Brendon Bussy

Jacques van Zyl and the Wynberg String Accelerator

Posted in Electronics, Invention, Research, Sound by Brendon Bussy on March 9, 2011

My collaborations with Jacques go back to our first meeting at the Unyazi Electronic music festival (Joburg 05).
I’d created a work for the festival called CMYK, based on an analysis of a visual work by Paul Edmunds – a rather long winded live Audiomulch and Mandolin performance , which met with an unexpectedly enthusiastic audience response (my immediate thought “I’ve sold out!”).

The next day I ran a workshop and afterwards had a long chat with this very polite man who confessed to have recorded my performance and professed that he was a ‘flight attendant’ quickly following that with (in case there was any confusion) ‘you know – like an air hostess’, but also that he built speakers and amplifiers and wasn’t planning to stay in his present high flying occupation for long.

He didn’t and instead went on to resign and put all of his energies into developing Phi Audio, his bespoke speaker company.  And we continued to correspond and, where possible, when Jacques was in town, to dabble in a range of audio experiments including (more…)

Konis Phonis Exploratika

Posted in Design, Workshops by Brendon Bussy on February 23, 2011

On Sunday 27th Feb 2010 I’ll be running a children’s workshop for the Design Indaba Expo.  We’ll be making Kone Phones (Konis Phonis Exploratika) to explore the sounds of Planet Your Neighbourhood!

“The Kone Phone (exploration model) otherwise known as ‘Konis Phonis Exploratika’ is a simple and fun ear phone designed to enhance the sounds of your world. Made from mostly paper based materials, each Kone Phone will be tweaked and decorated to suit the exacting exploration requirements of intrepid Sound Explorers”.

Booking details etc here…

Gourmet Sound – The Chopstick and Sardine Kora

Posted in Design, Invention, New Old Old New by Brendon Bussy on February 16, 2011

I have a very nice mandolin made from very nice materials and made by a very nice mandolin builder. What more could I want?

Well recently I came across the quirky instruments made by Stewart Port.  Many people make instruments out of odd objects (don’t ask), but few match the elegance of these instruments.  I particularly like his Crutch Banjo, and his Water Jug Kora.  I love the thought of this guitar builder contemplating mundane objects and imagining new possibilities.

I also love the fact that he treats these as serious contenders and not as jokey objects (read what he says) . And I especially like the relationship to traditional African instruments (and other ‘ethnic’ instruments i.e. instruments not to be found in music chain stores) which are often made of things that happen to be around.

In fact I love these thoughts so much that I decided to try it myself. (more…)

The Problem of Stating Problems

Posted in Invention, New Old Old New by Brendon Bussy on January 14, 2011

At the end of last year I popped in to see Johan van Niekerk at CPUT’s* Industrial Design Department to discuss the problem of stating problems.

Earlier in the year I’d spoken to students at his department about the possibilities for musical instrument design (see my New Old Old New Project).  After that presentation I was approached by a few students who were keen to find music related design problems to develop as projects.  After some discussion a few project ideas emerged.  However a little later on I got to thinking – what if it were possible to anticipate these questions by creating an ongoing data base of ‘problems’ in serious need of a solution.  A resource not only for students but also designers and engineers looking for a challenge or even product idea. (more…)

Death of Great Japanese Assimilator of Instrument Design

Posted in Invention, Mandolin, New Old Old New by Brendon Bussy on February 15, 2010

News from the US today that famed guitar builder Taku Sakashta has been found killed. This builder’s wonderfully crafted instruments really epitomise, for me, the skill required to successfully assimilate design.

Read the article here.

Have a look at his instruments – guitars of essentially American invention are given a subtle design twist making them unmistakably Japanese.

I’ve often admired his mandolins – in particular the famous Mustang with its reverse scroll. This is what an F Style usually looks like.

Does innovation like this die with the innovator?