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.

Pre-Junto Harmonic Study

An early version of a piece that subnaught performed at the San Francisco Disquiet Junto concert on December 6, 2012

There are various reasons that SoundCloud has worked well as a base of operations for the Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects, projects that are designed as purposefully restrictive compositional prompts. Key among these reasons is the manner in which SoundCloud has presented itself not as an online version of a record store, like Bandcamp among other servies does, and more as a space where people can share looser, less finished work. As a result, not only can we as listeners follow musicians and listen to their work progress, we can also revisit early versions once time has passed.

Much of the work performed during the four Disquiet Junto concerts that occurred this year across the United States — Chicago in April, Denver in August, Manhattan in November, San Francisco this past week at the start of December — appeared first as posts on SoundCloud. This is certainly true of the assignments for each concert, the works the performers all did based on the same constraints (this past week, for example, in San Francisco that meant work based on samples of superstorm Sandy). But it’s also true of the additional pieces they performed. Take “Pitch Study” by Oakland, California’s subnaught, who played the second set this past Thursday at the Luggage Store Gallery on Market Street in San Francisco. (He followed Cullen Miller and preceded Jared Smith.) In the work, a set of contrasting pitches are allowed to proceed, so that their distinctions are brought into sonic view:

I hope to have audio from the San Francisco event posted soon, for comparison’s sake. Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/subnaught. More from subnaught at subnaught.org.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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