Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Come On, Feel the Noise 

For all your circuitry needs, the Web's the place

Circuit-bent instrumentation in popular music acts is hard to find. Add N to X, Nine Inch Nails and Tom Waits are all reputed to use bent toys, but the only act in our memory to grace St. Louis with a live demonstration is Sonic Boom. Short of building your own little monsters (which, you know, is what you're supposed to do), how can you get a taste of this beautiful noise?

· You can download a simulated circuit-bent Speak & Spell -- compressed in a .zip file -- from the Web at Suitable for Macintosh and Windows, the simulator is constructed as an HTML page that plays in a window of your browser directly from your hard drive. It has few features that give the user much control -- most notably it lacks a loop switch, and of course body contacts are impossible here -- but you can definitely freak out all your co-workers to the outside limits of your satisfaction.

· MP3 files are available on many Web sites. See and for dozens of connections. Be advised that few of these sound files are actual songs. Their primary purpose is to share examples of quality glitches.

· The album/book combo Gravikords, Whirlies & Pyrophones (1998, Ellipsis Arts) is an excellent introduction to the galaxy of experimental musical instruments and includes a five-minute excerpt from Qubais Reed Ghazala's circuit-bent symphony Silence the Tongues of Prophecy.

· Ghazala's Web site,, is ground zero for circuit-bending philosophy and practice.

· To pick up tips or share information about your own experiments, will be your virtual campus lounge.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Jay A. Babcock

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 15th, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation