Read Jessica Rylan, Interview in Pink Noise, Women in Electronic Music.
Also in the pamphlet is a short excerpt from "Powr Mastrs, $18, 1, by CF"
Your reaction piece is to take the piece of paper given to you, and:
  • jot down your favorite quotes from the texts, and respond or explain them to yourself, in your own words.
  • draw a patit sketch of a circuit.  this can be phantasized, idiosyncronized, or solipsisticized.  A fore xample of this is "what does your relationship with your computer look like?", but it can also be your idea for an installation, or a feedback system you are fond of.



A cirque for dealing with dead circuits, a la, Nicolas Collins' "Salvage (Guiya Blues)".  Where Nicolas Collins piece has multiple students on one board, we are going to be a "one student one board" class.  The boards are of a run of Sidrazzi by Ciat-Lonbarde; the first run of 25 were all dead because of a Chinese "mystery part", but the boards still contain a wonderful amount of rhizomal resistor webs and also nonlinearities created by the silicon.  We are going to ressurect them sonically with this circuit, which can be used for any circuit board really.  The end result- a choir of "corn".  Corn is both:
  •  the sound of the circuit board, transduced by a piezo and amplified skillfully by one opamp.  it is the resonance of the fibreglass and the striated textures of the chip "gullwings"
  • a triangle wave (more sweet sounding than square) which can be mutated by nonlinearities in the probed circuit.
Corn is grown from the ground, which in this case is all the silicon, carbon and other earths present in the muted circuit.  Ground is also known electrically as "the black wire from the battery snap".

A note on RHIZOMAL vs ARBORESCENT.  Read Deleuze and Guattari for more.   These relate to circuit design, in that stereotypical analog circuits have much more RHIZOMAL, or "root-like" topologies; they grow all this way and that, usually with a variety of components in between nodes.  Digital circuits are much more "striated" in that their paths are often duplicated into matrices, so there are many similar paths between ground and often a monolithic chip.  Digital signals are all about square waves, the simplest circuit, massively in parallel.
ingredients of electronics:
the wasteland,
the post-wasteland
Paper Circuits Summary
A photo tour of Westside, Baltimore


Design: Sketchup, Patit Sketch

google earth is available as well (in polar coordinates) in the lab to "site" your piece


Two Pawlonia Billets, from Baltimore, cut-up in Oberlin College Wood Shop.  Using characteristic "Nbara Wavy Cut".  Thanks to Ed Fuquay and Johnny Coleman.

Constructed from the pawlonia billets, below are shown 12 "kokotos", or miniature kotos.  The goal of this unit is to hear the "sound of the wood" in the wonderful light pawlonia shaped into a cup like resonator.  Inside is the "phantomfet preamp", which uses fantom power (from the mixer) to amplify a differential piezo (AB4113 has two sides of ceramic) in order to create a high-fidelity, balanced signal for PA work.


  • The microcottage
  • lecture on entrepreneurship- about "micro", micro-brew, micro-cottage.
  • experiments in the cottage w/ trash, cultural capital- ideas.  data trash dumpster diving
  • small-scaling eventually is inefficient and if an idea proves worthy, move to larger batches
  • see lecture at harvestworks

  • Reading Materials: 1st Alchemy Reading "Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and Psychology", by Marie Louise von Franz
  • 2nd Alchemy Reading, from Lecture 3 of von Franz's book, plus some "pooper papers" from Basil Valentine and miscellaneous alchemical symbol illustrations.
  • discussing alchemy textes.  nigredo, depressus, Osiris, putrefaction, crocodile penis
  • osiris = break it down

  • as an example, take some files from previous lessons and create youtube video.
  • embed youtube video in google doc

the liminal zone: where flotsam jetsam is arranged in striations
that flow between the rocks, where biggest on top
and smalls are in between

A Pawlonia tree has fallen over in Gynn's Falls Wildlands,
where the trash grows by the river- old tires, cans,
silt.  I have used my chainsaw to
slice it down the middle.

Lead: Organs

We talked of how electronics has shunned the use of lead, for it causes leaden thoughts in those who are exposed to it.  The pipe organ uses lead encased in wood, to make a glorious sound onto God.  Here religion comes to the fore, for you can feel vibrations in the floor of the pulpit.  TIMARA stands for Technology in Music and Related Arts.  Hal Gober, our organ technician, will cover Technology of Music at First Church, where the Related Art is "Religion".  Katie Oertel, a chemist, will talk of how the relationship of lead to tin creates a sort of grain, a meta-material in the crystalline structure of lead/tin.  What is eutectic?

making a glorious sound to god, lead pipes are encased up on high, in canadian woods.  First Church "Gober" Organ, Oberlin, OH.

“By adding some of the impurities that come naturally in the old “pure” lead of the 17th century, the metal can be made sturdy enough to stand for many years. Antimony (0.75%), copper (0.06%), bismuth (0.05%) and tin (1.0%) when added all together will produce the desired stiffening….This explains why the lead front pipes from the Gothic and Renaissance stand without any sign of collapsing, while American common metal front pipes of the early 19th century always sagged.”
-Charles Fisk, “Some Thoughts on Pipe Metal,” 1978.

“For casting [pipes] the following materials are needed:  tin, lead, tallow, oil, coal, canvas, bismuth, marcassite, English tin for soldering, Armenian bole, cinnabar, parchment paper, cardboard.”
--Eugenio Casparini, Padua, 1661

“The pipes of mixed lead will have an alloy of 10% tin, and 4% of [antimony], in order to achieve sufficient solidity, so that they stand upright.”
--Giovanni Tonoli, Trieste, 1857
“[Tin and lead] are also alike in that neither of them by itself gives out much sound [when struck]… The reason…is their softness and moisture…Tin, however, gives out more sound than lead.  And since it has a dull sound, tin tempers things that have a sharp sound, such as copper, silver, and gold, and makes their note deeper.  And therefore tin is mixed with copper in the melt for bells.” 
-Albertus Magnus (1193-1280)

“We also note that the less flexible metal makes the more violent sound, so tin is louder than lead, and silver and gold louder than tin.  But aes if the most violent of all, and red aes [= copper] more violent than white [=brass].” 
-Adalbold of Utrecht (970-1027)
Thanks to Hal Gober and Katie Oertel for the quotes.
Katie Oertel also passed on this link to Patrizio Barbieri, in particular to his article, "Alchemy, Symbolism and Aristotelian Acoustics in Medieval Organ-Pipe Technology.

table of metal symbols

Meta-Materials = THE TRUTH, our reality, Documentation

What are meta-materials?  Brainstorm This.
What are meta-materials in the context of TIMARA (Technology in Music and Related Arts)?

Think of the use of entanglement/ensembles in superconductors- a lattice where the elements are intertwined so they can transcend the limitations on the speed of light; the elements are almost "telepathic", that the superconductor acts as a single entangled, quantum entity.

This idea that the materials become linked together can be used in our art, in deliberately making documentation that entangles our prima materia, source material.


View Documentation of Sejayno's Opera Cezanno, in preparation for your final exam, and also to help you understand the goals of your reaction piece.  Also you can refer to the petermopar youtube channel, in particular the pieces on experiential woodsmanship, or ciat-lonbarde instrument documentation.

You are to use the accumulated materials on the server (texte, videos, pictures and sounds from class) and create a piece, probably in iMovie that uses the following 5 facets:
  1. Kinematic (video)
  2. Sound structures (non-verbal)
  3. Photo essay (series of stills)
  4. Written texte (subtitles and signs)
  5. Spoken texte (narration)


If you can, try to get to Cleveland to see some free concerts at the Thyagaraja festival.  The material here is dubbed "skin" but could be any traditional materials, that, within the tradition, can be used towards highly intentional, calculated, or formal pieces:  the tradition is the computer.

The Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is the largest Indian classical music festival outside of India. It was first celebrated in 1978 and has now grown to be an 11-day festival with more than 8,000 attendees with 2,000 appearing for the opening weekend. The year 2011 is the Festival's 34th year.

Brass- gamelan resonances



Power Supply for Paper Tube Circuit
Paper tube circuit using 6au6 n 6eu7

Now, you have participated materially in this class.
But have you participated TIMARAterially?
Your final project is to create a DISTILLUM of the class
through its TIMARAterials:
marquee text
spoken word documentarian monologue
audio files of the various jams
video files of class activities
SKETCHUP simulations
and montages of photos took during and about class.