Breadboard Band LIVE!

While creativity continues to flourish in workshops across the Rave campus, an exchange student from IAMAS (Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Sciences, Japan) prepares for a unique live electronic improvisational music performance (with DIY wiring)...

Its 1pm. Shoesei Oishi set's up his rig in a classroom, unbeknown to the student community that he will soon be broadcasting audio to a Yokohama. This broadcast will be in collaboration with his fellow Breadboard Band members, who are now also setting up their rig at an exhibition space in Yokohama. Shosei will be contributing his world known scratch techniques to the live mix through his hacked ipod interface.

Now 8pm in Japan, the other Breadboard Band members appear through an i-chat window on Shosei's laptop. A crowd seem to be gathering in the gallery as people eagerly await this rare and very special performance of the internationally known band.

Apparently this is the band's first cyber-performance, their setup usually being a much more conventional 4-piece setup. So we keep are fingers crossed that they will pull this off. So far, so good.

Shosei's setup is a beautiful mess of cables, wires and technological gadgetry. A webcam is connected to his laptop, interfacing us in the classroom with his colleagues and exhibition audience in Yokohama. Line in: a mixer controls the sound levels. Line out: a monitor allows us to hear the sounds produced. Then there's the breadboard, the backbone of this setup, connecting to the mixer. This board is perforated with a matrix of connector holes, to which Shosei will perform "On-the-fly Wiring" - inserting electronic components into these holes in order to build a prototype of an electronic circuit. A Linux installed ipod connects to either a sinewave generator or a mixer on the breadboard. The ipod is then used to scratch with the sound sample he chooses.

The idea behind Shosei's Breadboard Band is musical performance through use of freely constructed electronic circuits. Audio and visual expression is produced through the act of actually showing electronic components of an instrument while directly touching and forming the electronic circuit (discovering new sounds) by hand.

The Breadboard Band attempts to subvert the use of conventional black-box electronic musical instruments and computers. This can be considered the hardware version of software programming.

Unfortunately, before I had a chance to really see the Breadboard Band in action, the band members in Yokohama lose their connection, as was always feared...so for now I am restricted to seeing their performances from the video clips on their website which are definitely worth a look all the same. Check out Japan's hottest new property at:

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