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.

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Daily recommended free MP3s + streams

Sarah Davachi Live Video

A painstaking drone gives way to violin-like textures

It’s saying something when the wafts of stage smoke evidence more motion than does the performer. Such is, on this occasion, the painstaking, thoughtful, and introspective work of Sarah Davachi. This solemnly paced video went live late last year, coincident with the November 25, 2016, release of Davachi’s excellent Vergers album on the Important Records label, and yet it’s had oddly few viewings, at least according to YouTube’s accounting. It’s a gorgeous performance. The first half is an encompassing drone, settling into a heavy mid-range and dense with a slow boil of quarter-step commotion. Then enters what sounds like a patiently bowed violin, given to layering, its steadiness allowing for exploration of its gracefully bleak textures.

In related news, Davachi has been filling out her back catalog. Two EPs that predate Vergers appeared on her Bandcamp today: Qualities of Bodies Permanent and neustadt / altstadt EP, both dating from March 2015.

Update (February 16, 2017): I got a note from Rick of Shasta Cults that the Important Records video had previously been posted on the Shasta YouTube channel, and that it was shot “at Kunstencentrum Vooruit, Eastern Dayz festival in Ghent.”

Video originally posted on the Important Records YouTube channel. More from Davachi at sarahdavachi.com and soundcloud.com/sarahdavachi.

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The Modular Synth Videos of Gregory White

Letting the world in, and vice-versa

Gregory White is producing lovely videos of his modular synthesis work, mixing closeups of his patched devices with images from his domestic world.

There’s snowfall on suburban streets, bird feeders, and the like at the start and end of “Midwinter Rings + Chord,” giving us a sense of his mood and of his setting. These parallel aesthetics — the hush of the muffled region, the low-level hum of his music — suggest a bleed between environment and production, between world and worldview.

For “Chord + Clouds + Batumi” (the nouns in his titles all come from the names of synthesizer modules), the synthesizer is set up outdoors. The snow has stopped, though it’s still layering on the ground. The birds aren’t just pictured. They’re heard in the mix — perhaps not sampled by White’s instrument, which is going about slow chordal movement, but part of the finished track nonetheless.

Both “Midwinter Rings + Chord” and “Chord + Clouds + Batumi” were first posted on White’s YouTube channel. White is based in London, England. More from him at soundcloud.com/gregwht and gregory-white.co.uk.

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Sandpaper Particulates

The textural ambient of Bhendricksen

Ambient music isn’t inherently gaseous by nature, even if that is often its reputation. As the elegant and brief track “2.10.2017” by Bhendricksen exemplifies, the music can be just as textural as it might be ethereal. Bhendricksen’s track is a smidgin under two and a half minutes in length, and throughout it rotates sandpaper particulates this way and that. The volume swells to bring sounds into the foreground. Tiny rattles suggest the workings of myriad infinitesimal gears. It’s the sonic evidence of dust being produced, the noise pollution of Whoville.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/bhendricksen. Found via a repost by soundcloud.com/boson_spin, Stan Magendanz of Brisbane, Australia.

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Mira Calix’s (Contemporary) Dance Music

A free track, for a limited time

Mira Calix has listed the track as “free download for a limited period.” It’s the latest in a series of single tracks that have been filling out her “portal” on the bleepstores.com website. The longtime Warp label roster member and prominent IDMer-turned-sound-artist is at miracalixportal.bleepstores.com. The track was announced on Twitter back on February 2 with an image that combined hostage-demand typography and epileptic-antagonizing flashing. Despite all of which, it’s an elegant piece for varied strings: bowed here, plucked there, stuttering like a rope connected a boat to a pier, aching like a sine wave jutting into the audio spectrum. It could be the score to a contemporary film noir, with all its nuanced tension and romantic scene-setting. What it is is a piece for contemporary dance, as Calix writes in the accompanying note:

metamorphosis i was originally composed for matt clark’s, director of united visual artists, video artwork as part of the 3 scène project commissioned by benjamin milliepied for paris opera in 2016. the video art work, titled metamorphosis, features ballerina eve grinsztajn, and my soundtrack; musicians oliver coates and daniel pioro. i have worked extensively with matt and uva over the years, it’s always a pleasure and truly collaborative process. often you write music to picture or vice a versa, but with this project it was a real back and forth. i set the tempo and wrote the bassline, which matt an the uva used during the initial filming of the dancer to capture her movements. while they were then processing and editing that material, i wrote the rest of the piece, bringing oliver and daniel into record the final score. the entire process taking around 3 months.

Track originally posted at miracalixportal.bleepstores.com. More from Calix at miracalix.com.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0267: The Metronomic Society

Create a theme song for a fictional organization.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, 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. A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Tracks will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:

This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 13, 2017. This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, February 9, 2017.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0267: The Metronomic Society
Create a theme song for a fictional organization.

Step 1: There’s a fascinating book from 1988 titled The Metronomic Society. Written by the Michael Young, it is an academic study of the rhythms of human existence, with an emphasis on organization and societal systems. It’s not necessary to read it. It’s just helpful to know where we’re borrowing the term from.

Step 2: Imagine there is an actual group called the Metronomic Society. You might also imagine what they’re up to. Maybe it’s a Man Ray fan club, or a bunch of disgruntled piano tuners, or maybe they explore arcane theories about quantum mechanics. Who knows?

Step 3: Now compose and record a short piece of music — a sound cue, a theme, a sound logo, a jingle — for the Metronomic Society.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If you hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0267″ (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In the following discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track:

http://llllllll.co/t/the-metronomic-society-disquiet-junto-project-0267/6449

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

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

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 13, 2017. This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, February 9, 2017.

Length: The length is up to you, depending on the approach you decide upon.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0267″ in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and be sure to 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. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

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 online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 267th weekly Disquiet Junto project, “The Metronomic Society: Create a theme song for a fictional organization”:

http://disquiet.com/0267/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

llllllll.co/t/the-metronomic-society-disquiet-junto-project-0267/6449

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

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