The self-released Compositions album by New York-based composer Steven (J.) Kane, who studies music at Columbia University, contains a mix of acoustic and electronic work. The acoustic music is contemporary classical: relatively a-temporal in its relaxation of metrical constraint, but more melodic than that of the composers whom it suggests (Olivier Messiaen, Morton Feldman and John Cage among them); at times, Kane’s dramatic percussion and tantalizingly placed notes recall the more experimental soundtracks of composers Jerry Goldsmith and Lalo Schifrin. Three of the album’s eight tracks are experimental tape works, titled “Scratch,” “2′ 10″” and “La Machina Verde in Stereophonic Hi-Fi (aka Destination Battlestar).” Though the array of static and otherwise unrecognizable sonic elements aren’t directly reminiscent of the acoustic tracks’ instrumentation (violin and orchestra; flute, clarinet, harp and percussion; clarinet and string quartet), the parallel between the two styles is fascinating to observe, especially in Kane’s focus on surprisingly placed discrete tones, which tend to punctuate his music. “2′ 20″” appears to present highly distressed vocal material, and the effect of the overlaid sounds can be truly frightening. “La Machina” works campy TV and radio samples into the mix. (A RealAudio file of “Scratch,” the most patient of the three electronic pieces, is available at the following link.)
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• October 13, 2016: This day marks the start of the 250th weekly Disquiet Junto project.
• November 16, 2016: I'll be sharing the mic at Adobe Books in San Francisco with my fellow 33 1/3 author Evie Nagy for an evening hosted, from 7pm to 10pm, by Marc Kate (facebook.com).
• December 1, 2016: A likely speaking engagement. Details to come.
• December 13, 2016: This day marks the 20th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 5, 2017: This day marks the 5th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects: • 0273 / Alarm Clocked / Make music for a (new! improved!) slow-waking alarm clock. • 0272 / Exoplanetary Intervals / Use music to express the relationships between planets. • 0271 / Prison Sky / Mark the 5th anniversary of open-source software engineer Bassel Khartabil's detention. • 0270 / Just Duet / Record the second half of a duet live. • 0269 / Duet Portion / Record half of a live duet.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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