Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sonic Canvas

This a piece I created for a show at On The Skids called the "Sonic Canvas." I got the idea from my friend Adam at an opening at O.T.S. He had a piece in the show and he was touching another artists work. It sorta freaked me out. Being conditioned to think you should not touch another's art...though that is the purpose of my art work. Adam told me you have to touch the art to fully appreciate and understand what went into creating it. I was thinking about this interaction with Adam several days later and came up with the idea for the "Sonic Canvas." Just a blank white canvas that you touch, rub, and strike to play. This started another conversation in my head. Converting the process of creating a piece of art into a piece of music. I don't feel like an artist and I don't feel like a musician. I've always felt in between and hating the exclusionary attitude in both circles so heres this thing that exists in both that anyone can play, paint, draw, or sculpt on.

The canvas has has a piezo disc connected to the back of it that acts as an acoustic pick up. It converts vibrations into electricity! This small amount of electricity is amplified by a preamp circuit and then sent into a circuit bent Danelectro BLT Slap Back Echo. There is also an oscillator for more weird noises.

-Power on/off
-Delay Feedback
-Delay Time
-Oscillator on/off
-Oscillator pitch
-Oscillator mod knob (changes the way the oscillator sounds)


Video 1

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Art and Junk

I have an instrument at Assemble that will be on display January 3rd for Unblurred and I'm currently working on something I call the "Sonic Canvas" for a show at On The Skids January 10th.

Monday, December 1, 2014


Creating this instrument for the upcoming Hyperlocal show at Assemble Friday December 5, 2014! More info on the show here:


A video posted by Jonathan Hodges (@retroscientific) on

A video posted by Jonathan Hodges (@retroscientific) on

ECS: Hybrid Instruments/Game of Tones- Inspired by the work of Ken Butler

It's been a long time without an update. I've been teaching kids at the Environmental Charter School lot of fun things! One of the things we created were "Hybrid Instruments" inspired by Ken Butler. I met Ken when I was in high school and have been inspired by his work since I started creating weird musical instruments. In the class students used guitar/bass necks, and one violin to create one string musical instruments with body made out of recycled instruments. We then added D.C. motors to the instruments to strike their string. We then took the instruments and connected them to a keyboard to control the motors.


Demo Instrument I created for the class:
For the final 2 weeks of the class students designed and fabricated a structure out of the instruments they called "Game of Tones," The structure took the form of a throne and the instruments were connected to an organ bench. Students then added LED lights to each instrument so when their motor was activated a light would correspond with each instrument. Students also created two percussive elements to the structure that played cymbals in two different ways. We then connected all the motors and LEDs to a Guitar Hero guitar to control everything.