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Beatrix*JAR

RIYL

Optigonally Yours, Red Flag, God Lives Underwater

Influences

They Might Be Giants, Chemical Brothers, Moby, DJ AM, Red Flag
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“Our band utilizes modified children’s toys to create our sounds,” says Jacob Roske, one half of art-rock duo Beatrix*JAR. “It’s an art form called circuit bending, the creative short-circuiting of battery-powered devices like toys and keyboards. We explore the circuit board as if it were an electronic city, with various streets and cul-de-sacs. By making sonic shortcuts with a piece of wire or alligator clips, you release hidden organic sounds from the machine. Sometimes, the sound is loud like a guitar, or it can sound soft like a toy piano.”

He and bandmate Bianca Pettis also hold local workshops on how to modify cheaply acquired devices, from small to midsized keyboards to old guitar pedals, drum machines, Furby robots, Texas Instruments Speak & Spell toys, My First Words, and ALphabet Apples.

“We tell people to look for plastic, battery-powered children’s playthings that make sounds, that sing happy little songs or recite their ABCs, ideally ones with a battery compartment. Especially good are devices by Casio, Atari, VTech, Yamaha, and Playskool.” The duo usually pairs the workshops with a performance set as well.

Beatrix*JAR had already released three experimental synth-pop full-lengths before relocating from Minnesota to San Diego in 2010. “We started in Little Italy, but we moved up to Hillcrest, and it’s been a much better fit for us, as artists who work out of our home. There seems to be a large community of handmade device makers in San Diego.”

Roske says they began considering the move around 2009. “We did a workshop with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s Teen Art Council, in conjunction with the Tara Donovan exhibit and her ability to create astounding works of art out of everyday objects.

“I’m sure some of those students are still bending circuits today.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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