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Disquiet Junto Project 0078: Less Sound, More Music

The Project: Create music by removing sound from a century-old Edison Symphony Orchestra recording.

20130627-braga

Each Thursday at the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate.

The composition at the heart of this week’s project is mentioned prominently in the Anton Chekhov short story “The Black Monk”:

One day he was sitting on the balcony after evening tea, reading. At the same time, in the drawing-room, Tanya taking soprano, one of the young ladies a contralto, and the young man with his violin, were practising a well-known serenade of Braga’s. Kovrin listened to the words — they were Russian — and could not understand their meaning. At last, leaving his book and listening attentively, he understood: a maiden, full of sick fancies, heard one night in her garden mysterious sounds, so strange and lovely that she was obliged to recognise them as a holy harmony which is unintelligible to us mortals, and so flies back to heaven. Kovrin’s eyes began to close. He got up, and in exhaustion walked up and down the drawing-room, and then the dining-room. When the singing was over he took Tanya’s arm, and with her went out on the balcony.

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, June 27, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, July 1, 2013, as the deadline.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0078: Less Sound, More Music

The 78th weekly Disquiet Junto project revisits the most popular project in the year and a half thus far of the ongoing Disquiet Junto series. It’s a shared-sample project. Everyone will work from the same source audio, which is provided below. You will take the provided sound sample and from it make an original work. You will do this only by subtracting sound from the sample. You won’t add anything to it. You won’t slow it down. You won’t speed it up. You won’t cut it up, and you won’t otherwise reorganize its contents. You won’t play it backwards. You will only “remove.” The word “remove” is up for interpretation — but generally speaking, I’d say that it means various acts of lowering the volume of a narrow or wide band of the audio spectrum for either a short or long period of time. And, of course, “lowering the volume” can be interpreted to mean muting outright. The act here of “removing” is the sonic equivalent of sculpting something from a solid block.

The track that will be the focus of our collective effort is a 1902 recording by the Edison Symphony Orchestra of “Angel’s Serenade,” or “La Serenata,” by composer Gaetano Braga. This link goes to the source MP3:

http://goo.gl/9sWNe

Deadline: Monday, July 1, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your piece will, due to the nature of the assignment, be the exact same length as the original recording on which it is based: two minutes and seven seconds (2:07).

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto.

Title/Tag: Include the term “disquiet0078-minusmusic” in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: Please consider employing a license that allows for attributed, commerce-free remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, be sure to include this information:

More on this 78th Disquiet Junto project, in which sound is removed from a century-old Edison Symphony Orchestra recording, at:

http://disquiet.com/2013/06/27/disquiet0078-minusmusic/

This track a reworking of a 1902 recording by the Edison Symphony Orchestra of “Angel’s Serenade,” or “La Serenata,” by composer Gaetano Braga. The source audio is from this URL:

http://archive.org/details/EdisonSymphonyOrchestra-01-10

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

By Marc Weidenbaum

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