“White Elephants” at Gallerei Weisser Elefant Berlin-Mitte

Posted in Announcement on July 19th, 2014 by admin

Derek Holzer (USA 1972) – “White Elephants” – solo performance for self-made analog synthesizers, speaker box, found objects and room. Approx 30 minutes. http://macumbista.net/

Concert for the exhibition: Franziska Frey – dimensional
SAT, 19. JUL 2014 — 20:00

galerie weisser elefant
10117 Berlin – Auguststraße 21
Tu – Sa 13–19:00
Tel. (030) 28 88 44 54

mail@galerieweisserelefant.de
http://www.frey-raum.de/

Tags: ,

Macumbista FuzzTone SoundBox

Posted in Announcement, Documentation on May 6th, 2014 by admin

A new generation of the SoundBoxes is born, combining the touchable body contacts and high-gain portable amplifier from the original design with a nasty distortion with enough controls to keep your fingers busy wiggling for a long while.

OVERVIEW

* Large, high-efficiency (read: LOUD!) 12cm speaker
* High-gain input, suitable for contact microphone, electric guitar, etc. (Line level signals can be attenuated if clipping is not intended.)
* Line output
* Neutrik 6.3mm (1/4 inch) jacks on both input and output
* Four-control, switchable, extreme[!], vintage hand-selected Germanium transistor distortion
* Six “circuit-bending” touchpoints
* 9V battery operation
* Includes a resonant spring contact microphone.

This SoundBox could easily be used as a portable guitar amplifier with built-in distortion, for example, or can be used as an instrument in it’s own right to create a wide range of electronic sounds and textures.

The sound of this instrument is quite similar to what can be heard in the following video (however the video was done with the SoundBox and FuzzTone distortion pedal as separate units). Through the creative use of feedback, as well as the CHP and SQZ settings on the pedal, generative tones and chaotic patterns can emerge:

nonlinearity I from macumbista on Vimeo.

The price is EUR 225 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 190 (shipped outside the EU) plus shipping. Each instrument is made to order with an approximately one month waiting time. A 50% deposit on the price is required to begin work.

Please contact me using the CONTACT page here, or through MACUMBISTA at-the-domain GMAIL dot COM. Thank you for your kind attention.

Tags: , , ,

Edith-Russ-Haus Grant 2014

Posted in Announcement on March 31st, 2014 by admin

Today I was informed that my application for a grant from the Foundation of Lower Saxony at the Edith-Russ-Haus 2014 was selected by the jury! I will be working on a vocoder-based sound art installation during the second half of 2014. Thanks to the jury for their kind support!

Derek Holzer, Delilah Too

With his project DELILAH TOO, the Berlin-based American sound artist Derek Holzer conducts media archeological research toward the development of a language cryptography instrument on the basis of a vocoder. This device from the history of electronic music constitutes the foundation for a multipart sound installation. It enables visitors to transmit encrypted conversations from one private space to another, where the listener can then decrypt them. The voices modulated in this way produce an abstract electronic spatial sound that can be perceived by all of the visitors in the surrounding public space.

With his experimental sound art project, Derek Holzer not only transforms an instrument from the early history of electronic music for current use in producing analogue compositions, he also creates an artistic transmission of the current debate concerning the protection of the personal and the boundaries of the public sphere. The jury was persuaded in particular by Holzer’s in-depth research on the history of electronic sound generation and his scheme for its artistic implementation in a do-it-yourself process as well as by his socio-political approach, which not lastly find expression in his eponymous reference to Alan Turing’s secure speech device Delilah.

Tags: , , , ,

SoundBoxes Workshops in BE, NL

Posted in Announcement on March 28th, 2014 by admin

I will be giving a series of SoundBoxes workshops in Belgium and the Netherlands next month. This hands-on workshop combines the arts of electronics, noise, sculpture and collage to produce unique, “circuit bent” electroacoustic instruments.

Details here: http://macumbista.net/?page_id=1897

SOUNDBOXES WORKSHOP LIEGE: 09-10 April, L’An Vert
http://www.entonnoir.org/cg/copy/

SOUNDBOXES WORKSHOP DEN HAAG: 12 April, Villa K
https://www.facebook.com/events/1407118902885760/
http://www.stichtingcentrum.org/

SOUNDBOXES WORKSHOP ROTTERDAM, 13 April, WORM
https://www.facebook.com/events/560334607406703
http://www.worm.org/home/view/event/15049

Hope to see some of you there!

Tags: , , , ,

Macumbista Benjolin V3 2014

Posted in Announcement on February 27th, 2014 by admin

I am currently taking orders for the next run of the Macumbista Benjolin V3 2014.

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.

You can watch a short demo of two of these Benjolins in action here: http://vimeo.com/70111383

Price is EUR 495 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 416 (shipped outside the EU) plus shipping.
To be included in this run, please send a prepayment of 50% by 15 March. I anticipate finishing this run in the first week of April.

A double version, the Butterfly Benjolin, allowing incredible amounts of chaotic cross-modulation between the two halves, is also possible. Price is EUR 895 (incl. 19% EU VAT) / EUR 752 (shipped outside the EU) plus shipping.

The patchbay of these Benjolins has banana jack connections for the square and triangle waveforms of each of the two oscillators, the Pulse Width Modulation output of the two oscillators, the Rungler output, the XOR (exclusive/or) logic operation of the two oscillators and the output of the filter.

There are also banana jack control voltage inputs with attenuators for the frequency of each of the two oscillators and the filter cutoff frequency. The layout of the panel is designed to be both intuitive and playable (unlike many EuroRack modules, for example…). And finally, the three output bits of the Rungler have been visualized with red, green and blue LEDs.

All Benjolins use a Neutrik 6.3mm (1/4″) output jack (two in the case of the Butterfly Benjolin), an additional GROUND banana jack to interface with other modular systems and a 12 VAC “wall wart” power supply (mainland European and North American versions available).

These Benjolins are produced under licensed agreement with Rob Hordijk.

Please contact me using the CONTACT page here, or through MACUMBISTA at-the-domain GMAIL dot COM. Thank you for your kind attention.

Tags: , ,

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: , ,

2013 Through My Eyes

Posted in Documentation on December 19th, 2013 by admin

This interview was featured in Sante Sangre magazine this week…

How would you summarize this past year on artistic and personal level?

This last year held huge changes for me in terms of direction and outlook. I still get a lot out of performing on a personal level, but I have always struggled with the avant-garde elitism I find throughout the entire experimental and new music scenes. My disgust with this elitism–coupled with the very realistic awareness that I will likely never make a living playing noise concerts–led me at first towards teaching people to build their own instruments in a variety of workshops over the years. But in 2013, I began producing and selling my own hand made electronic sound instruments in earnest, and the response has been fantastic!

I see most modern music technology (software or hardware) as being only partly “instruments” in the classical sense, and more like interactive compositions, where the designer has purposefully included or left out elements which shape the sound in very predetermined ways. By sharing some of the tools I use to make my own performances, I invite other artists (professional, amateur or otherwise) to collaborate with me in new ways and break down this tired, Romantic idea of the genius artist inventing themselves in complete isolation…

What album you listened to most often this year (not necessarily released in 2013)?

Swans – We Rose From Your Bed With the Sun In Our Head [2012 Young God]

What was the best cultural experience not related to music?

My cultural life seems inextricably tied to music somehow, so here I will mention living like a reptile on the high plains of Southwest Texas, experiencing a smoke sauna in the Estonian countryside, watching the leaves turn color in the north of Sweden and reading some of the biographies and journals of the great explorers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

And best trip? Most beautiful or magic place you visited this year?

I was lucky enough to get an invitation to play at the Tsonami Festival in Valparaiso, Chile this year. The invitation came early enough that I could book a whole month of workshops, concerts and residencies in Chile, and spent time in Punta Arenas (Patagonia), Santiago, Valparaiso and the experimental architecture community of Ciudad Abierta, in Ritoque just north of Concón. Patagonia and Ritoque in particular struck me. In both places, the nature was both incredibly beautiful and unforgiving.

What was your greatest disappointment of 2013?

Near the end of my trip to Chile, I was informed that my father was in the hospital with cancer. We have always been very close, and I am certain this wandering, mongrel-dog artist lifestyle I lead is due to his example. Realizing that someone I have respected so much my entire life is still a mere mortal came as a deep shock.

Did you learn anything particular this year?

After turning 40 in 2012, I have been thinking a lot about how one can remain an independent artist in the long term, and in a sustainable way. When you are 27, all you care about is enough money to pay the rent, buy a few new toys and keep yourself in beers. But working outside institutional structures becomes more and more challenging after a while, when you aren’t willing to sacrifice your time, your personal relationships, your health or your future to play a few more door-money gigs in some stinking basement in Neukölln.

A sustainable way of working gives you a stable platform in the long term, rather than twenty bucks, a beer and a kebab in the short term. It’s there for those times when you are sick and have no inspiration, or when you have a huge idea that just won’t wait, or when you fall in love and want to build a cabin in the mountains together, or any other damned thing that isn’t the unrelenting grind of produce-produce-produce, book-book-book and tour-tour-tour to keep the bill collectors off your back.

Plans, hopes, expectations for 2014?

I will fly in some planes, see some new cities, play some gigs, build some new instruments and meet scores of new people. Like most years. And for this I remain thankful. Besides that, I hope to expand this instrument-building business into something which can better support me, without turning into one of the caricature trust-fund hipster start-up types who have overrun Berlin in the last 6 years. But more than anything, I hope to be able to wander the desert like a mad fool with my father again when he is well.

Photo by Terje Toomistu

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: , , , ,