Reformat the Planet is a feature-length documentary that details the beginnings of the music genre Chiptunes as a movement in NYC and beyond. Chiptunes is a genre of music created through repurposing old game consoles such as Gameboys and Nintendos. Through modifying these devices and getting specific software to run on these devices, they become expressive synths that can play through a variety of styles. Reformat the Planet is the most comprehensive documentary that explores this medium as it evolves over time.
Chiptunes or Chipmusic employs the use of old video game hardware, mostly Gameboys, as well as other handhelds for artistic purposes. From producing music to providing visual/live video through hacked video game consoles, the musicians and artists interviewed in the documentary are interested in repurposing video game culture for expressive means. With connections to courses as hardware hacking (in SAIC Sound), and Realtime (in FVNMA), this documentary and workshop would inspire students interested in New Media, and Video Games in new techniques in art/media creation, as well as community building and organization. The workshop will cover basic music production with LSDJ on a game emulator.
Materials Needed for Workshop
Video Game emulators, such as KiGB for Mac, and BGB for Windows
A demo version of LSDJ
About benji sayed/diebenjidie and LSDJ
An artist, educator, and organizer, benji sayed has been involved in the NYC Chiptunes scene, the SF/California scene, and recently the Midwest scene. With a national understanding of Chiptunes, benji hopes to teach people various ways of making music with video game hardware/software. They have done live visuals and performed under the moniker diebenjidie for events such as Freq.FestSF, Little Sound Assembly, and I/O Chip.
LSDJ, stands for Little Sound DJ, is a song creator program designed for the Gameboy. It’s developed for making music in realtime, as well as, live music performance. It’s also the most well documented program, so finding resources to learn more after the workshop is readily available online.