Canadian composer and guitarist Benoît Charest wrote the music for the masterful new French anime, Les Triplettes de Belleville, which is a bit like saying he wrote its captions, since the film is almost entirely free of dialog, so much so that the occasional bit of spoken language — a vaudevillian song or the spiel of a TV news anchor — goes without subtitles. One of the many musical highlights in the film is a kind of household-goods industrial music, featuring a newspaper ruffled rhythmically into a microphone, a muffled vacuum cleaner that moans like a pneumatic Theremin, and a refrigerator, its shelving grates plucked like a harp that’s entered rigor mortis; joining the trio is a woman who specializes in playing slim wooden mallets on the carefully tuned spokes of a bicycle wheel. That track, sadly, is not readily available for MP3 download. However, on Charest’s website (bencharest.com), he hosts a dozen full-length cues from various of his film-soundtrack assignments, and one in particular evidences a taste and talent for electronic music that was hinted at by Bellville‘s bit of found-object wizardry. Be sure to give a listen to “Dobro Trance,” one of two clips from the film Ne Dis Rien (it’s the second of the two files listed under that film — all these clips are available via the “téléchargement” tab on Charest’s homepage). The track is just what its title suggests, spacious music that uses, of all things, the dobro guitar as its main source material. Eventually a drum machine kicks in, but it’s worth waiting around for the dobro’s return later in the seven-plus-minute track. The music brings to mind the solo cello work of ECM recording artist David Darling and the ambient slide guitar of Bruce Kaplan, and, of course, the spaghetti-western scores of Ennio Morricone.
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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: • 0253 / Doorbell Rehab / Record some welcome music. • 0252 / Sonic Palindrome / Make music that sounds the same backwards and forwards. • 0251 / Soothing Sounds for Parents / Remix some music for infants with parents in mind. • 0250 / Soothing Sounds for Junto / Make some peaceful music for an infant child. • 0249 / 80 Phases / Wish the minimalist composer Steve Reich a happy birthday.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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