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

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Disquiet Junto Project 148: Peripheral Listening

The Assignment: Make music inspired by and suitable for listening to while reading William Gibson's novel The Peripheral.

20141030-peripheral

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at Disquiet.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.

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, October 30, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, November 3, 2014, as the deadline.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 148: Peripheral Listening
The Assignment: Make music inspired by and suitable for listening to while reading William Gibson’s novel The Peripheral.

For this week’s project we’re making music that would make suitable listening material when reading William Gibson’s new novel, The Peripheral. These are the steps:

Step 1: You will make two minutes of loopable background music. The music will be inspired by a phrase from William Gibson’s novel The Peripheral. Think about music that is suitable to reading.

Step 2: Select one of these three phrases, or locate another phrase from the book:

Chapter 6 (“Patchers”): “The square filled with a low moaning, the island’s hallmark soundscape.”

Chapter 32 (“Tipstaff”): “Then a ringing silence, in which could be heard an apparent rain of small objects, striking walls and flagstones.”

Chapter 56 (“The Light in Her Voice Mail”): “The ambient sound was glum as the light, as calculated to unsettle.”

Step 3: Compose a piece of music two minutes in length that is informed by the phrase you have selected.

Step 4: Upload the finished track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud. Be sure to mention the source phrase from the novel in the text field accompanying your piece.

Step 5: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Length: Your finished work should be 2 minutes long.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and 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: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0148-peripherallistening″ in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

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

More on this 148th Disquiet Junto project — “Make music inspired by and suitable for listening to while reading William Gibson’s novel The Peripheral″ — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/10/30/disquiet0148-peripherallistening/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

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Disquiet Junto Project 0147: Slight Noise

The Assignment: Record 8 seconds of white noise in your own personal style.

20141023-whitenoise

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at Disquiet.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.

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, October 23, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, October 27, 2014, as the deadline.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0147: Slight Noise
The Assignment: Record 8 seconds of white noise in your own personal style.

This week’s project:

Step 1: Record 8 seconds of white noise in your own personal style.

Step 2: Upload the finished track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 3: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Length: Your finished work should be 8 seconds long.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and 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: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0147-slightnoise″ in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

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

More on this 147th Disquiet Junto project — “Record 8 seconds of white noise in your own personal style″ — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/10/23/disquiet0147-slightnoise/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

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How to Build a Girl

Reading and reconstructing the tea leaves of Taylor Swift's accidental hit

There have been many responses to the eight-second accidental hit of white noise attributed to pop star Taylor Swift. At theatlantic.com, Megan Garber stitched together quotes from Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise to form a review (“It is the time of year, the time of day, for a small insistent sadness to pass into the texture of things. Dusk, silence, iron chill. Something lonely in the bone.”). At vulture.com, Nate Jones drew a comparison to the late Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. The white noise snippet was erroneously titled “Track 3,” so at theverge.com, Ross Miller compared it to a silence inherent in the real third track on the record:

Swift’s actual track 3 (actual name TBD) does have actual lyrics, as teased on her Instagram account: I say “I heard that you’ve been out and about with some other girl” — all followed by an extended, anxiety-inducing, 29-dot ellipses.

And over at his soundcloud.com/junkrhythm account the Los Angeles–based Junk Rhythm went so far as to create white noise from scratch and post a how-to on YouTube:

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Like a Robot Tuvan Choir

A live solstice performance by Gretchen Jude

Gretchen Jude’s “Midsummer Dark” track was performed live this year at Oakland, California’s annual Garden of Memory, an annual solstice event that takes place in a columbarium and invites a wide range of musicians. Her sole instruments on this appear to be a synthesizer made from a kit in the famed (at least famed in the maker set) Japanese magazine Gakken and a sampler from Roland, the SP-404. That isn’t intended as gear-hound talk, just as a recognition of the systems in play. The result is glottal, droning mass, the undulating layers like a robot Tuvan choir. For 16-plus minutes straight, she pushes at the drone, eking out impressive states yet never piercing the veil.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/gretchenjude. More on the Garden of Memory at gardenofmemory.com. More from Gretchen Jude at gretchenjude.weebly.com.

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Vicky Chow’s Piano Is a Machine

A work by Adam Basanta

Vicky Chow performs the 20-minute “This Machine Breathes to the Rhythms of Its Own Heartbeat,” a recent composition by Adam Basanta. Basanta’s website describes the work a being “for solo piano, electronics, and two surface transducers.” What that description lacks is mention of the voice with which the piece begins — a monologue that serves as the contemporary classical equivalent of the sort of procedural introduction to an episode of a show like Dragnet or, more recently, Southland. It lays out the facts, which have the plainspoken quality of the piece’s title, with limited emotion, a distance that lends the everyday a peculiar level of depth and intensity, of foreboding. The music then does those suggested qualities full justice. “This machine will not communicate. All it knows to do is turn on and off. This machine does not operate according to our timescale,” and so on. From there a mix of droning feedback and rarified piano figures alternate, the former no doubt originating in the latter. The result is an exploration of vibrant mechanical activity, from the white noise of strong feedback to the snare-drum-like rattle of open chords to isolated keys that echo like pin drops.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/vicky-chow. More from Basanta at adambasanta.com. More from Chow at vickychow.com.

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