A photo of myself

burnHeartSynth (my website, certainly the best way to get an understanding of what I'm working on)

Skype handle: brendanbernhardtgaffney

(I apologize for the very formal sounding bio below, I copied it from my website!)

Brendan has been working for a decade now learning to use, develop and build digital, electronic and physical tools for musicians, programmers and artists.

He grew up in the northeast, where he learned carpentry and a passion for creativity from his parents. At Skidmore College, where Brendan created and pioneered his own major, Sound, he worked as an engineer and builder with Peter Edwards (aka Casper Electronics), as lead recording engineer and supervisor at Skidmore College’s new $50 million Arthur Zankel Music Center, as a student and protégé of Flip Phillips in the Neuroscience department of Skidmore College, technical director of Skidmore College’s radio station, WSPN, and an extra pair of hands in his father’s woodshop.

Brendan is now pursuing a graduate degree in Computer Music, working under Miller Puckette, Tom Erbe, Tamara Smyth, David Borgo, Anthony Davis and others in the music department at UCSD. He is playing saxophone in the Improvisation Enemble, a Teaching and Research Assistant in the Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts Major, and working on projects with other creative minds in the graduate program. Academically, he is focused on learning the ins and outs of DSPDigital Signal Processing – Digitale Signalverarbeitung programming, embedded technologies, free improvisation and electronic music performance.

Outside his academic and creative practices, Brendan is also working with Fab Lab San Diego to teach younger students the art of creating and understanding acoustic and electronic instruments. His work has built upon techniques used by his coworkers at the Fab Lab and other great minds in youth education in new technologies to develop curricula that invite younger musicians and inventors to begin their lifelong journey in designing, making and playing their own homemade instruments.

Today he continues his lifelong pursuit of novel methods of producing, controlling, warping and spewing sound, playing saxophone, guitar and computer, all the while designing, building and programming his own software and hardware. He is invested in the journey he and those he works with are making in developing new tools and mediums for creative expression.


I'm currently working with several projects involving parameter mapping strategies, embedded DSPDigital Signal Processing – Digitale Signalverarbeitung, instrument augmentation and the general process of adapting practices from other disciplines to appropriate implementations in computer sound synthesis and performance.

Currently, I am working with using dynamical systems and catastrophe theory in parameter mapping. The models provided by catastrophe theory result in simple, accesible extensions of low parameter control systems. I'm also working on embedding the Raspberry Pi as a form of instrument augmentation, programming Pd[[Pure Data]] a dataflow programming environment externals (generally for mac and pi), free improvisation and noise.

My collaboration interest

I'm interested in working in physical mediums (wood/metal/CAD fabrication/electronics) to develop new interfaces and instruments, or installation type work. I have been working with the Raspberry Pi at length recently, and would love to work with designers and performers on imagining and realizing these new objects.

I also have the selfish desire to work with others on the dynamical systems work I'm pursuing, for reference I will put the paper I'm submitting to SMC up here, if anyone has ideas for its implementation or application I'd love to hear them and work on them.

Project Idea

Well, I pitched the weather station idea, I'll elaborate more on this as I draw up some plans and ideas, I'll link to them and throw them up on my website.

I'm also always interested in ideas for hardware and instrument building work, embedded raspberry pi, parameter mapping strategies and data analysis and sonification.


I'll be working on Mac OSX and Raspberry Pi, but I work in digital and analog electronics and all sorts of fabrication!