First Friday: Chiptunes—Obsolete Sounds in the Modern World

Friday, September 2, 2016
5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
United States

Remember the familiar tones of dial-up modems? Join us for a nostalgic journey into the world of chiptunes music, which brings the sounds of vintage computers, video-game consoles, and arcade machines back to life through the tinkering of creative minds.

We’ll look at the cultural impact of chiptunes with Lisa Klarr, a PhD candidate in the literature program at Duke University, and enjoy a live performance by local musician Chipocrite, a.k.a. Paul Weinstein.

Dive into the story of what happens when art meets obsolete technology, and then prepare your ears for a performance that you won’t soon forget!



Recycle Your E-waste at First Friday: Chiptunes!

Do you have outdated technology hanging around? Donate it to Philadelphia-based nonprofit PAR-Recycle Works, on-site at this event! PAR-Recycle Works offers environmentally responsible recycling services while providing workforce training to formerly incarcerated individuals. Drop off your broken cell phone, radio, or laptop when you attend First Friday: Chiptunes.


About Lisa Klarr

Lisa Klarr will be presenting her dissertation, “Useless: The Aesthetics of Obsolescence in 20th-Century U.S. Culture,” in the fall. She is interested in “how obsolete technological objects continue to haunt our cultural lives long after their ‘moment of production’ has passed.” Lisa is a PhD candidate in the literature program at Duke University. Her writing has been published in Berfrois, HASTAC, the Information Society, and Polygraph, and she is a visiting instructor in the English department at Wake Forest University.

About Chipocrite

Chipocrite, a.k.a. Paul Weinstein, uses original Nintendo Game Boys, often accompanied by bass, guitar, and/or other lo-fi sequencers, to create complex audio masterpieces. His multifaceted but catchy compositions combine the nostalgic game sounds of his childhood with modern music influences.

Since emerging on the Philadelphia chip scene just a few years ago, Chipocrite has taken the stage at numerous performance spaces, events, and conventions, including the Vans Warped Tour and Blip Festival, and provided soundtracks for commercials—including a nationally televised GameStop ad—as well as for video games and online videos. Chipocrite released “Hit and Run,” which was named “Best Album—Chiptune” in Square Enix Music Online’s Annual Game Music Awards for 2011.

About First Fridays

Spark your curiosity while exploring the exhibits after hours! First Fridays bring together a lively lineup of guest speakers and hands-on activities covering everyday science, historical oddities, and everything in between. Grab your friends, and kick off an evening of discovery, surprise, and a little nerdy fun.

First Fridays at the Institute are always free and open to the public; no registration required. For more information about our First Friday programs, contact Alexis Pedrick at 215.873.8293 or apedrick@sciencehistory.org.