Last week, I won an eBay auction for the book, Circuit Bending: Build Your Own Alien Instruments, one of the few books that has been published on the topic. It was written by Reed Ghazala, the “Father of Circuit Bending” and the man who invented the technique back in the 1960s. Now out of print, it’s somewhat to difficult to get your hands on. There are always a few copies on Amazon, but usually none cheaper than $40. I was able to get this one for just over $20.
The book mostly focuses on the process of bending, including what parts and tools are needed, how it works, and what kinds of devices are good to start with. There are several chapters dedicated to specific keyboards and toys that Ghazala himself has had good experiences with. For each device, he includes mapped out circuits and suggestions of which bends to make to get certain kinds of sounds.
Although his main purpose is to provide a comprehensive how-to guide for people wanting to learn how to bend, Ghazala covers other aspects of circuit bending as well, including the concepts behind the technique, its place in music and art, and its history. Also included are a glossary of electronics components and an appendix with lists of electronics suppliers and general circuit bending resources. Well-organized, detailed, and full of useful information, Ghazala’s book is invaluable for anyone wanting to learn the art of bending.