Billy Prosise : Ok Housecat
Ok Housecat
Homemade Electronic Musical Oddities
Homemade Electronic Musical Oddities
Side Story
I love figuring out how to do things, and circuit bending was certainly one of those things. I got started with a couple of books that were a great foundation, and from there just started experimenting and learning along the way. This is not always the fastest or easiest way (I’ve probably broken more toys than I’ve been successful with), but it has allowed me to create a lot without simply mimicking the work of others. Whether in my music, drawings, writing, or circuit bending projects, I try to make things for which there is no easy comparison.
Frequently Asked Questions
What inspired you to do this?
At its most basic, my inspiration comes from an intense fascination with, passion for, and love of all things sound.
I’m very lucky that I get to indulge this fascination every day at work- I teach music at an elementary school to kids from kindergarten to fifth grade. The kids love when I bring in my inventions and are constantly giving me off-the-wall ideas.
All of that is to say, I CREATE to prove that I EXIST- the stagnant are invisible; the empty-handed disappear. What better way to pass the time than to glorify the arbitrary?
How long did it take to make it?
My creative process is scattered by necessity, as my attention span is about the same as the kids I teach. Sometimes I’ll look at something, immediately have an idea, then put the whole thing together in a few days. Other times, I’ll open something up, put it on a shelf, then stare at it for weeks before a design materializes. The one constant is my hands: they are always busy. I am always creating something, inspired or not, because what I make will not exist otherwise.
The time-intensity of my projects is as varied as the projects themselves. I usually have two or three happening at once, but they range from a few hours to make something like an electric kazoo to almost a year as in the case of my trigger sequencer.
When I take commissions however (depending on the complexity of the mod), I usually am about to finish up within 60 days.
How long have you been doing things like this?
It's been about five years since I first started reading about homemade musical electronics. Since then, I just can't stop making things.
How much did this cost to do?
One of my favorite parts of the whole 'circuit bending' artform is the challenge of taking things that are second-hand or very inexpensive and finding ways to repurpose them as something new and functional, while still retaining the 'someone-threw-this-away' aesthetic.
Have you done other things like this?
It it has something to do with sound, chances are I want to try it out.
What did you wish you knew before you started this?
Spending a little extra on a good soldering iron is well worth the cost.
Are there plans available to make this? Do you sell this?
I have no plans to stop making things! I sell the things I make and take commissions for modded devices. I am always open to ideas!
Inquiries about commissions can be made at okhousecat.com/commissions and my currently listed items can be found at etsy.com/shop/okhousecat
What’s next?
More musical devices, and you can bet they won't look like anything I've made before.
Resoures?
Circuit-Bending: Build Your Own Alien Instruments by Reed Ghazala
Handmade electronic music by Nicolas Collins
circuitbenders.co.uk
hackaday.com
datamath.org
Billy Prosise : Musician; Maker; Teacher
The maker Billy Prosise
Nashville, TN
I'm a musician (percussionist by training) and educator that builds and modifies electronics for musical purposes. In addition to my creative endeavors, I am an elementary school music teacher by day.
Connect with Billy Prosise
How I can help you:
I do commissioned works or custom devices. Happy to answer any questions.
How you can help me:
Follow me on youtube, instagram, I've got music on Bandcamp and stuff for sale on etsy!