Making Music Fest: A Celebration of the Art and Craft of Making Music

Phoenix Forge is hosting Making Music Fest, a showcase of hand-made instrument makers and performers from across the valley. Beginning on November 28th, a week of project-based workshops will invite students, members, and the public to make their own instruments and accessories, like wind chimes, a wooden Aeolian harp, or a hand-sewn guitar strap.

The mini-festival will culminate during the First Friday art walk on December 1st with a series of speakers and musical performances by Phoenix Forge members and partners, including electronic music, folk and bluegrass, found-object instruments, and more. Visitors will also find interactive craft stations and custom instrument demonstrations to experience hand-made music making themselves.

Talks & Performances

Join us at Phoenix Forge from 3-8pm, watch five unique performances from local artists and musicians. This free event is open to the public and will include interactive demonstrations of hand-made instruments, family-friendly crafts and tours of the makerspace.

Click on the names below to learn more:

Learn about the musical work of local artist and maker, Shane Davis. From field recordings to instruments created from found objects, participants will walk away inspired and curious to further explore the sonic relationships in their own environments.

Shane Davis is a multimedia artist residing in Phoenix, Arizona. His work ranges from found object sculptures for music making to producing media that brings awareness to imbalances he perceives in day to day life. As a graduate from Arizona State University’s School of Arts, Media and Engineering’s digital culture (media arts and sciences) bachelor of arts program — he has been molded to create work that exhibits qualities of innovation, sustainability and exploration.

Led by Doug Nottingham and Sonja Branch, students in the Glendale Community College Percussion Ensemble will be performing two works using found and improvised musical instruments, including John Cage’s ‘Child of Tree’.

Housed at Paradise Valley Community College, this ever-changing ensemble plays music from its current members and lives in the overlapping worlds of jazz, free improvisation, and contemporary classical music. Lead by Dr. Keith Kelly

Hear their latest work on the group’s Bandcamp.

Long-time instrument builder and Phoenix Forge member Mark Hickler will be showing off his hand-made Banjos, sharing his history, process, and of course playing a little bluegrass tune.

Learn more about Mark and his work at his website,

Lauren Sarah Hayes is a Scottish improviser, sound artist, and scholar who is recognised for her embodied approach to computer music. Her music is a mix of experimental pop/live electronics/techno/noise/free improvisation and has been described as ‘voracious’ and ‘exhilarating’. She is a sculptress of sound, manipulating, remixing, and bending voice, drum machines, analogue synths and self-built software live and physically. She has performed extensively across Europe and the US, including as part of her tenure with the New BBC Radiophonic Workshop at Kings Place, London. Her 2021 release Embrace (Superpang) was included in Bandcamp’s Best Experimental Music of February 2021.

Shomit Barua is an intermedia artist specializing in ecoacoustics, responsive environments, and emergent narratives. His work is rooted in poetry and architecture, and reflects the shared tenets of contained space, economy of materials, and movement that is both physical and emotional. Combining everyday technologies with esoteric programming languages, he blurs the line between installation and performance, weaving together sound, object, and image. Digital and analog techniques are fused to investigate his core subject: the presence of the mind and body in a physical space.


Plus, learn about accessible design within music and multimedia with Stacia Meconiates, and try out their gyroscopic, electro-acoustic instrument. And watch an acoustic guitar come to life with two live demonstrations by instructors Mark Allred and Robert Mazzullo of the Roberto-Venn Luthiery.

Classes & Workshops

A man in a wood shop uses a rubber mallet and chisel to fabricate a guitar neck.

Learn how to create your own hand-made instruments and accessories from Phoenix Forge staff and guest instructors. All classes are open to the public and don’t require any prerequisites.

Making Music Fest is a collaborative effort of the Maricopa County Community College District and Phoenix Forge. The event will bring together students, faculty, and staff from across the district as well as local makers in one place to teach, learn, and perform hand-made music.

Making Music Fest is open to all to explore the possibilities of making music in all its forms.


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