Circuit–Bent Speak & Spell


Electronically modified educational toy

Rabato introduces toys and instruments electronically modified using the circuit bending technique into his performances and compositions. These include a lot of 1980s toys with readily manipulatable circuits and Casio keyboards from the same decade. One of these classic toys is the famous Speak & Spell which was fi rst commercialised by Texas Instruments in 1974. Revolution 8, a track on Wanna Hld Yr Handheld, Vol.1, a tribute album to The Beatles by 8bit Operators, gives a good idea of the sound of these instruments and toys. This version of Revolution 9 from the White Album is composed entirely by circuit bending modifi ed instruments and toys. Once entering the absorbing world of circuit bending, it was inevitable to continue along the path of DIY, leading to the creation of circuits, modules or instruments from integrated circuits and all kinds of electronic components. This discipline is truly extensive and ranges from creating simple sound generators right through to the construction of big modular synthesisers. Internet has been a huge push forward thanks to forums and websites with info on developing all kinds of projects.