Rubber Band Banjo is a sci-fi soundtrack composer, homemade instrument maker, multi-instrumentalist, and biology geek. Five full-length albums and one EP have been recorded to date: Hybrid Musical Organisms (2002), Gather Your Junk Together (2002), Hypermutator (2005), Repeating Elements EP (2005), The Circlemaker (2007), and Synthetic Biology (2010). Musical styles are all over the map and include electronic, jazz, avant rock, krautrock, IDM, video game music, cut-ups, drums 'n' bass, dub, no-wave, and musical collages. Compositions involve MIDI programming, manipulating electronic sounds, and playing multiple musical instruments. These instruments include homemade 3-stringed and rubber band zithers, synthesizers such as the Kaoss Pad or Moog, percussive instruments and objects amplified with contact mics, the Mandala drum, treated guitar, Buddha Machine, sampler, electronic drums, voice, and natural recordings.
Being a scientist, the musical making process often involves the direct application of scientific and science fiction concepts. For example, the Hypermutator album was inspired by mechanisms of evolutionary change in bacteria with high mutation rates. Certain tracks on the album have waveforms that are non-randomly duplicated, inverted, and involve transpositions of audio from one location to another, similar to DNA sequence mutations. Another example is the Synthetic Biology album that purposely juxtaposes natural sounds that travel through the air with more artificial sounds that are captured with contact mics that travel as vibrations through objects. Since the scientific field of synthetic biology involves the artificial introduction of DNA into a host organism to program cells for a particular function, this album illustrates the competition between these natural and artificial elements.
Rubber Band Banjo's albums have been released on Weirdomusic Recordings and Fringe Biology Recordings. One track was the theme song for an award winning sci-fi podcast (Billibub Baddings) and also made into a ninja video by a Japanese artist. Several tracks have been played on radio stations, podcasts, and Warren Ellis mixtapes. All Rubber Band Banjo releases can be purchased from Fringe Biology Recordings and most can be found on CD Baby, iTunes, eMusic, Napster, Rhapsody, and other digital distributors.