To explore sounds in found objects and use alternate tuning systems to create new music.





Investigate sounds in everyday material and found objects, through experiments conducted in school workshops, artist studios and/or in art projects. 


Study alternate tuning systems, through mathematical deductions and active listening and use them to uncover sounds missed by the human ear.


Combine the sounds in everyday material with alternate tuning systems and the traditional arts/ sciences of sound, to create new music.


“Sometimes I wonder,”
“Yeah? Me too.”
“What do you wonder about?”
“What's between the two keys on a piano,”
“That's exactly what I wonder about! What's between that spoon and the plate?!”
“Another key, perhaps? Another sound?"
“Yeah, a sound yet to be found!”


We wonder if Thingamajigs began in a conversation like this, but we would like to imagine it did. 


From an art project to an organization : 1997 to 2004

The 90s was an era of novelty (just like any other) and two students in Mills College dreamed of new ways to produce sounds.  - Edward Schocker and Dylan Bolles created a forum in 1997, to network with composers and performers, who developed unique methods of making music. Little did they know that a humble gathering of artists and ideas - Thingamajigs, will soon become an annual festival - Music for People & Thingamajigs

The spirit of the art-project turned festival, continued to grow steady for the next few years, and strengthened in purpose. A dedicated group of advisers/organizers came together for a mission, i.e., to develop and nurture the exploration of alternate materials and methods of creating sound, as well as promote collaborative efforts with other artistic disciplines. The people, purpose and the year 2004 defined Thingamajigs as an organization.

International collaboration to a global community : 2005 - present

Thingamajigs' sound explorations crossed geographical boundaries in 2005, when Pacific Exchange Series brought artists in Japan, Chile, Vietnam, and Australia together. These composers and performers in the Pacific Rim exchanged ideas and created music on a single concert stage. 

If art and music can bridge cultures, it can open pathways to learn too. At least that's what the organization discovered when Thingamakids! was born in 2006. The core team wore the cap of Teaching Artists, and began to conduct sound experiments designed for K-8 schools. Since then artists have worked with children throughout the year to cultivate hands-on instrument building, music appreciation and the study of sound produced through made and found objects.

The unlimited scope of artistic work in Thingamajigs called for an identity, beyond a name. So in 2008, 3 artists came together to create unique theatrical shows, that combined traditional, Eastern sensibilities with modern technology and performance practices. This ensemble of artists engaged in sound and voice discoveries, tuning systems and musical instruments is now called Thingamajigs Performance Group(TPG) 

Thingamajigs was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2010. The new-found community support opened up program avenues, across all age-groups and disciplines. 

Art and music moved on from high-tech, advanced auditorium set ups to open lawns. In 2014, the first Aeolian Day festival was held in Middle Harbor Shoreline Park. This unique event where sound-works created by children, artists and sound-makers are displayed in a lawn and played by the wind is held every summer now!

Scroll down for more on the people, artists and their write-ups. 



Edward Schocker

Executive Director

A composer and a performer who creates music with made/found materials and alternate tuning systems. He holds an M.A. in composition from Mills College, where he studied with Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, and independently with Lou Harrison. At Mills, Edward founded The Music For People & Thingamajigs Festival, an annual event in The Bay Area devoted to unusual instruments and tunings.

Words, information and music

Dylan Bolles


Makes performances with people and environments, many of which involve the design and construction of new musical instruments and the cultivation of co-creative relationships based in listening practice. His activities include a wide range of performance-based collaborations, time-based arts, installations, and sound compositions rooted in shared temporal experience.

Compositions & other soundworks

Katy Luo


A pianist, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Katy recently moved to Honolulu, where she is now lecturer of Music at both the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Kapi'iolani Community College. For the last 20 years, she has taught and performed extensively throughout the U.S., mostly in New York City, where she resided for 14 years.

Piano under the sun, next to the beach 


Okailey Okai


A mixed media visual artist and a small business owner of Kid Taro Studio, Okailey originally hails from Providence, Rhode Island. In 2010, she traveled abroad to South Korea as part of the English Program in Korea and taught English for 3 years. In 2016, Okailey obtained her MA in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University and moved to the Bay Area shortly after. She comes to Thingamajigs after serving two years through Americorps as a Program Coordinator at 826 National.

She joined Thingamajigs in April 2019, to manage and facilitate the growth of all programs and activities.



Kunal Dovedy
Robert Lyons
Sean Carson
Judy Halebsky
Edward Schocker
Tako Oda 


Bart Hopkin
Robert Moran
Henry Spiller
Dean Suzuki
June Watanabe
William Winant


David Samas - Community Outreach
Bob Drake - Assistant Grant Writer




Ranjit Bhatnagar
Doug Carroll
Ted Coffey
Matt Davingnon
Tom Duff
Adam Fong with Navitas Ensemble
James Goode
Wayne Grim
Emily Hay
Cole Ingraham
Tom Kaufmann
Lewis Krauthamer with Mobius Trio
Mobius Operandi
Lisa Moskow
Jaime Oliver
Open Graves
Stewart Port
Tim Phillips
Nicci Reisnour
Eric Roth
Pauchi Sasaki
Laetitia Sonami
Ben Taylor
Travis Weller
The Wreck of the The Old Number 10

Terry Berlier, Ricardo Rivera and Christophe Fellay
Betsey Biggs
Jon Brumit
Sean Clute and Double Vision
Tracey Cockrell
The Crank Ensemble
Tom Djll
Keith Evans
Dan Good
Kraig Grady
Judy Halebsky
Brenda Hutchinson
Gretchen Jude
Walter Kitundu
Ralph Lewis
Matthew Montfort
Tom Nunn
Jesse Olsen
Albert Ortega
Ian Power
Wendy Reid
Danishta Rivero
David Samas
John Seales
T.D. Skatchit with Aurora Josephson
Zachary Watkins
William Winant

Mark Appelbaum
John Bischoff
Chris Brown
Ji-Yoon Chun
Gregorio Fonten Correa
Thomas Dimuzio
Electric Junkyard Gamelan
Ellen Fullman with Theresa Wong,
and Luciano Chessa and William Allaudin Mathieu
Matthew Goodheart
Gudmundur Steinn Gunnarsson
Bart Hopkin
Chuck Johnson
Carla Kihlstedt
Conner Lacy
Kristin Miltner
The Norman Conquest
Pauline Oliveros
Orkest Asfalto
Alex Potts
Stephen Ratcliffe
Eric Glick Rieman
Saul Stokes
Alan Tower
Peter Whitehead
Ramin Zoufonoun






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