The Dorobo record label has produced a four-track compilation of resolutely elemental sounds. The title of the compilation is Grain, which suggests both the physical-world reality of dust and texture, and the compositional technique known as “granular synthesis.” (Granular synthesis involves the production of a long-form composition as the end result of individual actions made on exactingly brief sound samples.) The album includes work by four Australian composers: Philip Samartzis (“Microphonics”), Pimmon (“Slegner Forgets”), Darrin Verhagen (“_frame”) and David Brown (“Voices of the Air Shaft”). At nearly 18 and a half minutes in length, “Microphonics” is the longest, and most widely ranging, piece on the album. From small scratchy sounds, to nearby bells and distant voices, it might be a recording made of a composer’s workshop with a window left open — while the composer is asleep on the couch. Pimmon’s entry is considerably more static, unnervingly so, with the quiet hum of an after-hours industrial site. Verhagen’s is quieter still, at least at the start, albeit with a more lively percussive element, by far the warmest thing on the entire album. Brown’s “Voices” is shrill and dramatic, and appears to have been derived from orchestral music; there are sounds of string sections and percussion and coarsely edited vocals. It is as eventful as the rest of the album is quiet, and ends even more suddenly than it begins.
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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: • 0264 / Time Travel / Record a piece of music that plays with the perception of time. • 0263 / Overture Edit / Produce an overture to an existing album. • 0262 / Ice Code / Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it. • 0261 / Audio Journal 2016 / Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen five-second segments. • 0260 / Tone Fade / An exercise in when a sound ends.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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