Human Journey

Turning the Maker Faire Into Music

At a time of so much hype over digital creations — ahem, Facebook IPO — the Maker movement has built momentum around the bold and fun idea that there are still people inventing real, physical things. Things made of metal and wood, cogs and gears, sensors and motors. And things that are made out of the vibrating air molecules that bump into each other to create sound.

These kinds of inventions and more were showcased yesterday and the day before at Maker Faire, a massive festival and showcase for DIY culture in San Mateo, California. Youth Radio was on the scene and produced a crowd-sampled remix of the Faire soundscape. Throughout the day, youth producers attending the fair as Makers recorded ambient sounds from all around the fairgrounds, then edited them on the spot into electronic music and beats.

Earlier this month, Youth Radio remixed Marvin Gaye’s legendary What’s Going On Concert at the Kennedy Center. And it’s their second time rearranging the Maker Faire’s hubbub. This time out, they put a new spin on their 2009 production by adding a DJ on turntables. Gosh, that was a bad pun. But there’s nothing that’s bad about the music — listen to it in the above video.

The team of youth remixers included Meles Gebru, Jaylyn Burns, and Christian Hernandez, with production help from Ben Frost, Dave Hunter and James Rowlands. Video produced by Denise Tejada and Chaz Hubbard.

Youth Radio Investigates is an NSF-supported science reporting series in which young journalists collect and analyze original data with professional scientists, and then tell unexpected stories about what they discover. National Geographic News Watch partners with Youth Radio to share the work of the young journalists with the National Geographic audience. Check out more from Youth Radio’s science desk at

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