Friday, April 3, 2009


So I finally have finished my first circuit bent project. It is a Casio CTK-491. The keys no longer work and the only thing that creates the noise are the switches that are mounted. It was a learning experience, and making it was a lot of fun. I love the idea of taking an electronic toy and making it do things it was never created for. It was such in interesting experience especially when you rip the cover off and looking at the circuit board. You strip it down and inspect all the parts of the board. View the tracks that connect keys to solder points; solder points to power supply. And then, using one finger on each hand on the circuit board, find a noise the keyboard would have never created otherwise. The electricity literally passes through you from point to point. You become part of the instrument. Taking the circuit and re wiring it, solder switches to make deathly sounding noises.
I have been thinking a lot about music theory and chance music while I was working on this keyboard. And I think my definition of that has expanded considerably. Reed Ghazala remarks in his book, “Circuit Bending”, “…circuit bending probes the circuitry to hear its intrinsic music, allowing it a personal prose beyond, and programmed recitation. Now the circuit is operating way outside of the original designer’s plans, by chance, shorted out into a new language machine, and human presumption no longer pulls the strings” (Ghazala 14). Hopefully this wont be the last circuit I will bend because they are fun to build as they are to play with.
My Casio now has 6 separate toggle switches, and one potentiometer (volume control). I also mounted a guitar jack so it can easily be plugged into effect pedals, amps etc.

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