Look+Listen to my most recent work

Below is a selection of my most recent work in instrument/device building, composition and performance, celectrate the intersection of composed and improvised glitch music. My practice brings together obsolete recording technologies — magnetic tape, floppy disk drives, primitive sampling devices, CD Players — which I circuit-bend and use in combination with my own hand-built electronics. The results range from notated compositions, immersive live performances, experimental electronic instruments and site-specific work.

UK Tour [2023]

In October 2023, I went on a mini tour of the UK playing at Ikectik Art Lab [London], Wavetable [Edinburgh] and NNNNN x Telegrafía Studios [London]. I also delivered a workshop building a Lo-Fi audio Sampler at Telegrafía Studios. Checkout my performance at Iklectik Art Lab below. You can see my other performances here

Difference Patterns #1 [2023]

Difference Patterns is the first in a series of compositional studies that explore the creative use and misuse of a circuit-bent portable CD player when paired with viola. Difference Patterns #1 features a musical fragment, first played by the viola, which forms the structure and musical material for the work. Whilst the viola is played live with reverb the CD contains a recording of this same musical fragment without reverb. The data and address pins of the CD player’s RAM chip, which is associated with the electronic shock/skip protection, have been wired to headers allowing short circuits to be created by patching them directly to each other or to momentary switches. During the performance the CD player is ‘played’ by way of foot switches or tactile switches and, by activating a series of patches, the ordinarily linear playback of recorded audio is subverted resulting in the discman stuttering, producing rhythmic superimpositions, clicks, pops, and glitches. These usually undesirable sonic artefacts are celebrated, influencing the performance and forming a recursive process that shapes the structure and direction of the performance.

You can find out more about circuit-bending a discman here. I also presented this project at InMusic23, which you can watch below.

InMusic23 Presentation

[ESP] Electronic Short-Circuit Potentials [2022]

[ESP] Electronic Short-Circuit Potentials is a device that subverts the linear playback of compact audio discs by creatively short-circuiting a portable CD player’s built-in anti-skip circuitry (Electronic Shock Protection). This is achieved by wiring the address and data input/output pins of the anti-skip protection’s DRAM chip, along with VCC and Ground from the DRAM chip. The same modifications are used in Difference Patterns#1 but the controller is different.

//TRANSCRIPT// [2022]

//TRANSCRIPT// is a process-devised video sound art opera produced and directed by librettist Tammy Brennan with composers and musicians Vanessa Tomlinson, Timothy Tate and Leah Barclay. The artists teeter between recorded, improvised, composed music and performance in a strong and a deeply immersive listening and viewing experience.

Read more here

In //TRANSCRIPT// I performed with various circuit-bent technologies, including my circuit-bent discman (shown below), in a sound world that was devised by Vanessa Tomlinson, with contributions from myself (Timothy Tate) and Leah Barclay.

The Concentric Sampler [2022]

The Concentric Sampler is a modification of a 3.5″ floppy disk drive, which, in a crude sense, is a combination of a cassette deck and a floppy disk drive. It can record and playback audio from the magnetically coated disk that lives in the floppy disk. I’ve documented my progress and conceptual journey in some of my blog posts here. I presented the sampler in paper at NIME2022 which is titled: The Concentric Sampler: A musical instrument from a repurposed floppy disk drive; You can access the paper here.

NIME2022 Presentation

Physical Metaphysical [2021]

Here is my performance at Physical Metaphysical hosted by The Switchboard Collective at Vacant Assembly in Brisbane, May 2021. My aim was to transform a handful of short cassette tape loops, over a long arc of time, into a dark and complex soundworld, whilst maintaining thematic cohesion. I’m using an array of modded and handbuilt electronics including two voltage controlled tape players, a benjolin, a Boss RSD-10 and Boss RPS-10 microrack effects boxes. They’re all creatively patched into an array of audio and control feedback loops which makes for some wild moments! The Switchboard Collective: Physical Metaphysical, 28th May, 2021.

Recordings of various live performances

Timothy Tate · Live Electronic Sets