____ [______] (me-cha-ku-cha) absurd; chaotic; unreasonable; excessive; messed up; spoiled; wreaked. Mechakucha is the guiding force behind my work. It became my favorite word when I spent a semester in college studying abroad in Japan. It can be shortened to Mecha and placed before other adjectives to mean "very, very" or "absurdly".
I find that the world has and will always be in a state of Mechakucha. I enjoy tremendously the absurdity of it all, but at the same time, find the ever-spiraling self-destructive nature of our world quite appalling. I try and reflect and harness this balance in the projects I engage in.
I was introduced to Circuit Bending in 1995 by Q.R. Ghazala's track "Silence the tongues of prophecy" and accompanying bending article in the experimental instrument compilation "Gravichord's, Whirlies, & Pyrophones". While this got me looking at toys in a different way and trying to find bends, I didn't take a serious interest in actually hardwiring them till Andy Ben came along in 2002 and showed me what he had found on the Yamaha PSS-460. While the Musical Circus Stacker was my first completed device, the 460 is the most prolific, with 3 albums worth of material already recorded and more.
below: some of my 'Bentruments'
Reed Ghazala (widely regarded as the father of Circuit-Bending) on "What is Circuit-Bending":
"Circuit-bending is an electronic art which implements creative audio short-circuiting. This renegade path of electrons represents a catalytic force capable of exploding new experimental musical forms forward at a velocity previously unknown. Anyone at all can do it; no prior knowledge of electronics is needed. The technique is, without a doubt, the easiest electronic audio design process in existence.
"The circuit-bent instrument, often a re-wired audio toy or game, is an alien instrument: alien in electronic design, alien in voice, alien in musician interface. Through this procedure, all around our planet, a new musical vocabulary is being discovered. A new instrumentarium is being born.
"Countless audio gadgets are experimental musical instruments waiting to happen. Circuit-bending's anti-theory approach to electronic design makes accessible to all audio explorers an endless frontier of original sound-forms to discover, and fantastic instruments to create.
"Within these adapted devices, along with the unusual voices of circuit-bending, are often found aleatoric music generators; that is, chance-music composers that stream unpredictable audio events: elements shifting and re-combining in fascinating ways.
"Body-contacts are also found through circuit-bending. These allow electricity to flow through the player's body, flesh and blood now becoming an active part of the electronic sound circuit. This interface extends players and instruments into each other, creating, in essence, new life forms. An emerging tribe of bio-electronic Audio Sapiens."
below: some images
Derek Sajbel received a B.A. in cinema-television with a minor in Japanese studies from the University of Southern California in 2002. He has been producing albums, videos, art and absurdity since 1994. He currently resides in Echo Park in Los Angeles. Derek has been performing at infinitecomplexity.org events both VJing and doing live circuit bending for over one year. He curated the Video Art program and Electronic music evening at the multimedia art event Humanitarian Superpower (www.humanitariansuperpower.com). Mr. Sajbel was a regular VJ at the [eraser] (www.erasereraser.com) experimental music monthly. His music and videos have been released on the recent Phthalo Records Infinite Complexity Business CD compilation and Phthalo Records Infinite Complexity 4 mini video/audio compilation. He performed in the 2004 Center for Experiments in Art, Information, and Technology festival, and had a video installation in the 2003 CEAIT (ceait.calarts.edu). He has also been a featured video artist at the Hanger 1018 (www.hanger1018.com) art/concerts. His current project is a documentary on Circuit Bending (www.anti-theory.com/soundart/circuitbend/). A large portion of his body of video, audio and other works are available on his website http://absurdity.biz/.
a sample of projects featuring Dr. Rek
1880 Preston Ave
LA, CA 90026