Recommended reading, news, and so forth elsewhere:
¶ Dancing About Architecture, the Early Years: The headline to a recent National Geographic story is “Ancient Maya Temples Were Giant Loudspeakers?” and the story lives up to the billing. The question mark is intentional, as the article is full of “maybe” this and “perhaps” that, but the brief is that ancient Mayan architecture (yes, may have) employed techniques for sound effects and audio projection: “For example, some rooms and their interconnected spaces multiply echoes and bounce them back at listeners so rapidly that sounds appear to emanate from every direction at once, Rick’s team found. … The effect, as well as the complicated floor plan, can be so disconcerting and disorienting that the team speculates the labyrinth was intentionally designed to confuse people inside.” (At nationalgeographic.com, via thedailyswarm.com and engadget.com.)
¶ Swiss Mix: The sound-installation artist Zimoun, based in Bern, Switzerland, is interviewed at earroom.wordpress.com: “The compositional aspects of my installations are less focused on getting from A to B but rather to create static sound architectures, which can be entered and explored acoustically like a building. The compositional focus lies on the altercation between void, density, space, structure, interfacing, static and balance.” (See above for video example of his work.)
¶ Scenes from a Marriage: Matmos sends a year-end missive with hints of what’s to come: “This turning over of the decade prompts us to continue to work on the new Matmos album, The Marriage of True Minds, an ongoing four year plot which just keeps thickening. You can also expect some surprising remixes, and some concerts in the spring in the United States and Europe in the summer, but we aren’t ready yet to get all TMI about that yet”: brainwashed.com/matmos.
¶ Re-Aligned: The Line record label, once a subset of the 12k record label, is now its own entity, run by Richard Chartier: lineimprint.com. Albums are due from Seth Cluett, Chartier himself, Seth Horvitz (aka Sutekh), and Asmus Tietchens — with “new works by Mark Fell, AGF and Steve Roden to be confirmed” (per an email announcement).
¶ Between Engagements: Speaking of Roden, his 20-year retrospective show at the Armory in Pasadena (armoryarts.org) will be moving next to the University Art Gallery at San Diego State University (sdsu.edu), he announced on his site today: inbetweennoise.blogspot.com. (I saw the show during a trip these past two weeks to Los Angeles, and hope to have some images and thoughts on it up on Disquiet.com shortly.)
¶ Age of Aquarius: Every year I submit my 10-fave list to two places: the Village Voice (for its long-running Pazz & Jop poll) and the record store Aquarius here in San Francisco. Needless to say, my list tends to feel more cozy amid those of fellow Aquarians: aquariusrecords.org.
¶ Borges’ Map: I joined the Internet-based service Quora recently, and “answered” my first “question” (i.e., “Who or what will be the eventual Facebook killer?”). Still sorting out what I think of the service, but for the time being I’m at quora.com/marc-weidenbaum.
¶ Year-End Murk: Happy to see that a Disquiet Downstream entry made Rob Walker‘s year-end list at murketing.com.