Radical Chip Party

A two-day electronic music and sound art course exploring low-level electronics and DIY sounds


4pm Friday 23 – 3pm Sunday 25 September 2022


John Richards


Space Studio 1, Dartington Trust, South Devon


Residential: £399.00* | Non Residential: £285.00

Short Course bursaries are available – find out more here.

*Residential course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions and includes private, simple accommodation with shared bathroom from supper on the day of your arrival through until the lunchtime before your departure. More info about accommodation can be found below.

About this course

Ubiquitous technologies invade our everyday space. And work, play, and creative endeavours are filtered through the prism of corporate technologies. At what point do we step back and question the use of such technologies and systems in our sound-making?

A two-day electronic music and sound art course exploring low-level electronics and DIY sounds. Participants will be able to explore sound at the fundamental level of wires, solder, electronic components and raw data. Through hands-on practical experiments and craft approaches, participants will be able to create their own sound-making objects and assemblages.

No prior knowledge needed. All ages, ability welcome. Tools and core materials will be provided.

The course will conclude with presentation of the works as a form of performance-installation, where the process of making (installing) and performance are explored concurrently. Indoor and outdoor spaces will be utilised.

Those who have taken the course in previous years will be able to build a sequencer for their Radical Nails and hack the code to create a new, versioned sound device.

You will take home all that you make.


A Manifesto for a Radical Chip Party
We will look at a number of primary building blocks that can be hacked, modified, adapted and personalised
We will make our sound-making objects self-sufficient, self-powered, self-amplified
We will find sound in materials and place
We will celebrate the handmade and craft approaches
We will explore mediated sound with minimal resources
We will learn skills in electronics, coding, design and performance
We will work both individually and collectively

Extra information

Participants to bring:

  • Wood off-cut (any size; or c. 12 x 12 cm) x2
  • Batteries:
  • PP3 (9v) x1
  • AAA x3
  • Jack cable (optional)

No knowledge of electronics and coding needed. Skills and interests of participants should include:

  • Sound
  • Sound art
  • Performance art
  • Electronic music
  • Design
  • Arts and craft

Participants will also need to be:

  • Adaptive
  • Resourceful

… virtuosity lies in the listening


John Richards

john richards

John Richards explores Dirty Electronics focusing on shared experiences, social interaction and critical making. He is concerned with the performance of large-group electronic music and DIY electronics, and he has come to consider these activities as a holistic action. It is a fluid, live practice associated with the ideas of workshop-installation and performance-installation. His work pushes the boundaries between music, performance art, electronics, and graphic design and is transdisciplinary as well as having a social-political dimension. He has also written numerous texts on DIY practices, performance of electronic music, and object-orientated and material approaches in relation to sound art.


We recommend that if possible, you stay on-site during your course. All our courses are best experienced holistically: through working, relaxing, eating and staying with other course participants and tutors.

The residential course fee is based on staying in one of our hostel-style single rooms with shared facilities and easy access to the wider estate, the White Hart and the spaces in which you will be learning. They are the perfect base to rest your head, relax and recharge. You can find out more about the rooms here.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day – made with fresh, locally-sourced produce by our award-winning team – are included: one less thing to worry about during your stay.

Choose this option by selecting ‘residential’ at checkout (head to ‘Book now’, below).

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the fine print
  • Accommodation is available at a discounted rate for course attendees
  • Accommodation is booked on a first come, first served basis only
typical schedule for short courses
  • Check-in to the room is between 3-3.45pm on the day of arrival. Check-out is 11am on the day of departure, although if travelling by public transport, luggage can be left at the Welcome Centre until the course has completed.
  • Teaching generally begins at 4pm on the first day and ends at 2pm Fridays or 4pm Sunday (whichever is the last day of the course).
  • The daily timetable can start at 9.30am and end around 9.15pm, with free time available at set times throughout the day.
  • For residential participants breakfast is included, followed by a morning gathering and community work groups on weekdays, which are open to all participants and the college community. Non-residential participants can pay extra if they wish to have breakfast on one or more of the days.
  • Lunch for all participants is between 1-2pm and supper is 6.30-7.30pm (both meals are included in the residential and non-residential course fee).

If you have any questions about your course schedule please contact shortcourses@dartington.org

optional: upgrade to a courtyard room

It is also possible, subject to availability, to upgrade your accommodation to a single or double en-suite bedroom in our beautiful and historic courtyard. An upgrade to a single room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £35 per night and a double room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £47.60 per night.

If you would like to upgrade, please first book with residential option included, and then contact our Guest Services team on 01803 847101 or email guestservices@dartingtonhall.com to check availability. Our Guest Services department is open daily, 8am–8pm.

Book now

We are proud to be COVID-secure. Find out what we're doing to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience here >

Select a time below to begin your online booking. You will receive an e-ticket for this event. You are welcome to email us at shortcourses@dartington.org with any queries you have. Full Short Course T&Cs can be found here >

If you place a deposit, you will be contacted by us six weeks before the course start date to pay the outstanding balance. You will also be contacted with full details about the course before you arrive.

Please note that bookings for all our Short Courses close at midday on the Thursday before the course begins. This enables us to give you the best possible course experience and ensures all bookers receive the relevant course materials before they arrive.

Offer: Special rate for Dartington Members

Dartington Members will receive a 10% discount, applied when they log in during the checkout process. For more information about Membership, click here (opens in new tab).

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