New American Instruments @ HARPY Gallery
“I wanted to discover new worlds of sound, but first I had to build my ship.” - Digbee
This week, artist and musician Digbee exhibits handmade electronic musical instruments at HARPY Gallery in Rutherford NJ.New American Instruments presents the first formal showcase of Digbee's one of a kind “Music Machines” developed in his New Jersey country cottage industry, “Selfish 60 Studio.”
Built with a craftsman's care and a folk artist's regard for discarded materials, these devices contain hand-built electronic circuits used in the creation of what he calls “Scribble Tape Music.”
The exhibition opens July 20th from 6-9PM in Rutherford, NJ, and coincides with the release of his new book called Cyber Folk: Digbee's Electronic Chronicle, which gives a thorough look into his unique and highly personal approach to electronic instrument building, an approach that is many things: naïve, enthusiastic, sincere, alien, and familiar.
This strangely futuristic yet primitive work-journal contains tons of data, beautiful photos, schematics, building techniques, and the inside stories behind many of Digbee most beloved instruments. Within are never-before-published photos and stories of the work from Craig Anderton, Charles Cohen, Michael Johnsen, and Nautical Almanac's Twig Harper and Carly Ptak. Peppered throughout the book are examples of connected imagery from comic books and science fiction illustration.
This book was not written for a specific niche, anyone with a curious mind and interest in musical electronics, experimental music, art, and craft will find a place of connection. An exclusive flexi-disk (phonograph record made of a thin, flexible vinyl sheet) is included in the back of the book. The disk includes a song made using all instruments featured in the book and was specifically recorded for Cyber Folk.
Text and Images courtesy of the artist and HARPY gallery.
Video shot and edited by Khyber Jones.
New American Instruments is on view at HARPY Gallery from July 20th, through August 10, 2019.