Digital Soundlab Orchestra

Electronic Avant-Garde, Danger Music

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“Circuit Burning” is the creative destruction of the circuits within electronic musical instruments usually through the use of fire or explosives. The sound produced by the collapse and eventual failure is captured, amplified and often recorded. Unlike “circuit bending” where the focus is on enhancing the capabilities of an instrument or toy (and perhaps increasing its value – either financial or aesthetic), the art of “Circuit Burning” centers the act of ruination, subversion and documentation of the final electronic breath. In soe cases, Circuit Burners use electronic looping technology to prolong the final moments of disintegration.

For safety reasons, Circuit Burners generally follow the standard of carrying 2 circuit burner toolkits, each of which consists of a Bernzomatic safety torch, Kidde chemical fire extinguisher, Gerber folding shovel, 3M safety goggles, a pair of Hobart fire safety gloves, a Honda EU1000 generator, an auxiliary circuit breaker and LED safety lights. When performers are recruited to play melting instruments, they are generally outfitted with ZETEX fire proximity suits.

While some electronic instrument manufacturers attempt to maintain “green” practices or levy “e-waste” taxes, none consider the specific demise of their product. It is for this reason that Circuit Burners adopt the responsibility for the device’s voice at the end of its life. Not only are experimental sounds created beyond the vision of manufacture, but a platform for discussion on the life and death of machinery is established.

The “Digital Sound Lab Orchestra” has already made a name for itself with its live circuit bending performances. It’s first circuit burning sound installation piece “Das Todesröcheln Der Orgel” was curated by Trevor Henthorn and version 1.0 was presented at The Unusual Encounter Experimental Arts Festival 2011.


DSL at Unusual Encounter