February 13, 2014, is the official release date for my 33 1/3 book on Aphex Twin's 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II, available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

tangents / Electroplankton, Alaska, cabaret …

Quick News, Links, Bits, Reads: Playing catch up on links I’ve accumulated. … Is the Nintendo DS video game Electroplankton out of print? Someone’s selling it for over 70 bucks, used, on amazon.com. (Thanks, Jeff.) … Speaking of which, amazon.com has updated its underacknowledged free-download service, now as part of the blue-light specials at amazon.com/mp3deals. …

Alex Ross headed to Alaska to meet up with composer John Luther Adams (newyorker.com). Adams recounts a specific moment when the intensity of Alaska’s importance to him and to his music became clear: “I knew that I wanted to hear the unheard, that I wanted to somehow transpose the music that is just beyond the reach of our ears into audible vibrations. I knew that it had to be its own space.” … Stephen Holden, the New York Times’s resident cabaret beat reporter (how many other newspapers have a cabaret beat?), bemoans the decision by the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan to end the 14-year tenure of resident pianist and singer Daryl Sherman. Marking the distinction between live piano and the presence of an in situ entertainer, he writes, “The Waldorf still has live piano music in Peacock Alley on the way to the hotel’s Lexington Avenue entrance, but that serves as ambient background tinkling” (nytimes.com). …

Mac-only, so I have yet to try it, but Bitnotic says to be an ambient generator (bitnotic.com). … An automated soundtrack service (soundtrack.pumpaudio.com). … The Mosquito has been banned by at least one county (engadget.com). … There’s no apparent way to search within a genre at emusic.com (if only I could search for “instrumental” within “hip-hop”), but if you’ve got some small number of points left in your monthly subscription, there’s a service that’ll find, say, albums in a certain genre with fewer than a certain number of tracks (search.dslgateways.com).

Word’s already out, but belatedly, David Byrne has said that he and Brian Eno are working on their first album-length collaboration since My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (nydailynews.com). … As I mentioned earlier this week (disquiet.com), the Our Lives in the Bush of Disquiet remix collection I curated has been downloaded over 20,000 times (archive.org); what I didn’t know at the time is that it’s also now available as a collection of ringtones (beemp3.com). …

R.I.P.: Tristram Cary (born 1925), eminent British electronic composer whose music apeared in Dr. Who, Quatermass & the Pit, and other films (bbc.co.uk, guardian.co.uk). … Bebe Barron (born 1920), who is best known for her work with her husband, Louis Barron, on the score to Forbidden Planet (createdigitalmusic.com, echoes.org, cinefantastiqueonline.com). I never met Bebe Barron but I did have the pleasure of editing the interview with her, written by the now deceased composer Richard Zvonar, that appeared in the magazine e/i (ei-mag.com) several years ago. … Jimmy Giuffre (born 1921), experimental jazz woodwind player (nytimes.com, telegraph.co.uk). His Jimmy Giuffre 4 outfit, with electric keyboardist Pete Levin (brother and musical colleague of prog bassist Tony Levin), has been credited with venturing into ambient territory. … Henry Brant (born 1913), spatial-music specialist (sfcmp.blogspot.com, dallasobserver.com, allaboutjazz.com, artsjournal.com/postclassic). … Michel Waisvisz (born 1949), STEIM founder (createdigitalmusic.com, rarefrequency.com, synthtopia.com). … Alexander Courage (born 1919), composer of the Star Trek theme (nytimes.com). … And as noted recently as a Sunday “Image of the Week” (disquiet.com), Albert Hofmann (born 1906), who first synthesized LSD in a laboratory setting, passed away (telegraph.co.uk). … The Yahoo! group that began a decade ago as an online discussion place for music covered in the British magazine Wire is being closed down as usage has dropped to about 30 message per month (groups.yahoo.com). … And while it’s not a resurrection by any means, perhaps a new magazine will fill in where the defunct hip-hop-production periodical Scratch once reigned (beattips.com).

Grey Market: The Spliff Huxtable blog (subtitled: “Hip Hop Production for the Heads”) posts a heap of Pete Rock instrumentals (spliffhuxtable.com) and at Passion of the Weiss, Jeff Weiss posts an instrumental of the great recent Busta Rhymes track “Don’t Touch Me (Throw Da Water on ‘Em),” produced by Grind Music team of LV and Sean C (MP3, passionweiss.com).

By Marc Weidenbaum

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