Welcome to Bare Bends! >From the moment
Reed began writing his EMI article series there came a common request...
"Could you just add the circuit bending switches to a (anything you
can imagine) if I send it to you?"
This design service, Bare Bends, is now available for all three Incantors
(Speak&Spell, Speak&Read, Speak&Math), the Trigon Incantor (Touch&Tell),
and the SA2 Aleatron (Casio SA-2 mini-keyboard).
Once Reed receives the target device from you it is then powerfully
bent to his time-tested specs.
While unpainted, and lacking the elaborate control arrays you'll see
in the other galleries of these music engines, the Bare Bends versions
use the very best of Reed's circuitry from the more complex models.
The resulting instruments are very solid examples of circuit bending's
alien character and unexpected musicality.
More from Reed's interview with Eric Cook of Allsound.org:
"I do routinely get reports of other designer's bends failing in the
field. Especially with Incantors. This is to be expected; it happened
to me too until all the circuit variants in the different series become
familiar (Speak and Reads, for example have five main variants, all
with different wiring needs). The wrong bends, or some bends switched
on in combination, can eventually fry an instrument. I've now decades
behind the many designs I offer. The bare bends series will represent
a super-stable, fully-functioning and economical bent instrument collection
for persons to work with."
The Bare Bends versions contain the following controls.
Bare Bends Incantors
All three Bare Bends Incantors include the exact same bending array:
three bending switches (for initiating chance music and such), two looping
switches (momentary and hold), master clock control (for pitch setting),
gold-plated RCA output, reset switch, and body contact (touch for pitch
bending). $350 plus shipping.
Bare Bends Trigon Incantor
The Bare Bends Trigon Incantor controls include three bending switches
(for initiating chance music and such), master clock control (for pitch
setting), gold-plated RCA output, reset switch and body contact (touch
for pitch bending). Also included is a swath of textured black stage
material (can be trimmed to fit if preferred to original overlays),
and a vial of beads for setting the hidden stage switches. Steel balls
are not included in the Bare Bends version, but you can use any heavy
sphere(s) to position on the stage for triggering the sounds (glass
balls, stone, such, are available at gift shops, rock shops... any smooth
curved object with enough weight works). Pressing the stage by hand
works as well. $350 plus shipping.
Bare Bends SA2 Aleatron
The Bare Bends SA2 Aleatron controls include a precision (short throw)
triggering switch (for tripping the standard logic routines into chance
tone and music production), a trimmer dial (for setting the strength
of the trigger pulse), two body contacts (bridge these with fingertips
to gently increment the chance sequences), and a gold-plated RCA output.
$350 plus shipping.
All five of these now-extinct circuits can still be found here and there.
If not in your local second hand outlet (Goodwill, Salvation Army, AmVets,
St. Vincent DePaul) or yard sales and flea markets, there's always Ebay.
Devices sent for bending must work perfectly in the first place, need
to be insured by you in transit, and shipped in a very secure box with
sufficient packing material (it is in this box the finished instrument
will be returned to you).