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The Noise Orchestra is an open ensemble of handmade, hand-wired, and hand-coded instruments. Anyone on planet Earth can be a member of the orchestra. No music experience required.


The Noise Jam is a participatory ritual. A way for the community to come together, away from the dramas, the mailing lists, the meetings, the talk. A way to bring together disparate, solo hacks into a unified collaboration.

We give shape and meaning to chaos. We transform noise into something which is not chaos. Noise as a path to creativity. A bridge. A noise bridge.

Some ask for a moment of silence; I ask for a moment of noise.


Join the Sound-Hacks mailing list, for music hacking discussion and announcements:

GitHub Repo[edit]



  • The 4th Performance of the Noise Orchestra.
  • A concert of handmade, hand-wired, and hand-coded instruments.


  • Saturday, August 10th, 2013.
  • Location: Noisebridge, the Mission, San Francisco.
  • Duration: about 15 minutes


To help to set up chairs, work with the PA, Recordist, Videographer, Photographer. Contact


This performance is a conceptual piece. There is no notated sheet-music, only descriptive instructions. The composer will conduct the performance.


  • Bedlam: During this movement, all instruments are encouraged to play loudly and raucously. Players should play with no regard for the other instruments, and should step on each other's sounds with gusto. Wake the audience up! 5 min.
  • Whisper: This movement will begin with the quietest instruments in the Orchestra. Throughout the movement, players are asked to play as quietly as possible, and to listen carefully to the other instruments. Lull the audience into a dreamlike state. 5 min.
  • Pulse: Players will play on and around a slow, steady pulse, increasing in tempo during the movement, until it ends in high-speed frenzy. Give the audience a heart attack. 5 min.


If you build your own instrument (of mineral, vegetable, circuitry, or code), then you've already passed the audition. No music experience required.


  • You must build or program your own instrument.
  • If not acoustic, be self-amplified (I do have some amps to lend).
  • Be able to play very quietly, and very loud.
  • No unaltered, pre-recorded music.

Instrument Suggestions:

Software, hardware (electronic), mechanical, metal, wood, traditional acoustic, percussive/rhythmic, tonal/melodic, atonal/unpitched, live processing of other instrument sounds during the performance, group-built instruments, circuit bending, hacked acoustic instruments, electro-acoustic (pickups or contact mics), flesh and bone, amplified vegetables.

Performance Etiquette:

  • Don't be continuously louder than everyone else.
  • Be silent more than you play
  • Play in just one pitch range-- high, middle, or low. Not all three (there are exceptions, depending on your instrument).
  • Don't dominate the sound-space (unless directed to).

(Note: this project is about good vibes and good humor. No drama please, and let’s not take ourselves too seriously  :)


  • Instrument Setup: 1pm
  • Rehearsal: 2pm
  • Stage setup: 8pm
  • Musicians report to stage: 8:30pm
  • Performance: 9pm

If you want to perform in this Noise Jam, contact ASAP.


Sunday, June 23rd, 2013, 8 pm[edit]

  • Location: in the Hackatorium, front room at Noisebridge, facing Mission Street.
  • Duration: about 15 minutes
  • Photographs -
  • Raw Hi-Def Video. Unedited, but organized by activity (circuit making with Johny Radio, circuit bending with Martin, skatchbox building with Tom Nunn, Ari's coding session, and Moldover's midi session). The files can be downloaded and used by anyone for anything. You'll get faster download speed inside Noisebridge.

  • Mexican Noise: Unplanned Noise Battle between a live mariachi guitarist and Mexican pop radio, witnessed at a local taqueria the same weekend as the Noise Jam.

Jamuary 2013 Jam[edit]

  • Hi-def video and hi-res audio files from the first Noise Jam, including media collected by Lx and Rick: