Handmade Electronic Music - Hardware Workshop with Nicolas Collins

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Science Gallery Dublin are delighted to host a special two-day hardware workshop with music pioneer Nicolas Collins, in advance of our upcoming summer exhibition SOUND CHECK. This is suitable for participants with varied experience from none to a lot.

New York born and raised, Nicolas Collins spent most of the 1990s in Europe, where he was visiting artistic director of Stichting STEIM (Amsterdam), and a DAAD composer-in-residence in Berlin. An early adopter of microcomputers for live performance, he also makes use of homemade electronic circuitry and conventional acoustic instruments. He is editor-in-chief of the Leonardo Music Journal, and a professor in the Department of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

This weekend workshop guides the participants through a series of sound-producing electronic construction projects, from making simple contact microphones to building circuits from scratch — no experience necessary, but participants will be required to do some preparation and bring certain easily-obtainable materials.

The emphasis is on constructing inexpensive but versatile electronic tools that fill the gaps in computer-centric music production; tools like alternative microphones for creative sound recording and amplification, and performable electronic instruments that have the tactile quality of conventional acoustic ones.

The projects covered can include:

  • A clip-lead synthesizer using nothing more than a battery and a loudspeaker
  • Contact mikes and coil pickups
  • A basic monitor amplifier
  • Transforming a radio into a cracklebox
  • Oscillators controlled by potentiometers, light sensors, skin conductivity, pencil drawings, fruit, etc.
  • Analog signal processors

The curriculum is drawn from Nicolas Collins' book Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking. The workshop will end with a public performance/installation by the participants.

Please note:

  • Attendees will be required to bring the following materials, old(pre 2000) radios / electric-toys/electric-instruments to hack, one or more raw loudspeakers and Two nine-volt batteries. A full material list will be provided for all attendees on booking. 
  • Workshop Times 10am - 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The workshop is suitable for ages 15+, and adults of all ages are welcome.
  • We have a limited amount of discount codes available for students; please email events@dublin.sciencegallery.com to apply.
Science Gallery