Quick Update

Hello everyone! I’m writing just this quick update so that I can type my vague thoughts down. It’s almost 6 AM and I’ve just finished reading “Postmodern Music/Postmodern Thoughts”. I can’t believe I could be so excited by such a topic – things make so much sense now, I feel I have a concrete methodological background.

Circuit-bending is a postmodern process of popular music: performance, actual process, experience, chance, different aesthetics, culture of listening, deconstruction, these are all key concepts. Question: is there a nostalgic feeling when creating/playing a bent instrument? A memory of the past musics? Or not? I’m very curious about this.

There are plenty more things on my mind but I cannot express them. Brain damage… btw, check Bendoverboysfriends if you don’t know them.

I’m almost done with books – still got my lovely Bent DVDs to watch and also, read Neural’s back issues.

I hope I will finish my draft by next week… :S


3 thoughts on “Quick Update

  1. I’ve been looking for more books on postmodernism w.r.t. music — thanks for sharing.

    That is an interesting question: I feel nostalgic when I first pick up a toy and first open it up; once I start ‘bending’ it I don’t feel nostalgic anymore. The exploration is … different, more akin to reverse engineering and sculpting at the same time, but different. As I add parts I feel like I’m thinking too much — more akin to ergonomic design thought rather than nostalgia.

    Playing a bent instrument is not quite so nostalgic — but this is where my jazz and performance background intercedes.

    But that is a great question, and I hope others answer as well.


  2. When it comes to postmodernism, many issues arise, and one of the basic problems (or positive aspects of a postmodern thinking) is that there is no standard definition for either “postmodern” or “popular music” and even “music”. We usually analyse “popular music” from a “postmodern perspective”, but if you ask yourself “what is music?” then you have to define parametres.

    As it seems, CB nostalgia is experienced differently: it’s not a “let’s go back to the golden age of classical music”, rather it is affected by memory; it brings about thoughts and feelings of the past, related to familiar sounds, but we only recall the impression. Memory and experience through bent materials are crucial, and nostalgia is only the vessel. Postmodernism is useful to analyse circuit bending in the 21st century, but existential phenomenology is more functional when it comes to experiences through objects.

    Performance is one of postmodern music’s characteristics. It’s all about the process, making and performance, rather an “art object” or a “finished work”.

    I wonder what others think for this too!

  3. It’s also important to consider the audience’s reaction, too. In separate conversations with circuit benders Pete Edwards and Ted Read, they mentioned the audience’s reaction to seeing and hearing these material icons of their youth. This is one of the reasons why the Speak and Spell is such a popular toy to bend and perform (it’s also easier to bend, too). The familiar 4-toned power up chime gets the attention of the audience, and they wait to see what will happen.

    This pretty much supports what your saying.

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