Loops, Boops, Dips, Zaps, and Blue Men


We’re playing around with DIY Music at Make: with our best week yet, full of the best of everything you could imagine:


If you missed yesterday’s fantastic, phenomenal, “best-hangout-ever” with the one and only Reggie Watts, don’t despair! We’ve tucked it away in the Maker Camp Hall of Fame on YouTube to watch now and again whenever you need a pick-me-up to remind you about what’s important, or a glimpse into one man’s creative engine. All of us at Maker Camp HQ are still abuzz with what a great time our campers had with him. He performed an original piece for us, “a brand-new performance, all the way from where I am, currently.” He showed off two of his favorite tools for building his richly layered musical pieces (photos above) and, after telling us about how he didn’t really fit in as a kid growing up in Montana who loved mysteries, science fiction, and period pieces with ladies sipping tea, he offered lots of welcome advice, like:

Whatever makes you happy, that’s the right road that you should be on. So, whatever it is, if you’re doing something that people are making fun of you for, don’t worry about it, and realize that some of the most important people in history, of all time, were people who were very different and had a lot of problems on their road to becoming who they were. You have to follow what makes you happy. … And find people who see you for who you are … once you find a group of friends like that, man it is the BEST. It’s like Maker Camp! You guys are all are surrounded by all the people you want to be around.

OK, sure he gave us a huge pat on the back there, but the whole show was like this. Camp Director Paloma wrote to me after the hangout yesterday with words that I hope convey how much she wholeheartedly recommends this hangout:

I’ve done a lot of hangouts and many of them have gone well, but none of them have felt as important and genuine as the hangout today. Reggie Watts is an inspiring creator who carries the making spirit in everything he does. This interview was sincere and covered both the technical side of creating live looping music as well as larger themes of collaboration and diversifying interests.

We didn’t want this hangout to end, and neither will you!

YouTube player

Boops, Dips, and Zaps

The rest of this week definitely “goes to 11.” What a lineup!

Today we’re headed to Skywalker Sound (yes, up to the Ranch!) to meet Kyrsten Mate. Kyrsten makes her living building realistic soundscapes inside the movies that emerge from Industrial Light & Magic. She’ll show us some of the tricks of the trade: a surprisingly simple hack to get the voice of an alien, and how to layer lots of sounds to build an aural space. Listen deeply and travel to a faraway fantasy world with us!

Midweek we go MaKey MaKey Music with co-inventor Eric Rosenbaum. Eric returns to Maker Camp (check him out on LEGO Day for Maker Camp 2013) to show off everything from a water bucket-based Dance Dance Revolution, to a staircase octave, to musical paintings. Everything is an instrument when you listen to the world with the ears of JoyLabz Maker dream team! Eric is joined by Beau Silver, brother of the other MaKey MaKey co-inventor, Jay Silver (who made a banana piano with OKGo’s Damian last year). And their friend Kelly Snook, a London-based engineer who tested some of Eric and Jay’s early MaKey MaKey prototypes, will share her work, including those amazing gloves Imogen Heap told us about last year!

Then on Thursday, the last of our “ordinary” hangouts during this extraordinary week, Joe diPrima of Maker Faire’s most popular and rippin’ band, ArcAttack! tears apart the stage … with physics! Tesla coils ROCK! Plus, we get another great episode of Sam + Joe’s Corner, produced by teenaged brothers.

Blue Men

On Friday, you will not want to miss the exclusive tour Blue Man Group will take with Maker Camp. You may know that Blue Man Group turbo-charges its show in Las Vegas with electrifying music, sensational technology, and innovative new ways of interacting with the audience. We will have an unprecedented amount of backstage and behind-the-scenes access to the famous Las Vegas stage production, with performers and technicians unveiling secrets about the mysterious world that characterizes Blue Man Group, and see how their wildly inventive musical instruments are created. Amazing!


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Michelle, or Binka, makes . While at Maker Media, she oversaw publications, outreach, and programming for kids, families, and schools. Before joining Maker Media in 2007, she worked at the Exploratorium, in Mitchel Resnick’s Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, and as a curriculum designer for various publishers and educational researchers. When she’s not supporting future makers, including her two young sons, Binka does some making of her own, most often as a visual artist.

View more articles by Michelle "Binka" Hlubinka


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