Duo make music with recycled toys

“The Akron Art Museum hosts Third Thursdays Concert and Cocktails every third Thursday night of each month. The first event was held in October, and the art museum will continue to host indoor concerts in its lobby until May. We are trying to attract young professionals, music fans, university students and people we don’t regularly see that spend most of their days in the downtown Akron area, said Alison Caplan, Associate Educator at the Akron Art Museum.”

The Akron Art Museum hosts Third Thursdays Concert and Cocktails every third Thursday night of each month.

The first event was held in October, and the art museum will continue to host indoor concerts in its lobby until May.

We are trying to attract young professionals, music fans, university students and people we don’t regularly see that spend most of their days in the downtown Akron area, said Alison Caplan, Associate Educator at the Akron Art Museum.

This month on Thursday November 20, 2008, the event will feature a live DJ Set and Circuit Bending Performance Demonstration by eclectic sound artists, Beatrix*JAR from 5-9 p.m.

The performance is free, and there will be a cash bar with happy hour specials open from 5:00-8:45 p.m. Also during this time there will be special sales in the museum store.

Bianca Pettis and Jacob Roske of Beatrix*JAR, have been featured at art galleries, festivals and night clubs all around the world, and are now coming to the Akron Art Museum for a fuzzy sound college dance party.

Audiences can expect a mix of grooving electronic beats, circuit bent sounds and samples that culminate in an uplifting sonic explosion that will keep your body thumping through the night, according to the Beatrix*JAR website.

Beatrix*JAR made their debut onto the music scene with their first album I Love You Talk Bird in 2006, and released their sophomore album Golden Fuzz in 2007.

Their unique sound is made by circuit bending, which involves taking apart and manipulating sounds from recycled battery-operated electronic children’s toys.

I learned about circuit bending through Minneapolis musician, FOODTEAM, said Roske. He taught me that these old machines had cool sounds hidden inside and they could be released with a piece of wire and soldering with an on/off switch. It blew my mind! It was instantaneous and inexpensive and I was immediately hooked. Soon after I was playing solo shows as JAR with circuit bent toys.

Roske met Pettis and opened her up to the world of circuit bending. It totally changed my concept of what music could be, said Pettis.

I never fell into line with being a traditional musician and found circuit bending to be cool because it’s empowering and really mostly about being experimental and playful.

The couple combined some of their own singing with circuit bending to create the original electronica sound listeners hear on their albums.

The duo from Minnesota spend a lot of their time on tour teaching circuit bending workshops to open up the world of electronic sound to the young and old alike.

We decided to teach circuit bending in addition to our musical performance on our first tour. We thought it would help others understand where we were coming from as sound artists. We also think circuit bending is a cool way to recycle and find new value in old toys and it’s an easy way to learn about electronics, Beatrix*JAR said.

They will be teaching a circuit bending workshop at the Akron Art Museum on Saturday November 22, 2008 from 1-3p.m., which has a fee.

No prior electronic experience is needed and it is something everyone can try.

On Thursday Nov. 20 the Akron Art Museum will host a night of new sound that will change your idea of music forever.