The DIY music world behind the Iron Curtain

The DIY music world behind the Iron Curtain We all know about the great masters of electronic music, the forward-thinking pioneers of its era – the Bob Moogs of yore who utilized their knowledge from engineering and physics to create eerily sounding sound-making equipment. Little renowned, however, is what was going on in this respect behind the Iron Curtain.

The Czech Republic had a buoyant radioamateur scene whose members were often well informed about the latest developments in physics and eletrical engineering but there is little information about the DIY music-making scene prior to 1989. Standa Filip, whose background in physics helped develop his interest in “music instrument bricolage”, became an unassuming figure of a recent wave of worship thanks to the Standuino project which alludes to his first name and combines it with the synth Auduino based on the open-source prototyping platform Arduino.

Standa, a DIY media artist, created his own electronic music instruments and used them in various robotic installations and performances. His “bedroom” modus operandi was typical for those who strived to create outside of the official structures. “I was isolated, studying physics and meeting people from theatre. I didn’t really engage with musicians per se, ” he says in the video interview that you can watch below. Standuino, a platform for developing digital and analogue electronic music intruments created in 2011 by Václav Peloušek and Ond?ej Merta, serves as an hommage to this idiosyncratic figure of the early Czech electronic scene.

Standa Filip talks about DIY scene during comunist times in Czechoslovakia from standuino on Vimeo.

Standa Filip plays Prkno guitar with his drum machine from standuino on Vimeo.