Not content with having created a blogging empire including the superlative Created in Birmingham blog (for which he jointly won a Guardian media award this year), setting up his own digital consultancy and being a vocal advocate of the benefits of the social internet, Brum-based bloggerati Pete Ashton is now branching out into avant-garde electronic music following his purchase of a Thimgamagoop.
To the uninitiated, the Thingamagoop is a anthropomorphic analogue mini-synth cum sound toy featuring a single oscillator controlled by a photocell, alongside a simple low-frequency oscillator. The amount and type of light hitting the photocell affects the pitch and harshness of the sound produced, whilst further modulation via the afore-mentioned LFO allows a dizzying array of bleeps, skronks and zaps to be coaxed out of the cute-yet-rather-sinister lil’ fella.
Following a fateful encounter with a Thimgamagoop at last year’s SXSWi, Pete finally managed to get his hands on one recently and in the space of just over a week he’s already documented his experiments with the unit in great detail, won sponsorship (via Live Brum) and is now ordering more to create a crazy-mad monster micro-synth orchestra, the debut performance of which may well take place at a future Robot Vs Dinosaur. It’s quite frankly such a dizzying rate of progress that I half-expect him to have landed a multi-million dollar record deal by next week.
For more info on the Thimgamagoop and it’s self-assembled bigger brother the Thimgamakit, check out the Bleeplabs website. And being hand-made, you can even pick your own colours!