Last month, HACMan held a music hack day – an opportunity for people to come along and have a go at soldering and electronics, with some music-related kits which we’d devised. This was the first event of this type which we’d organised, and got off to a slightly delayed start as we ironed out a few problems getting the kits ready. But we had a good turn-out and everyone was in good spirits.
We had three kits available, a Theremin-like device which created musical notes which you play by waving your hand over it, a mini version of the Stylophone (the device made famous by Rolf Harris), and a Drawdio which uses the conductive carbon in a pencil drawing to make noises.
After a brief introduction, and a soldering tutorial for those who’d not done it before, the kit-making commenced with gusto. The Theramin was the most popular kit, but they were all seized upon with eager hands.
Later on, after a lunch break, Amanda from the Aeolus Outreach program gave us a demonstration of the Tonoscope – a device, which you can make yourself, which creates patterns using the sound of your voice or an electronic signal generator. She also spoke about the Aeolus – a sonic sculpture by artist Luke Jerram, which resonates and sings in the wind. It goes on tour this summer, along with a programme of interactive workshops, talks, and demonstrations – designed to inspire curiosity and wonder about sound and acoustics.
So all in all, it was a fantastic and educational day, with some healthy musical mind expansion. It was brilliant to see so many people, both simply curious & expert minds come together and hack some music. HacMan meet up every Wednesday at MadLab, and also have a HackDay once a month on a Sunday at MadLab, where you can bring along any and all hacking projects you are harbouring. See you there!