Handmade Electronic Music, Ed. 3

Contributor Chapter: Handmade Sound Communities by Lisa Kori and Dave Novak

book cover of Handmade Electronic Music, cover image features many hands resting on a table surrounded by DIY electronics


With co-author David Novak, I contributed a chapter in the third edition of Handmade Electronic Music by Nicolas Collins. Our chapter an provides overview of various communities, profiling 'do-it-together' (DIT) approaches to art, alternatives to the 'do-it-yourself' (DIY) ethos championed by makers.

We focus on:

  • Sound-making communities in the Global South, particularly Latin America and Indonesia.
  • Organizations oriented toward diverse participants, especially those who identify as female and non-binary.
  • Handmade sound art that addresses social themes such as inequality, enviromental degradation, technological obselescence and lack of infrastruture.
  • Spaces for artmaking that shift focus away from the commodification of cultural practice.

The material in the chapter builds on my previous field work from The Medium and the Mayhem.

David Novak is an ethnomusicologist and author of numerous publications, including the book Japanoise, which traces the "cultural feedback" of noise between Japan and the United States.

From the publisher: "Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking provides a long-needed, practical, and engaging introduction to the craft of making—as well as creatively cannibalizing—electronic circuits for artistic purposes. With a sense of adventure and no prior knowledge, the reader can subvert the intentions designed into devices such as radios and toys to discover a new sonic world. You will also learn how to make contact microphones, pickups for electromagnetic fields, oscillators, distortion boxes, mixers, and unusual signal processors cheaply and quickly. At a time when computers dominate music production, this book offers a rare glimpse into the core technology of early live electronic music, as well as more recent developments at the hands of emerging artists.

This revised and expanded third edition has been updated throughout to reflect recent developments in technology and DIY approaches. New to this edition are chapters contributed by a diverse group of practitioners, addressing the latest developments in technology and creative trends, as well as an extensive companion website that provides media examples, tutorials, and further reading."

Link to the book on the Routledge website: Handmade Electronic Music