burnHeartSynth is Brendan Bernhardt Gaffney. 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 DSP 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.


Portfolio (As of December, 2011)