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Our story

Steve Beresford electronics

It’s 2011. Our founder, JB, works for Focusrite as a software engineer. Venturing into the basement of the company, he sees all those PCBs of Novation synthesizers and controllers going to scrap. An e-mail to the London Hackspace, and the next day, two future members (Martin Klang of Rebel Tech and Phil Clevberger) drove to High Wycombe to pick them up.


A week later, 20 people showed up to uncover the treasures that we had brought for everyone to share. The idea of hacking music instruments together wasn’t new, but doing it together was exciting. It was still early days for Arduino, Raspberry Pi wouldn’t launch before 2012, and designing PCBs was hard. Combining skills and ideas, and learn together, on the other hand, was much more appealing.

 

 

Among the early participants were Angus Hewlett (FXpansion), Andy Farnell (Designing Sounds), Andrew McPherson (Bela), Blanca Regina, Tadeo Sendon and many more including artists, lawyers, or IT engineers working in the city. The appetite for building one’s own creative device was high. 

recycled tunes gang

With so many having creative ideas, we needed a way to sharing them, and once a week the Music Hackspace would gather to listen to someone presenting an idea or an ongoing project. The Center for Digital Music was a stone throw away, and the community grew with some of the world’s best researchers in music technology rubbing shoulder with hobbyists.

Over the next decade, the Music Hackspace would hosted at vibrant places in London: Containerville, Limewharf, Somerset House and Goldsmiths, curating workshops, meetups and seminars.

 

Running the Music Hackspace always came from a place of passion at the intersection of art and tech. And now that we’ve started expanding our community online, we are on a mission to support artists all over the world to learn, share and make art with tech.