Q: Who all is Pan&tone?
Cristiano Rosa is Pan&tone. I live in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil. I’ve worked with experimental music since 1989, using wrinkled cassete tape collages, microphones and percussion with scrap iron.
Q: When did you first start Circuit Bending, and where did you learn how to Circuit Bend?
In 2005 I was invited to take part in a spectacle of audiovisual theater, where I had total freedom to try new forms of sonorous expression. In this show I played piano, trumpet and a toy accordion (I don’t know how to play any musical instrument and I have no idea of how to tune them), and I was little by little incorporating other elements, such as an old radio, that I open and touch the circuit with my fingers. In that same year I watched some clips from Derek Sajbel’s documentary “What is Circuit Bending?” – that was the impulse I needed to disassemble my Casio collection.
I ordered some books – Ghazala’s, Collins’ and basic electronics. I was always fascinated by synthesizers, especially modulars like Moog, ARP (I don’’t have any), so I tried to understand how to assemble one, learned a lot from the site musicfromouterspace.com, but I gave up . I developed a project for my SK1 and when Ghazala’s book arrived I implemented it, in the end was an interesting mixture. In 2006, after the spectacle season, I did my first show using circuit bending, samplers, and some synths. I have a collection of instruments as synths (Waldorf MicroQ, Dave Smith Evolver, Yamaha CS01), drum machines (Korg ER1, Roland TR707) samplers and effects (Korg Kaoss Pad, Roland SP404). I also have instruments of medical use: Bel Relax (electric pulse massage) and a Fetal Detector, that I try to integrate to my setup through CV or Gate.
Q: In your opinion how big is Circuit Bending in Brazil?
I believe that it’s only starting. I made some shows and workshops about Circuit Bending in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and didn’t find any Circuit Bending scene, I found only few people that knew about it.
Q: You were on Brazilian MTV, were you not?
Not really, I’ve never been on MTV.
I was invited to give an interview to the MTV Magazine about Circuit Bending. To me it was really odd, because in Brazil the magazine is directed to Rock. Even the photographer that came here take the pictures was surprise and asked me how I ended up in the central pages.
Q: Have you gotten any other exposure in Brazil or any where else?
I released a CD on an independent label from São Paulo – I made shows and lectures there, and gave an interview to a national TV Show (http://youtube.com/watch?v=rwRTtCOpXI4). I take part of a Festival called Música Livre and made four shows with these guys. I had the pleasure of playing with Colorir, ABesta , Koll Witz, and Zbigniew Karkowski, a master of Noise. I also am part of a net label called Antena (though I didn’t release any work with them yet), we made two shows together.
Q: Are you making any money playing shows or selling bent toys in Brazil?
My first idea was to build and sell my bended toys (I sold two). I changed my mind and now I offer my bending skills. In Brazil is a little hard to find cool toys to bend. I make some money with shows and selling my CDs and DVDs.
Q: You’re planning on touring soon…Where are you planning on going?
I am closing shows in Latin America (Argentina, Uruguai, Chile, Peru e Venezuela), and I am part of the exhibition Bienal B, in Porto Alegre, that takes part at the same time of the 6th Bienal of Mercosul – there I will make shows, talks and expositions. The group Colorir, that organizes the Música Livre Festival, is going to Chine next November, and they are taking with them one of my projects (an acoustic drum box with a loudspeaker as microphone), and I plan to go there myself in 2008.
Q: How could someone get a hold of you to get you to come out there way?
Through e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or at myspace.com/panetone. Every call is welcome. I can offer Circuit Bending advanced workshops, installations and shows at the same event – I’m open to suggestions.
Q: Are you looking for benders to tour Brazil…are we welcome any time?
Yes, for sure. I think it would be a great idea a Circuit Bending Festival in Brazil, with artists from various countries. I believe that it would make Bending grow a lot here.
Q: What would someone expect as far as turn out at a Circuit Bending show in Brazil?
With the right contacts everything works in Brazil. Add to that a Circuit Bending show / event has a peculiarity – when it ends, people don’t come to talk to you – they come to see closely your toys, and some even ask to play a little – that’s really nice.
Q: Who are some other Benders in Brazil we might want to check out?
Well, there are groups that use toys made by me: DelTree, in Rio de Janeiro and Input Output from Porto Alegr. There’s also Dada Attack, from São Paulo that uses Speak & Spell bended toys and so.
Q: You have a lot of cool looking devices you have bent. What are a few of your favorite bends and what do they do?
I have a SK1 that I painted in white, with an external interface in wich I control making contact with steel ball bearings (not by switches), I also like the ones with joysticks, where I fit up simple oscillators with 40106. I have some kid lunchboxes where I put a sequencer with LED with the 4017 and a sine oscillator, just with BC548 transistors.
Q: Is there a holy Grail bend project you would like to find and bend?
I don’t have any particular project to bend for now, but I still want to assemble a Modular System to connect with my toys. I do have a special project for a tour – I will travel without any instruments, just with a few tools. In each city I’ll buy the toys and components to give a Circuit Bending workshop. At the end, with the instruments assembled or bent, all the participants will perform a collective show, and all instruments will stay at that site.
Q: Do you have a release out for people to check out?
Yes, I have 2 CDR and 1 DVDR, that are avaliable on my website, and at archive.org I have an older record.
Q: Where do you see Circuit Bending in Brazil two years from now?
I believe it will grow a lot, because it is easy and fun, I’ll do my best to help that. I created a group in portuguese, but it didn’t reach my expectations, it has only a few posts. A very nice person, Ricardo Costa is in it.
Q: Anything you want to add?
Well, I am discovering more and more things about Circuit Bending, that sometimes surpass the process itself and the finished devices, the way of think and act changes a lot. I mean that after some time working with bending you get the “bending way”. Here in Brazil is hard to find components, even basic ones, and is not viable to import them most of times due to the high taxes. Here we have Farnell that imports directly, but the time of delivery is long. About electronics I still don’t understand it well, learned more or less to read schematics, recognize the main components (resistors, capacitors, diodes, LDR, LED) and to solder – sometimes the projects catch fire – I have to deal with it. Some projects I discovered at experimentalistsanonymous.com, there are lot of interesting projects. Other site is bugbrand.co.uk, with lots of cool stuff. I made a project with a street artist, Tridente where I etched some copper plates with his drawings and made a touch pad with an oscilator – the 4093. I don’t have the patience necessary to make perfect finish projects as the Glitchmachines, but in spite of this people find my toys pretty.
* Special Thanks to Rodney for getting the Interview together. Don’t forget LoFi Fest is this weekend, Sept 15th, Iowa City. *