Author: tonyyoungblood

Circuit Benders’ Ball 2019 Lineup and Schedule

Circuit Benders’ Ball, August 24th & 25th, 2019 at Little Harpeth Brewing, 30 Oldham St, Nashville, TN 37213

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The Circuit Benders’ Ball is a biennial celebration of hardware hacking, creative coding, and the DIY spirit. We present a genre-fluid festival that unites the maker with the performer, people who seek more than what’s in front of them in art and music. With nearly a decade of events, the Ball continues to be a beacon of the weird, the under-represented, and the experimental.


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@ Adventure Science Center, 800 Fort Negley Blvd, Nashville, TN 37203.

All ages. Tickets sold online and at the door, subject to availability. Advance tickets highly recommended.

Saturday, August 24:

  • 11:00am-12:30pm: Alien Instrument Basics with Sophia Gordon-Stevens, $20, bring a toy to bend
  • 12:30pm-1:30pm: Modular Synthesis 101 Panel with Hyasynth House, FREE
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm: Learn P5.js Creative Code with Robbie Lynn Hunsinger, $25
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm: Remembering You’re Human as a Tech Creative: Self Care Skills, Techniques and “Feelosophy” with Cynthia Cardenas, $10

See below for workshop descriptions.


Little Harpeth Brewing, 30 Oldham St, Nashville, TN 37213

18+. Tickets sold online and at the door. Cancellations: M.U.A.D and Kent Osborne.

Saturday, August 24:

Doors open at 6:00pm

Sunday, August 25:

Doors open at 3:00pm

Block Schedule
Printable Schedule

Purchase Tickets

Workshop descriptions:

Adventure Science Center, 800 Fort Negley Blvd, Nashville, TN 37203.

All ages. Tickets sold online and at the door, subject to availability. Advance tickets highly recommended.

Alien Instrument Basics with Sophia Gordon-Stevens

Saturday, August 24, 11am-12:30pm, $20, limited to 8 people, bring a musical toy

  • This workshop aims to create an accessible approach to common obstacles faced in the art of circuit bending. Participants will be asked to bring along a simple battery powered toy that makes sound. During the workshop they will open it up for the first time and we will discuss its potential; troubleshoot any issues, cover the basic components, SMD resistors, finding the right materials, searching for bends, and how they can improve their search for bendable toys.

Modular Synthesis 101 Panel with Hyasynth House

Saturday, August 24, 12:30pm-1:30pm, FREE

  • Join Hyasynth House and other CBB performers as we discuss the Eurorack modular format that is the most configurable hardware-wise in the electronic realm. A great entry-level session for interested parties.

Learn P5.js Creative Code with Robbie Lynn Hunsinger

Saturday, August 24, 1pm-3pm, $25, limited to 12 people, bring a laptop, smart phone, or tablet

  • Robbie Lynn Hunsinger will be teaching the p5.js creative code program to a small class as part of the Circuit Benders’ Ball festivities. P5.js is an accessible javascript coding framework for artists, makers, designers, educators, and beginners. P5.js is inspired and based on the classic coding framework Processing but it is updated for online deployment. This workshop will use the p5.js online editor and examples so there are no downloads or installations to worry about. Just bring WIFI capable smart phones, tablets or laptops and we will start coding! More information on p5.js can be found here:

Remembering You’re Human as a Tech Creative: Self Care Skills, Techniques and “Feelosophy” for Your Well-Being and Creativity with Cynthia Cardenas

Saturday, August 24, 3pm-4pm, $10

  • Stretches, body awareness exercises, relaxation techniques, and plenty of educational info. Plus giveaways!

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Want to Play Circuit Benders’ Ball? Submit by June 1st

Brain Lesion at the 2012 Circuit Benders’ Ball. Photo by Brandon Greer.

The Circuit Benders’ Ball takes place in Nashville, TN over the weekend of August 25 through 27, and we’re still looking for participants! If you’d like to perform, provide visual projections or electronic art, speak, teach, or volunteer, you need to apply by June 1 at 11:59pm.

Apply here.

The Circuit Benders’ Ball (or CBB) is a biennial celebration of hardware hacking, art, music, and the creative spirit, hosted in Nashville, TN since 2010. Find out more here.

Play with Strangers at Circuit Benders’ Ball “No Media” Fundraiser, May 20 at Drkmttr

As you probably know, the 2017 Circuit Bender’s Ball is happening August 25th through 27th in Nashville, TN. (By the way, we’re accepting applications for participants through June 1st.) On Saturday, May 20th at 8pm, Drkmttr will host a “mini” event to help raise funds for the Ball.

The event is called “No Media,” and the concept is simple. All attendees — yes, including you — bring something to perform with. The No Media Tumblr explains the rest:

Participating artists are randomly matched in sets of 3 and given 10mins to perform. NO MEDIA aims to bring together artists from a broad range of performable disciplines (poets + dancers + expanded cinemaistas + free jazzers + audio/video noise makers + etc) to challenge the conventions of their practice by responding in realtime to artists from other disciplines.

NO preparation is allowed. Bring your tools, devices, instruments, props, etc., but you’ve got to start with a blank slate. NO time will be allotted for ‘setup’. There will be a 2min turn around time where you can carry your stuff up and meet your collaborators. NO documentation allowed. It happens once and in realtime.

The idea was conceived by Chicago glitch artists Jason Soliday, Nick Briz, and Jeff Kolar. The May 20 event is organized by CBB director Tyler Blankenship.

We will be accepting donations that will go toward CBB, and we’ll also have rare posters and merch for sale.

I’ve participated in a few No Media events in the past. They are enormous fun and a great way to meet new people. Don’t miss it!

More info on the Facebook event page.

2017 CBB No Media Fundraiser
Saturday, May 20, 8pm to 11pm
@ Drkmttr, 4003 Indiana Ave, Nashville, Tennessee 37209

Tickets Now on Sale for 2017 Circuit Benders’ Ball!

The Circuit Benders’ Ball — the biennial festival of hardware hacking, art, music, and the creative spirit — is coming back to Nashville in 2017. The fest takes place August 25th through 27th, and pre-sale tickets are now live! Tickets for the three-day festival are normally $15 per day or $45 for the whole weekend, but if you buy in advance, you can get a full weekend badge for only $35. The badge gets you into all festival concerts, panels, and presentations. Workshops carry an additional charge that will be announced closer to the fest.

Buy your badge at the following link, but hurry. There are a limited number of pre-sale badges, and they will sell out.

Buy Circuit Benders’ Ball Pre-sale Badge


Circuit Benders’ Ball Announces 2017 Festival Dates, Call for Performers

I’m happy to announce that the Circuit Benders Ball will be coming back to Nashville, August 25th to 27th, 2017!

Submissions are now open for performers, visual artists, multimedia artists, presenters, workshop instructors, and volunteers. To apply, head on over to the brand spankin’ new website, built by CBB participant Morgan Higby-Flowers.

The Ball will take place at the East Nashville art collective The Complex. We’re still working out the details and will provide an address and showtimes soon. Tyler Blankenship will be taking over as Festival Director for 2017.

This Month’s Make Nashville Meetup is All About Circuit-Bending

Make Nashville is a local maker’s group that recently launched an East Nashville makerspace. Each month, they host a public meetup centered around a particular topic. This month, the topic is circuit-bending!

What the heck is circuit-bending? It’s the art of re-purposing old electronic toys and transforming them into musical and visual instruments. Here’s the Wikipedia entry.

If you dabble in bending, bring your creations to show off. If not, come learn about the practice. Tyler Blankenship will be on hand to talk about the 2017 Circuit Benders’ Ball and Modular Art Pods @ Queen Ave.

The FREE meeting happens August 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the makerspace, which is located at 947 Woodland St, Nashville, TN. It’s also a great opportunity to tour the space and inquire about membership. More info at the event page.

Intro to Circuit Bending class at the 2012 Circuit Benders' Ball. Photo by Angelina Castillo.

Intro to Circuit Bending class at the 2012 Circuit Benders’ Ball. Photo by Angelina Castillo.

Circuit Benders’ Ball Announces New Producer and Show Date

Tyler Blankenship (left) films Carl Oliver (right) at CBB 2014. Photo by Skipp Frazier.

Tyler Blankenship (left) videotapes Carl Oliver (right) at CBB 2014. Photo by Skipp Frazier.

Hey everyone. Tony here. I have the great pleasure of announcing Circuit Benders’ Ball’s new producer, the person who will organize a team and produce the next festival. That person is…

Tyler Blankenship.

Tyler is a Nashville-based artist, musician, and filmmaker. He’s worked on past Circuit Benders’ Balls, organized many shows at Queen Ave, and participated in both Modular Art Pods. In October 2016, he will produce the first independently-run Modular Art Pods at Queen Ave. I’m confident that he will take Circuit Benders’ Ball to new heights.

And now to the festival date…

For the first three editions, CBB was biennial: 2010, 2012, and 2014. The next show was supposed to happen in 2016. But we decided to push the next show to 2017. This will give Tyler and his team the time needed to organize a phenomenal show. We don’t have an exact date set yet, but we know it will be in late 2017.

I will still be involved. For example, I look forward to researching potential performers and may even get to perform myself this round. But for 2017, Tyler Blankenship will take the lead, and I’m excited for all that he will bring to the festival.


Tony Youngblood
CBB Founder

Circuit Benders’ Ball 2016 Seeks New Producer


Circuit Benders’ Ball is a biennial celebration of hardware hacking, free culture, art, and the creative spirit. I’ve been running the show since the festival’s inception in 2010. The three-day event at Fort Houston in 2014 was our biggest and best yet. We have a venue lined up for September 2016, and we’re preparing to send out calls for participants. There’s just one thing we need:

A new producer.

I’ve reached the unfortunate conclusion that with all the other things on my plate, most notably Modular Art Pods @ OZ, I won’t be able to devote the time necessary to put on CBB. I’d still like to pitch in, perhaps even finally perform at the fest, but I’m looking for someone else to take the reins. So, what would this involve?

The 2016 CBB producer would be responsible for:

  • Assembling the lineup of performers, visual artists, workshop teachers, and presenters.
  • Fundraising. Seeking money through sponsorships, funding drives, pre-sales, etc.
  • Building a team of volunteers to help with all aspects of the show.
  • Negotiating and fulfilling payment/travel expenses with the venue and artists.
  • Finding places for the touring artists to stay.
  • Promotion.

I won’t lie. The hardest part is the money. The organizing side of CBB has always been all-volunteer, from the producer to the visual art directors to the sound engineers to the ticket takers. After expenses, all of the funds have gone to the touring performers, although never as much as they deserve … and never enough to properly compensate the local performers. We’d love for that to change this year.

This would also mean that you, the incoming producer, would also be volunteering your time. You may be able to strategize ways to increase revenue and allow enough for a producer’s salary. If you can make that happen and still fairly compensate the performers, more power to you.

I would make myself available to answer any of your questions and help out in any way I can.  You would have free rein to run the festival as you see fit, except for the following core rules:

  • Performances must involve circuit bending, creative coding, instrument building, or modular rigs (especially if the modules are homemade or heavily-modded). In the past, we’ve also included music made with Gameboys because of the homebrew cartridges.
  • Producers must be committed to inclusivity. Producers should seek out a diverse lineup of performers that include women, people of color, people with disabilities, and people in the LGBT communities.
  • The Code of Conduct should reflect that spirit of inclusivity by fostering a safe environment for all guests.

The new producer will be chosen by me and group of past CBB staff. A producer that lives in or near Nashville, TN is heavily preferred. If selected, you will produce the 2016 edition, and if all goes well, you’ll have the option to produce future editions. Interested parties should e-mail me at

Spotlight on Griffin Technology

Colin and Justin show off the Griffin Technology silent auction winnings.

Colin and Justin show off the Griffin Technology silent auction winnings.

The Circuit Benders’ Ball owes a huge debt of gratitude to our sponsor Griffin Technology. The tech manufacturer with headquarters just a few blocks from Fort Houston contributed the Studio Connect iPad recording interface and the Twenty audio amplifier for Airport Express for our silent auction. The auction earnings helped us bring out-of-town artists to the festival. Griffin also donated dozens of other products (like this smartphone-controlled helicopter) for our mailing list giveaway.

Griffin makes smartphone accessories, iPad and iPhone interfaces, music tools, and more. They have a long history of supporting maker-related groups and activities such as the Nashville Mini Maker Faire. We’re proud to be associated with such an innovative and forward-thinking local company. Nashville is lucky to have them.