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: Cassette Noise, Bubblegum Pop, Soundwalks, …

Recommended reading, news, and so forth elsewhere:

Life After Transducers: Interview by Federico Placidi with sound artist and composer Agostino Di Scipio at usoproject.blogspot.com. He imagines a possible life cycle of electronic/electric music:

FP: What would happen to your works if one day there were no more possibility to perform it in a socially shared space? Where could it migrate, and how could it reconfigure itself? AdS: If one day there were no more transducers (I mean microphones, loudspeakers, the tympanic membrane of human ear, even the skin maybe…) acting as interfaces between air pressure waves and nervous-electrical measures, my work and the work of a lot of other people would stop existing, it would cease. Fine so! It happened so many times in history. The music of the British virginalists, a few centuries ago, disappeared because of the extinction of their very instrument (the virginale, existing in several fashions across Europe). Then, just like it happens today with Renaissance music, at some point so-called ‘philologically informed’ interpretative approaches would be proposed, and these older technologies would be revived and again built.

Bubblegum Pop Art: Steve Roden collects sound effects from gum-wrapper comics at inbetweennoise.blogspot.com. The gallery is both touching, in how the onomatopoeia play out, and funny, in how odd some of the word choices are:

Memory Is a Mixtape Blessing: Gino Robair on the cassette tape (at emusician.com/robairreport):

Yes, there’s hiss — you can’t miss it. More importantly, there is a combination of wow, flutter, and crunchiness that warmed my heart. All the worst things about the cassette format as a playback medium were the best things for this new release in terms of sound quality. Although the live performance was from ’09, it sounded as if it was recorded in the ’50s — in a good way. I have yet to find a plug-in that does lo-fi like this.

Ear of the Beholder: Inclusion of a sound artist in shortlist for Turner prize seen as a kind of recognition for the artistic element, sound, often overlooked by short-sighted critics, according to John Kieffer (at guardian.co.uk):

More importantly, perhaps, sound art can be as much to do with the act of listening as it is with making the work. Many of us now live in a world of visual and auditory overload. We happily make do with a pixelated version of music on our MP3 players, and end up hearing things we do not want to. We tolerate buildings and public spaces that look OK, but sound terrible. We eat and shop in places where music and noise are calibrated just short of inducing hysteria. We stick our fingers in our ears when trains screech on dirty tracks. For those of us who live under flight paths or in hectic, noise-filled cities, the recent cloud of volcanic ash brought with it something astonishing – the revelation of hearing the sound of birds and insects for the first time.

Return Policy: A project by Christian Marclay for Peter Norton‘s annual family Christmas project is going for over one grand at abebooks.com:

All That Glitters …: I’d really like to know what this book, at awfullibrarybooks.wordpress.com, contains (thanks for the tip, Eric):

Sound-Walkabout: The Heide Museum of Modern Art in Bulleen, Australia is hosting this Sunday Touch at a Distance, a day of “music, installations and soundwalks,” curated by Ben Byrne: “Alan Lamb will set up some of his infinite music machines, Matt Chaumont will contribute a large scale installation producing sub-bass frequencies you feel rather than hear and Philip Samartzis will present recordings from his recent trip to Antarctica. Meanwhile, Anthony Magen will lead the development of a program of soundwalks that visitors will be able to take around the property”: melb.blogspot.com. The “soundwalk” seems to be a dark-horse term, increasingly likely to gain popular acceptance and usage before “sound art” does.

And in Brief: Technologically, this is an upgrade, but it’s not hard to see the addition of a microphone for DJ Hero 2 to, implicitly, downgrade the element of turtnablism: engadget.com. … A museum of musical instruments in Phoenix, Arizona (nytimes.com). … Interview with sound artist Zimoun at everydaylistening.com: “Q: What sound would you like to wake up to? A: I enjoy a lot the very tiny click sounds which our very old heating system is producing when the radiator is getting warm. Very beautiful and always different.”

By Marc Weidenbaum

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