"The Synth Kit that just hit the market originated a year ago, at a TED conference where Bdeir and comedian/musician Reggie Watts met backstage after giving talks, and started discussing the idea of littleBits musical instruments."
Bram Bos, maker of easy-to-use programs for making electronic music, has released all his old software for free download. Get some free VST instruments and samples from KVR Audio and make some music, or at least download Hammerhead and make some beats!
The Automata Blog is packed full of interesting images, videos and information about all kinds of amazing automata, cool machines, mechanical music, orchestrions and kinetic sculptures. This month's focus is the history of vintage Japanese tin toy robots and the toy robot paintings by Steven Skollar.
Have you ever seen a synth and said "Man, what this needs is cartoon eyes?" A bit similar to the Buchla Box or theremin in that they don't have a keyboard to control the sounds -- it's probably closest to the Booper, invented by The Weatherman from Negativland (or, well, Circuit Bending), the Thingamagoop is a photosynthesizer... which means it basically uses light sensors to generate sounds. The signal's run through a couple oscillators and, well, it comes out as somethin' that's pretty dang awesome. I'm on the fence on pickin' this one up. On one hand, it's a really neat toy that makes noise... on the other hand, um.... um.... I dunno. It's not made of candy?
"Circuit bending is the electronic art of the implementation of the creative audio short-circuit. This renegade path of electrons represents a catalytic force capable of exploding new experimental musical forms forward at a velocity previously unknown. Anyone at all can do it; no prior knowledge of electronics is needed." - Reed Ghazala. More proselytizing from Ghazala, and a LiveJournal for up-to-the-minute advice, feedback and opinions.
Toy Symphony: A project from the MIT Media Lab, developing new instruments like the networked Beatbugs and squeezable Shapers. There's their composition software Hyperscore, free for downloading, as well as sample scores to play. This morning's Wall Street Journal (page D10, upper left corner) reports that Fisher-Price will be releasing a commercial version soon (though of Hyperscore or the instruments, it's not entirely clear... I'd like a Beatbug!).