Brian McNamara is an experimental instrument builder and sound sculpture artist based in Bungendore, NSW, Australia.

Brian mixes his passions for music, electronics and sculpture into unique objects that should need no explanation to play or experience but convey a deeper meaning in the context of their surroundings.


Brian builds a range of experimental instruments, with a focus on both autonomous soundart sculptures and interactive installation instruments that require the engagement of multiple people or unusual kinetic movements to be played. His instruments include computer programmed elements, percussion, found sounds from used electronics and purpose designed oscillators.


A key feature of his work is audience movement and participation. Art functions best when the art space is inclusive of the public so through his exploration of experimental sounds he uses engagement with the audience as a medium to convey ideas. These explorations include the link between the environment and technology, our own movement around the planet with movement of those fleeing war torn areas and the link between our own minds and those we try to create in machines.


Brian was a national finalist for the Etsy design awards for his soundart piece The EMDS synth (2015) and won the ReArt peoples choice award for the Automaphone(2015) an autonomous device that interprets drawings into music.

Presentations and Exhibitions

T7 Autophage installation, ChuteSpace M16 gallery(2020)

Machine reflections, Tuggerannong Arts Centre(2020)

The Philosophy of time travel(solo exhibition), CCAS Manuka (2019)

The fourth state of matter a work in collaboration with Harriet Schwarzrock, Form and Fluid, Tributary Projects (2019)

The fourth state of matter a work in collaboration with Harriet Schwarzrock, Hearts and minds, Canberra Glassworks (2018)

sARTorial: VIVID 2018 wearable tech design(Atomic angel), MCA, Sydney (2018)

Ex Machina, Canberra Contemporary Art Space (2017)

Group show Qbank gallery, 178 Johnson st, Melbourne (2017)

Qbank residency exhibition, Queenstown, Tasmania (2017)

sARTorial: VIVID 2017 wearable tech design(Atomic angel), Sydney, NSW (2017)

Noise instruments, Suki & Hugh gallery, Bungendore (2016)

ReArt 2015 - International upcycle exhibition, M2 gallery Sydney (2015)

Synthetic inventions, Melbourne handmade music festival (2012)

Beat destructor, Wired store exhibition, Times Square New York (2011)

The creative process, Vivid Ideas, Sydney opera house, Sydney (2011)


Lego Sound Sequencer, Make magazine issue 55 (2017)

Alien Projector, Make 1+2+3, page 22, (2015)

The Luna Mod, Make magazine issue 26, page 80

Alien Projector, Make magazine issue 16, page 104

The Mooftronic Mini Synth, Make magazine issue 15, page 70

R-Tronic Toy Music Sequencer, Make magazine issue 13, page 124


Selected Performances

Precipice #24, festival of improvised dance, theatre and music (2019)

Jolt experimental music festival, Melbourne (2019)

SoundOut, International Festival of Improvised and Experimental Music #10 (2019)

The philosophy of time travel, exhibition performance, phage Trio (2019)

Soundscapes #20 - Smith's Alternative (2018)

Neon Parlour Gallery & Studios, Melbourne (2017)

Collected Resonances, ANU school of music (2015)

Synthetic inventions, Melbourne handmade music festival (2012)

Reviews & Articles

‘The Philosophy of Time Travel’ – Brian McNamara’s world of interactive electronics

This Eclectrocasts podcast features artist, Instrument builder, and experimental synth noise drone musician Brian McNamara

You are the ghost in the machine in Ex Machina, Art guide Australia (2017)

Ex Machina, Canberra Times, (2017)

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM , Electronic Sound UK, issue 28, page 15(2017)

This LEGO Sequencer Makes Playtime Modular, Electronic Beats (2016)

Q&A with a Synth lord,  Popular Science,May (2015)

Etsy Design Awards, The Canberra Times (2015)

Gadget Geek: Rarebeasts handmade instruments. Gadget geek (2015)

The Automaphone a picture scanning sythesiser , (2014)

Featured Rarebeasts, Handmade Men (2012)

Elegant, Simple Soundmakers handmade by Brian McNamara. Create digital music (2010)

The Wicks looper, Boing Boing (2010)

Handmade 2.0, The New York Times (2007)

8-Bit kids toy fun for adults too, (2007)


Etsy design awards (finalist) for the EMDS synth (2015)

ReArt peoples choice award for the Automaphone (2015)


Audio & Visual Releases

All noise and light, an album of music made my the robot Automaphone (2014)




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