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Hackoustic Village at We Are Robots


We had an incredible time bringing the Hackoustic Village to  We Are Robots, a four day festival at Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, dedicated to those that are propelling the future and innovation of music. Check out this video from our friends at Made In London:

WE ARE ROBOTS 2017 from Made in London on Vimeo.

Our amazing line-up of artists, musicians, scientists and innovators shared their work over the course of the festival. From sound-art installations to experimental instruments, accessible tech to sonic research in the treatment of cancer, we have a huge variety of projects on display. Check out the list below.

Line Up

Kuljit Bhamra MBE

Kuljit is a musician, performer and record producer. A pioneer of the British Bhangra sound and tabla player in Hollywood movie soundtracks, he is currently on a mission to demystify Indian music. Together with his team at Keda Music, he is developing tools and support systems to make Indian drumming more accessible. He’ll be showing his’Evolution of the Tabla drum’ over the course of the festival and will perform at the weekend.

Synth Bike 3.0 – LookMumNoComputer

Force of nature and extreme sound hacker Sam Battle, aka LookMumNoComputer, is bringing his astonishing Synth Bike 3.0 for you to have a go on. Take a ride and make some tunes!

Dr. Andrew McPherson

Andrew is an electrical engineer and composer who among other things leads the Augmented Instruments Laboratory at Queen Mary University of London. He is also the brains behind Bela, an open-source embedded platform for real-time, ultra-low-latency audio and sensor processing. He’ll be talking about his work and how these technologies are changing what’s possible for instrument builders, musicians and composers.

The Big Blade – Tim Yates

The Hackoustic mascot, embodying the ideas that inspired us to start Hackoustic. Buy a ticket in the Village raffle for a chance to have a go!

Vulpestruments – Tom Fox

Tom Fox specialises in building instruments from the most unlikely upcycled materials. Old books, pond pumps, hairdryers and anything else he can get his hands on. He’ll have a selection of his instruments here for you to have a go on.

Nick Murray

Nick is an instrument builder, composer, writer and sound artist. His body of work includes, site specific installation, score for film, literary festivals and theatrical production. From a pocket daxophone to a cassette tape keyboard, Nick Murray brings a series of unique instruments and doctored devices for the audience to play with.


littleBits is an award-winning platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks for creating inventions large and small. They’ll be running workshops all weekends so you can have a go at making some of their cool projects.

Adrian Holder

Adrian is a DJ and technologist with an affinity for unusual soundscapes. He’ll be bringing his hacked turntables as well as other exciting projects and instruments for making hacked electronic music. Adrian is liable to using crisp packets and Coke tins to generate supremely cool electronica.

Kinetic Tones – Andrew Hockey

Andrew Hockey is a producer, composer and active member of the Roundhouse Audio Collective. He’ll be showcasing  ‘Kinetic Tones’, an installation that combines open source software and hardware, contact microphones and re-purposed newtons cradles and marble runs to create an original piece of generative music.

Antosh Wojcik

Antosh Wojcik is a poet, performer and Lecturer of Poetry and Creative Writing at University of Winchester. He is one half of Post Everything, a sound art duo. He’ll be performing his cross-arts drumming and poetry show about dementia, ‘Building A Voice-Percussion Gun to Kill the Glitches In Memory’.


Turntablist extraordinaire, #BarrysLounge will be keeping us fully tuned up all weekend with nothing but classic vinyl.

Brendan O’Connor

Brendan is a musician, teacher, technologist and composer. He recently finished his MMUS in electronic composition, and has since then has been investing his time in composition, production, performance and installation works. For the first time, he’s showing his interactive installation Painting Music And Igniting the Universe. Paint something and hear its sound.

Charles Matthews

Charles is a sound artist and performer currently focussing on gamelan, feedback, and light. He’ll be bringing his incredible interactive Gamelan instrument that uses sound and light to generate fascinating sonic textures.


DADAMachines is the brainchild of Johannes Lohbiler and is a new way to make music with acoustic instruments. We’ll have the only kit in the UK playing somewhere in the Hackoustic Village. See if you can find it!

Diego Baresch

Diego is a post-doctoral researcher in acoustics at Imperial College in London, working on manipulating objects with sound waves. He’s built a sonic levitating machine especially for the festival to show how he can move things around with just the power of sound waves. Better than any super-hero I’ve ever heard of!

Dom Aversano

Dom is a multi-instrumentalist percussionist and composer whose primary instrument is the handpan – a new Swiss instrument invented in 2001. He is strongly influenced by konnakol, an ancient Indian rhythmic language which offers a unique perspective on music that differs from the Western European tradition. He’ll be performing music from his new album Geometric.

Sonic Ensemble – Jen Haugan

Jen Haugan is an animator, graphic designer and sound artist currently doing an MA in Information Experience Design at the Royal College of Art.  Her Sonic Ensemble is a collection of sonic objects that recreate sonic effects such as the Doppler effect to further push how we can use the sonic environment as a compositional tool.

Eastman Presser

Eastman Presser is a musicker currently based in London. His practice takes interaction between sound and the body as a starting point for creating situations that humorously problematise ideas of listening genres and mediation. He’ll be performing Good Listener, an invitation to listen, in different ways, to different sounds, some of which might happen to be music. It will ask questions such as “how do we listen?”, “does it really matter what music is?” and that age old quandary, “is Steely Dan actually good?”.

Gawain Hewitt

Gawain Hewitt is a prolific sound artist and musician, also working as Head of R&D for Drake Music, specialists in accessible musical instruments and workshops. He’s collaborsted with Stewart Easton to create the sounds for their sonic masterpieces.

Gwaith Swn

Gwaith Sŵn (from the Welsh for ‘sound work’ and pronounced ‘g-why-th soon’) is a London-based collective of artists working principally with sound. They’ll be bringing an interactive installation featuring directional sound for your delight.

Stewart Easton

Stewart is a visual story teller working in a variety of media. He’s collaborated with Gawain Hewitt to create beautiful interactive images that respond sonically to your movement.

Hummingbird – Tom Fox

Tweet @vulpestruments (aka Tom Fox) and hear his musical machine play your tune!

Jenn Kirby

Jenn Kirby’s performances are incredibly entertaining. She’s an Irish composer, performer, software developer and academic based in Swansea. Come and see her use re-purposed controllers as musical interfaces to create theatrical and often funny live electronic music.

Luis Zayas

Luis is a Product Design Engineer and a musician with a special interest in playful design and learning by making. He’ll be bringing his extremely beautiful and elegant Life Suport, last shown at the Tate Modern, which explores the sonic possibilities of dripping water.

Augmented Instrument Lab

The Augmented Instruments Laboratory is part of the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM) at Queen Mary University of London. Members from the Augmented Instruments lab will be showcasing a number of instruments,  includinghe D-Box: a hackable digital instrument, The Adapted Bass Guitar: a prototype adaptation to the bass guitar for disabled musicians, Strummable Virtual Strings: A hybrid acoustic/digital plucked string instrument and the Airharp and Vangeliser: handheld, motion activated instruments

Augmented Instruments Lav

Proximity Mixer – Tom Fox

Tom Fox specialises in building instruments from the most unlikely upcycled materials. With Proximity Mixer he’s invented a machine that allows you to mix tunes like never before.

Nuclear Toilet – Raxil4

Yes, you did read that right. Raxil4, drone and noise artists extraordinaire, has sonified data from Dungeness nuclear power station to give you a loo like no other.

Rodrigo Viterbo

Rodrigo is a Portuguese Community Artist and Educator who uses Music and Making to work with people of all ages. He specialises in building and playing didgeridoos from very cheap materials and he’ll be sharing his secrets at the festival!

Curio – Tim Yates

Sound artist, musician and instrument builder Tim Yates creates exploratory musical instruments for you to experiment with and discover a new relationship to sound and music. Curio is a musical box designed for the exploration of sound. Investigate the instrument, it’s sound interface and textures and listen carefully to the sonic consequences!

Wonderbox – Gawain Hewitt

Gawain Hewitt’s collaborative sound installation Wonderbox allows you to create your own piece of music using sounds created by children he worked with in workshops at the V&A in 2016. An imaginative exploration of alternative musical for mixing music.


YOAF is a textural noise trio comprised of Hackoustic’s Tom Fox and Tim Yates along with vocalist Jon Sanders. Lose yourself in immersive textures created using hacked instruments, objects, toys and electronics.

By Jake from Manchester, UK – 1970s fanzines, CC BY 2.0


Underground music scenes are nothing without the zines that support them. Come and buy some for yourself and contribute by making the Hackoustic Village Zine to document the festival.

Village Fair

And finally, no village can be complete without a village fair! We’ve hacked together a bunch of sonic fair games for you to try your luck with.

By Gary Knight, A Luvverly Bunch, CC BY 2.0.