Gig Seeker Pro


Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Band EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Creating music is child's play for duo"

By Don Thrasher

Bianca Pettis and Jacob Aaron Roske are sitting together in Minneapolis, doing a telephone interview via speakerphone and something isn’t quite right.

Their voices sound fainter than normal and slightly mechanized. Random bursts of static punctuate a phrase here and there, and occasionally obscure their voices completely. This sonic disturbance is a small bother, but it’s also actually quite fitting for this duo. As Beatrix*JAR, Pettis and Roske are known for coaxing unusual sounds from common items such as children’s toys, guitar effects and other battery-powered electronic gadgets.

The DIY process is known as circuit bending and involves opening up out-dated devices and creating electronic shortcuts that unlock previously untapped sounds. The results are audio collages that can range from whimsical and amusing to dark and disturbing. However, in the hands of Pettis and Roske, the experimental music manages to sound warm and inviting, and often comes with block rocking trip-hop beats.

“We layer different sounds and samples, and we have electronic beats,” Pettis said. “We try to get the audience moving and their heads bobbing.”

“What I really love about Beatrix*JAR is we’re playing old Speak & Spells, Casio keyboards with found samples and sounds, and we’re creating this completely new world of conceptual sound art,” Roske said. “But it also has a beat, a rhythm and a really good emotional quality to it.”

Experimentation is a big part of circuit bending, whether it’s the initial phase of opening up a device and tinkering with the electronic innards or sitting down with the reconfigured gear and finding a way to turn these unlocked sounds into music. That’s one of the reasons Tess Cortés, gallery coordinator for Wright State University’s Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries, thought Beatrix*JAR would be a good compliment to Erwin Redl’s large-scale light installations.

“It’s the idea of taking something that might be utilitarian or everyday, like LED lights or children’s toys and making something new from them,” Cortés said. “Innovation, I think, and technology are the underlying ties between them.”

Pettis and Roske will showcase their innovative music and the re-purposed items used to create it with a WSU-sponsored live performance at C{Space in Dayton on Friday, Sept. 18.

“Beatrix*JAR’s approach to music making, tinkering and sound collage is very hands on,” Cortés said. “It’s something everyone can do and it’s kind of the start to what Redl does because it’s electronic basics. You’re learning how to short-wire and the inner workings of electronics and I think that’s the start of something larger. Of course, they take that into really cool directions, which is music and improv.”

Since forming in 2005, Beatrix*JAR has made a point of sharing circuit bending with as many people as possible through workshops and live performances in nightclubs, art galleries, college lecture halls, theaters and museums.

“It’s been cool to be like a band and do performances that really get your message out there sonically, but then also have the workshop component,” Roske said. “We’re still doing that, but we’re really enjoying the practical side of things where we get to show people the cool techniques of circuit bending so they can do a performance.”

“We decided we would just teach people how to do this and they would explore,” Pettis said. “We thought maybe we could build an audience that would understand the kind of music we’re making and the whole new wave of manipulative sound and people would start coming out of the woodwork. It’s been fun because we’re connecting with a lot of other benders in the world that we didn’t even know existed.” - Dayton Daily News





Beatrix*JAR is a conceptual electronic music duo and couple consisting of sound artists Bianca Pettis - "Beatrix" and Jacob Aaron Roske - "JAR". Beatrix*JAR are based in St. Paul, Minnesota and travel the world spreading the good word of Do It Yourself (D.I.Y.) electronics with hands-on Circuit Bending Workshops and playful conceptual sound art performances.