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date: 16 November 2019

Ghazala, Qubais Reed locked

  • Laurence Libin

Extract

(b Cincinnati, OH, Sept 20, 1953). American artist, musician, and self-taught experimental instrument builder, active in Cincinnati. He has been called the ‘father of circuit bending’, a process he discovered and named in 1966 or 1967 when a toy 9-volt transistor amplifier shorted out in his desk drawer, emitting a strange electronic sound. Ghazala derived the noun ‘circuit bending’ from ‘mind bending’, a popular 1960s locution. The process of circuit bending arose from his observation of the original amplifier’s accidental transformation into an oscillator; aleatoric processes remain central to his work in other media as well (e.g. mobiles and dye-migration photography). He also coined the term ‘BEAsape’, or ‘BioElectronicAudiosapien’, reflecting the use of a human body as a variable resistor within a circuit. In most of his bent instruments the sonic output is unpredictable, but he has also designed original circuits following standard protocols, as for his Photon Clarinet and various insect- and human-voice synthesizers; not all produce random sounds....

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