Battle of the D.I.Y. Bands
A sound art and performance workshop I gave at the 2015 Tasmeem conference at VCU-Q in Doha, Qatar. It was an expansion of a project I give to students of my foundations courses (an assignment I adapted from Jon Rubin), in which students create musical instruments from non-musical objects, create bands, and musical scores, and perform a battle of the bands competition in front of a panel of judges.

The assignment

  • You will each to create a “found instrument” – not an instrument in the traditional sense of a flute or a guitar, but instead an object, or combination of objects that makes a sound you find interesting.
  • You will then write a one minute “song,” that includes only your instrument, that you will play for the group. The score for your song must be written, drawn, or presented visually using a method that makes sense to you and that takes into consideration your instrument’s capabilities. You will follow this visual score during your one minute performance.
  • After hearing each other’s instruments you will form into bands and work together to create a collaborative sound piece. Again you will create and follow a visual score.
  • Final works will be performed in a “Battle of the Bands” competition during the Tasmeem Festival Day in front of a live audience and a panel of judges.
  • Our guest judges will provide final critique and select the winning band. You will be judged on the inventiveness of your instruments, performance, and your visual score.
  • Prizes will be awarded.

DIY bands 1

DIY bands 3

DIY bands 2

DIY bands 4

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