Strange Folktek competition


The ever controversial craftsmen of very nice looking Folktek instruments are putting on some sort of a competition via an eBay auction. The premise is that after buying a mystery sound circuit for $44.44 you will be entered into a competition to create a sound art piece with that circuit. The best entry will receive a custom Folktek instrument. Deadline for submission is August 30th and the winner will be chosen and made example of by last day in September. Any takers?

15 thoughts on “Strange Folktek competition”

  1. I’m just not so hot about the whole Pay to Play scheme. We’ve done shows before that the only way to get a good spot on the bill was to pay into the promoter’s expenses. No thank you sir. I would rather sit at home and do nothing than play a show like that, where people that pay the most get best spots.

    I guess its kind of like Scientology.

    It would be different if the contest included a free kit, per person and you come up with something crazy and get a prize. In the mean time you get your name out there and people will buy more kits after they see the cool results. This is all just my humble opinion. Everything costs money though.

    Still very interested in keeping tabs on this, Folktek instruments are inspirational to say the least and hopefully sometime we can get a peek at these mystery circuit boards cause that’s what I’m all about.

  2. Humm,
    I reckon I could give ’em a run for the money…… But for 44 bucks, i could put in a NICE parts order from Small Bear Electronics and finish some o this stuff stacked up on my bench!

  3. Seeding specifically inventive types with free kits/invites to participate is a cool idea. This upfront fee does seem sketchy but I’m assuming it’s a good board considering the source.

  4. what is controversial about folktek? I read some bad reviews about their craftsmanship but they do ‘look’ nice…. is this the controversy? just wondering….

  5. I’ve been ripped off by them before. I bought a kit from Ebay and never got it. Of course, they weren’t going by Folktek then. I was also promised some things after helping to put together an installation in New York 2004. Never got that either. I’ll say no to this one.

  6. I think the folktek people have changed their names on ebay a few times because of a build up of negative feedback. I’m not really sure why the new moniker was created. The folktek people are Arius Blaze and Ben Houston. Ben Houston being Arius’ collaborator although i’m not sure if there is an actual Ben Houston or not. Arius has been sketchy in the past before. Some of the construction I’ve seen on his instruments were questionable. He can tend to avoid customers when an item is promised as sent but still not delivered with months being overdue. Sometimes items b vaguely appearing or branded as original are sometimes just rehoused circuit bent devices. His work is visually stunning and some of his sonic creations are truly great sounding but despite this many people have been “ripped off” or been ignored or had been seriously overdue in his shipments with some parts of the instrument still unfunctional (perhaps still prototyping at time of sale)

    The competition does seem a bit sketchy but a good way to make some quick cash and some advertisement for the buisness.

  7. I think his stuff is interesting, whimsical.

    In my opinion, many of us pay a lot for crap without even thinking about it, for example cable TV. Also most of the things being made in China now, which is almost everything.

    Someone building something with their hands for $44 bucks? That’s real cheap in my humble opinion.

    Everything we buy has some kind of “ploy” or gimmick to it. It’s just that the big companies are so good at it now that we the consumers don’t even realize or recognize the gimmick/ploy, we just buy.

    Usually when a very small business tries to use an inventive way to sell, due to lack of money and resources the “ploy” or gimmick becomes more obvious to the consumer.

    I think it’s a very inventive way to sell.

  8. Hello to Everyone from we here at FOLKTEK Headquarter!!!

    To answer a few questions that seem to be arizing here as a result of this competition, and to possibly ease the woes regarding a ploy to make cash…or a scam…or whatnot…

    First: There is actually a Ben Houston. That’s funny though. Actually it’s Arius Blaze that doesn’t exist…He died 5 years ago and Ben Houston was at that time his apprentice, honed his skills and continued the work. Later, Ben hired several other individual workers to create these instruments and sound art works. I am one of those people. Unfortunately, at the time of his death there was some unfinished business…We have made every attempt to correct those problem…Furthermore, our work goes out in as timely a manner as possible and any future issues are worked out with quickness.

    Tommy…Hit us up – your work on the installation was appreciated in NYC – we know this – and you’re encouraged to send us your address via email so we can get you a few circuits to make things with if nothing else.

    Everything else: well, let’s keep it all controversial…we’re kinda into that.

    The circuit is not at all complex, and as we stated in the competition guidelines: it is not original and it IS a black blob circuit…I think perhaps the idea got passed up…It is not the intention to give anyone a great circuit to work with…It is the intention to see what you can come up with using whatever the hell we give you…That said, we were in the studio yesterday working with the circuit to see what we could come up with and found some great things and a lot of ideas of what could be done came from that.
    There is a lot of potential on many levels…We could have just as well given you a block of wood and said “come up with what you can – best instrument coming from this block of wood wins a folktek instrument”…But then – we around here work with circuits so it only seems appropriate that we provide a circuit. We could not really have a free competition and be giving away instruments at this current point in time…Some monetary exchange is necessary in that we put a lot of time and energy and yes – money into our work.

    We can see no real reason that this competition would stimulate business as (for the most part) the only people we might be appealing to with the auction are circuit benders and creative types who would likely see no real purpose in buying anything from us anyway. Nor do we feel any desire to sell anything to these folks…

    This is not a scam where we make a bunch of money…We figure that we have 60 circuits that could potentially be bought…Selling ten per week for 6 weeks (the competition does not end on the 30th of August anymore – it was revised a few days into the auction due to concerns of folks)
    and we’ll likely only sell two or three out of those ten, entering an estimated total of 10-15 people (or less) – this will not yield a great amount of money…Let’s say we get ten people total – that $440…In all likelyhood we will make an instrument for someone that we could have sold for much more…We just thought it was a good idea…

    Finally…We love that anytime we do something different a lot of the folks on these blog sites get the panties in a bundle…THE panties in a bundle…You are all very passionate people…we appreciate that.

    Many thanks for your time

  9. hmm…I got an email from ‘Arius Blaze’ a few weeks ago from a folktek email. So he has a clone?

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