Once in a long while an exciting new field of art is born. A field
so accessible and so productive as to send waves of new artists into
their studios and workshops around the world. Circuit-bending is just
such a field... a specific system of chance electronic design toward
the creation of experimental musical instruments. A system structured,
in fact, so that anyone at all can create their own fantastic instruments
while needing to know nothing at all about electronic theory.
Reed Ghazala, in falling upon and naming the field, in publishing, teaching
and demonstrating the instruments, has established this powerful new
frontier... mind-blowing in the (anti) theory it advances and simply
stunning in its output.
A small part of this output will be remembered in the hand-made Ghazala
These instruments have quickly become the cornerstones of this eccentric
exploration system rising right now in our midst... a system of creating
fantastic new music engines: incredibly alien, often aleatoric, and
always mind-expanding. Ghazala's circuit-bent instruments have without
a doubt launched an original, grass-roots and widely followed art wherein
musical realities are pressed further literally by the day.
It is customary to look back to the founding works of such fields and
see them, in hindsight, as distant and inaccessible masterworks. Already
recognized as masterworks, the original Ghazala instruments are offered
right now, and only here at anti-theory.com.
Times have changed; accessibility is stressed for meaning. Isn't cyberspace
The Ghazala instruments in the following galleries are an outgrowth
of the designer's written article series "Circuit-Bending and Living
Instruments" donated to Experimental Musical Instruments magazine (EMI)
and published from 1992 - '98. These twenty articles launched the creation
of circuit-bent instruments everywhere, but also generated many inquiries
as to the possibility of simply commissioning the Ghazala instruments.
In answering these requests, Ghazala designed for the public a series
of circuit-bent experimental instruments to stand as strong examples
of the art.
Ghazala's mission, consistent from the start, has been to teach, for
free, the technique behind the instruments. Persons visiting the site
for this reason will find the largest section onsite devoted to just
that: building for yourself your own circuit-bent instruments. Please
see the how-to section for details.
However, for the many people who want to own and play the original instruments
that established the field, hand-made by Ghazala himself, we offer the
following. Not only are these the planet's finest circuit-bent musical
instruments, they are clearly the masterworks the field will be best
The handwork of all famed electronic instrument designers is highly
regarded. Ghazala's instruments, each elaborately finished as an individual
art piece, are considered to be exceptional examples of such work. But
in addition to this, the Ghazala inventions are also extra-instrument.
They represent not only new instruments, but also, a new process of
discovery... a new art. A movement, in fact, in experimental electronic
Musical boundaries are set to question here as this new instrumentarium
demands attention: too alien to recognize, yet too musical to be ignored.
Musicians, composers and theorists take note -- there is a new bird
in the woods!
While Ghazala's work can be found in our finest museums and the personal
collections of the planet's most renowned musicians, the standard instruments
below are priced to keep them available to anyone who's ever paid for
"home studio" equipment. The value of the Ghazala instruments, however,
will go up!
We hope you'll enjoy browsing the following galleries. Even if you're
not interested in owning a Ghazala instrument, the descriptions and
soundfiles will help illuminate the art and its musicality.
And be sure to visit the "how-to" section to learn, for free, how to
build the instruments yourself! Anyone can do it. Honest.