Led by Nicolas Collins
12 - 16 January 2021 at the Bristol Watershed

Hardware hacking, Creative Abuse, Circuit Bending whatever you know it as, this is the modification of an item of studio or domestic audio equipment that alters or subverts its intended use or behaviour for the purpose of producing a specific musical outcome, or for the purpose of producing entirely unpredictable results. This is a hardware hacking course for audio applications led by a master of the art. No previous electronic experience is assumed. Basic soldering skills will be learned through building contact microphones and audio cables before opening up a range of battery powered consumer technology (radio's, toys) observing the effect of direct hand contact on the circuit boards, experimenting with the substitution of components, and listening to unheard signals running through the circuit. Theoretical knowledge acquired through this process will be applied to building circuits from scratch (oscillators, amplifiers, fuzztones etc.) both from documented designs and as invented by you.

The acquisition of basic electronic hand tools is required (soldering iron, stripper, pointed pliers, test meter etc.) to participate in this course.


New York born and raised Nic Collins studied composition with Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University, worked for many years with David Tudor, and has collaborated with numerous soloist and ensembles around the world. From 1992-95 he was Visiting Artistic Director of Stichting STEIM (Amsterdam), and in 1996-97 a DAAD composer-in-residence in Berlin. Since 1997 he has been editor-in-chief of the Leonardo Music Journal. In 1999 he joined the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is currently Chair of the Department of Sound.

Booking for this course is now open and we would appreciate early registration to enable advanced course materials to be exchanged. For further information
E: gill@watershed.co.uk To book with the Watershed box office T: 0117 927 5100

Hardware Hacking is run by Sonic Arts Network with support from the Watershed


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