The piano echoes the modular synthesizer, or perhaps it’s the other way around. Either way, there’s a vapor trail of synthetic noise that hovers about, that emanates from, the roiling piano in the third part of a “Piano/Modular Synth Improvisation” by San Francisco musician Clarke Robinson. And then, just as a certain hierarchy seems to present itself, the synthesizer presents its own not insignificant flurry of sonic gusto, a brash field of constrained chaos. This play back and forth between modular and piano, between abstract and traditional, between amorphous and familiar, is the core of Robinson’s work here, in which the elements, so distinct from each other, are allowed to circle each other, to serve varying roles: shadow, peer, guidepost, antagonist. Bracing stuff.
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• November 9, 2015: A short essay I wrote ("Bassel K") will appear in the book The Cost of Freedom, dedicated to Bassel Khartabil, who's been detained in Syria since March 15, 2012. Details at costoffreedom.cc.
• November 21, 2015: Start of semi-annual social-media absentia (through January 4, 2016).
• Early December 2015: Jeff Kolar's album Doorbells will be released by the label Panospria. I wrote the liner notes. In the meanwhile you can listen to his previous album, Smoke Detector.
• December 13, 2015: The 19th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 4, 2016: End of semi-annual social-media absentia (started November 21, 2015).
• February 3, 2016: First class session of the 15-week course I teach at the San Francisco Academy of Art on the role of sound in the media landscape.
• May 18, 2016: Final class session of the 15-week course I teach at the San Francisco Academy of Art on the role of sound in the media landscape.
• 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: soundcloud.com.
• 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. It's housed at soundcloud.com. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects: • 0226: Compose music for a fictional greatest-hits collection of the electronic music of R. Buckminster Fuller. • 0225: Sight read a late-1940s painting by Argentine artist Lidy Prati as a graphically notated score. • 0224: Make music with the sound of a refrigerator as its foundation. • 0223: Record multiple, slightly varying takes on the same looped composition in this project by Monome's Brian Crabtree. • 0222: Compose a piece for contemporary dance — with a "soft top" and a "shifting bottom."
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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