My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's 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.

Monthly Archives: May 2016

Space Music for Dance Machines

A performance by Midera of Minneapolis, Minnesota

The latest piece I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine “Ambient Performances” is a six-minute video of ambient music on an instrument not largely associated with ambient music: the Korg Electribe EMX1. The EMX1’s combination of drum machine, sequencer, and synthesizer has made it a dance-music favorite. Midera, instead, does away with beats and processes the EMX1’s tones and textures significantly with another instrument, the Eventide Space, a reverb effects unit. In the video, it’s the EMX1 being handled by Midera throughout, though the Eventide, offscreen, is arguably doing much of the heavy lifting — or, in this aesthetic realm, the light lifting. “It’s all in the Eventide Space,” Midera tells one commenter on YouTube, but clarifies in response to another: “The Space is doing a lot of the work, but the simplicity of the EMX makes it fun to write tracks like this.” It’s a flowing performance, threadbare wave forms ebbing from one to another, Midera occasionally adding a bit of drama with some modulation here or a touch of glitchy flare there, all of which has rightly earned the track several comparisons to Vangelis’ Blade Runner score.

Track posted at the YouTube channel of Midera, aka Michael Dennis Raleigh of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Found via synthtopia.com. More from Midera/Raleigh at soundcloud.com/midera, twitter.com/acemonvw, michaelraleigh.bandcamp.com, and midera.bandcamp.com.

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They’re Parts, Not Whole

A series of overlapping textural material by Leonardo Rosado

The track’s title mixes a cold date stamp with an ambiguous sentiment, and in turn “160515T01 the saddest morning glory” summons up a series of overlapping textural source segments. These include plucked string instruments and pulsing drones and some deeply echoing woodwind and sequences of held notes, among other aural delicacies. Those held notes, like the overall piece, travel at too slow a rate to be considered collectively as a melody, as of a piece. They’re parts, not wholes. The whole here is more experiential than developmental, less a matter of something that changes as it goes and more a matter of some things that illuminate each other through proximity. A seemingly rote drone gains rhythm when contrasted with an even more placid tonal companion; a semi-prominent rhythmic element recedes when faced with a more capacious contrast. Recorded by Leonardo Rosado, “160515T01 the saddest morning glory” is slow and subtle, evenly paced and emotionally remote, and utterly beautiful.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/leonrosado. More from Rosado, who is based in Göteborg, Sweden, at works-by-lr.tumblr.com.

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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


The chapel bell at Fort Ross, founded by Russians in 1812 safely between Mexican and British outposts on the coast of California north of Bodega Bay. It has a sweet tone, and you can almost see the thick, slow-moving waveforms as it fades to silence over time. But be on your guard while taking photographs, as some pre-adolescent may lean in and ring it like it’s an Olympic event just when your eardrum is most susceptible to intense pain.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


The spot in this paperback musical dictionary where the word “ambient” might appear.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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Uploaded: My Resonance FM Set

Music by Vladimir Conch, Cullen Miller, Erika Nesse, Marcus Fischer, and others

Earlier this month I put together an hour-long set for the excellent Resonance arts broadcast network (aka resonancefm.com). That set has now been archived at mixcloud.com by Fari Bradley, the Resonance presenter who invited me to do it. There are thorough details on what plays in the set in the initial post here. The music is, in order of appearance, by Vladimir Conch, Cullen Miller, Erika Nesse, Julsy, Marcus Fischer, Stabilo (Speaker Gain Teardrop), North Americans, Yasuo Akai, nystada, Bassling, William Boldenreck, Scanner Darkly, Toàn, and R Beny.

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