Post-apocalyptic skills for the extinction generation…

Scavengers Thrift 02Making, Tinkering & upcycling.
– drop-in workshops
structured workshops
– extended projects
– stageshow

This is a golden age for a tech-scavenger- just look at all this stuff lying around! So much free electronics that we can hack for our own inventions, or just fix and sell. Everyone is always complaining about how bad it is that the ecosystem is collapsing and there are no sustainable projections for the current global economy, but let’s celebrate all this waste! Scavengers use what they find and they learn the skills and knowledge that they need to survive.

We take apart old computers and we find useful things, and then we learn how to easily and safely turn them into mechanical, acoustic and electromagnetic instruments that we use to make amazing noise machines music.

Watch the video from Scavengers at the Festival of Thrift 23-24 September here.

UNMakingUnmaking: Gentle Destruction
Screwdrivers in hand we will take apart old computers and other electronic junk. This is fun, we learn how things work, we get better at using tools, we help separate out toxic landfill waste from recyclable and valuable materials, but most importantly, we find TREASURE…
Making: build robotic instruments
With very simple components and a basic understanding of circuits we can use our computer guts to construct a few different noisy toys, including:
• Victorian Oscillators
• Auto Strummers
• Piezo contact microphones
• Backwards speakers as kick drums
• Backwards hard drives as bass generators
• LED lights, switches

Scavengers Thrift 01
Scavengers workshops can be structured for a classroom setting, or drop-in, where people can come and go. They are the culmination of ten years of Noisy Toys workshops in schools and at music and science festivals.


Deconstructing discarded computers and other e-waste, and salvaging resourses to make new instruments.

NT-RO-FunPlc-UnMaking-16_3634-webUn-Making is often combined with the Noisy Robots workshop so that participants get the full experience of sourcing their own materials, or it can be run on it’s own with more of an in-depth look at the sustainability issues.Un-Making is also fantastic as a drop-in activity for open plan events.

  • Technology; designing instruments, using tools, dismantling
  • Music; Found Sound, performing in groups, jamming
  • Sustainability; waste, true costs, planned obsolescence, consumer products’ disposability

Using the art of ‘Un-Making’ the students have loads of fun deconstructing old computers with screwdrivers, salvaging the treasures that lurk inside and building new instruments with them. We will learn about the true cost of consumer electronics, and the wider long-term consequences. Many technical and creative skills also come into the activity, with lots of use of tools and instrument design.

You can be a scavenger too with a screwdriver and an old computer- what treasures are inside and what do they sound like?

Young Scavengers with their unmaking treasure at Manchester’s Band on the Wall, with Brighter Sound and Noisy Toys.