Just as Los Angeles’ musical profile has been rising over the last couple of years, so has the average youthful (“young” or otherwise) citizen’s interest in getting involved. Our scuzzy experimental pop, the “beat music” movement, and the D.I.Y. spirit that envelops them both make for a certain punk accessibility that extends beyond inspiring listeners to strum a detuned guitar or screen-print their own T-shirts. As it turns out, electronics are fair game too, and there are cheap, easy classes available locally — some taught by known artists, at institutions like Machine Project and The Public School — that offer novices the ability to harness an incredible spectrum of sounds. Circuit-bending workshops teach people how to modify thrift store finds (keyboards, toy instruments, Speak & Spells), while other classes focus on a particular computer programming language (Max/MSP) which is graphical, linear, and easy to experiment with.
The LA Weekly has just published my story on the topic, “Bend Everything,” which features insight from L.A.’s own Lucky Dragons and Daedelus, among others. Check it out here, and grab a copy if you’re local.
Also, watch Lucky Dragons blow some minds at Machine Project.