexity within a given space. For fans of Maryanne Amacher, Bernard Parmegiani, Eliane Radigue and Slayer.”
–Derek Holzer

http://radio0n.wordpress.com/

My apologies for those that couldn’t connect to the stream… no one told me it was limited to 10 people until too late! I have uploaded the two live sets and interviews as an edited MP3, total 59 minutes: http://tinyurl.com/mqlm3uc

This will be up until 08 August. Enjoy!

Tags: , ,

Duelling Benjolins

Posted in Announcement, Documentation on July 11th, 2013 by admin

Duelling Benjolins from macumbista on Vimeo.

Although I have been building Benjolins for more than one year, this was the first night I actually had two Benjolins finished at the same time. So of course I had to get them communicating with each other. As usual, please forgive the less-than-high-fidelity in-camera mic sound.

I’m taking reservations for four new hand-made Benjolin 2013v3 pieces to be produced in August. The design will be slightly different, more “modular” in style, with attenuators on all the control voltage inputs. Price should be EUR 495 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 416 (shipped outside the EU).

Let me know if you are interested, and thanks for your kind attention.

Tags: , ,

Eye for an Ear Festival Berlin

Posted in Announcement on June 15th, 2013 by admin

I have been invited to give a lecture on optical sound synthesis as well as perform the TONEWHEELS live set as part of the Eye for an Ear Festival in Berlin later this month. There are quite a few other amazing people involved in this, namely Andrei Smirnov, whose recent book “Sound in Z: Experiments In Sound And Electronic Music In Early 20th Century Russia” is one of the best things I’ve read in the last year.

Full details should be available on the NK website soon, and those of you with FaceBook can access the event page here.

LECTURE

“A Brief History of Optical Synthesis”, a lecture by Derek Holzer, Wed June 26th 21:00 at NK Projekt Berlin

The technology of direct optical synthesis arose with the first sound-on-film motion pictures. In the 1930′s, several designs for optical synthesizers were produced in the USSR, Germany and United States, with a handful even being commercially realized to great amount of techno-utopian hype. The future of sound, we were assured, was made of light.

However, the use of optical synthesis for electronic music creation was largely abandoned after the Second World War in favor of techniques derived from new military technologies which made the V2 rocket and the atomic bomb possible. Thus, contemporary research into optical sound synthesis represents a media-archaeology of “the road not taken”, that of a connection to the culture of film and music versus the science of destruction and death.

PERFORMANCE

TONEWHEELS (Derek Holzer: sounds, electronics), Friday June 28th 20:00 at NK Projekt Berlin

TONEWHEELS is an experiment in converting graphical imagery to sound, inspired by some of the pioneering 20th Century electronic music inventions. Transparent tonewheels with repeating patterns are spun over light-sensitive electronic circuitry to produce sound and light pulsations and textures. This all-analog set is performed entirely live without the use of computers, using only overhead projectors as light source, performance interface and audience display. In this way, TONEWHEELS aims to open up the “black box” of electronic music and video by exposing the working processes of the performance for the audience to see.

Tags: , , ,

Macumbista Benjolin 2013v2–now taking orders

Posted in Announcement on June 4th, 2013 by admin

The Benjolin is a standalone synthesizer designed by Rob Hordijk from the Netherlands. It contains two oscillators (one LFO and one VCO), a low pass 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 have been further customized with a patchbay, which can be used to interface with other modular synthesizers, or to setup further feedback systems within the Benjolin itself, a switchable external line input to the Benjolin filter and LEDs displaying the internal state of the Rungler.

For Spring 2013, I will produce five of these Benjolins, housed in antique wooden slide/dia boxes. One Benjolin from this run has been sold, and four more are available for order, with shipping on or before 21 June 2013.

This run is sold out!. These Benjolins are produced under licensed agreement with Rob Hordijk.

This instrument ships with an external 110V or 220V AC/AC converter wall power supply.

Please email MACUMBISTA at the domain GMAIL dot COM with orders and inquiries. Other customizations are available on request. Thank you for your kind attention.

AUDIO DEMOS

Quick and dirty demo of Benjolin 2013v1, the first of several Benjolins to be built for sale in 2013.

A familiar old loop run through the filter section of the Macumbista Benjolin2013v2 via simple line-in modification. Filter cutoff frequency modulated by hand, by the two oscillators and Rungler sections of the Benjolin and by various control voltages available from the banana-jack patchbay.

Tags: , ,