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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More from Lanois’ Ambient Album

A second track from Goodbye to Language

The Anti- label has posted another track from Daniel Lanois’ forthcoming Goodbye to Language album. It’s even more tripwire and slipstream than the previously shared “Heavy Sun.” The new piece, “Deconstruction,” is even more likely to turn on a moment’s notice, and to shift subtly from one transient listening zone to the next. It plays almost like a trailer of the album, composed as it is of myriad small segments, muffled blasts of warped pedal steel, gaseous cloud effects in full force. It features Rocco DeLuca on guitar, though his performance, like Lanois’, is so deeply consumed by processing that the presence of the instrument is artfully muddied, to the extreme. The album will be released on September 9.

There’s also a video that, like the music, emphasizes atmosphere. It’s packed with images of Lanois at work, but they’re all through fish-eye lenses, or are filmed close up, or appear in quick, fractured moments:

Track originally posted at More on the album at

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Disquiet Junto Project 0242: Share Yer Knowledge

The Assignment: Make (and annotate) a track that provides an example of a trick/skill/tip you want to share about a piece of musical software or hardware.


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.

This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, August 18, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, August 22, 2016.

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

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0242: Share Yer Knowledge
The Assignment: Make (and annotate) a track that provides an example of a trick/skill/tip you want to share about a piece of musical software or hardware.

Please pay particular attention to all the instructions below, in light of SoundCloud closing down its Groups functionality.

Big picture: One thing arising from the end of the Groups functionality is a broad goal, in which an account on SoundCloud is not necessary for Disquiet Junto project participation. We’ll continue to use SoundCloud, but it isn’t required to use SoundCloud. The aspiration is for the Junto to become “platform-agnostic,” which is why using a message forum, such as, as a central place for each project may work well.

And now, on to this week’s project.

Project Steps:

Step 1: Think of a specific trick or skill or tip you have honed in regard a particular piece of music software or hardware.

Step 2: Create a piece of music in which that trick or skill or tip is intrinsic.

Step 3: Annotate the track to detail the trick/skill/tip.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Per the instructions below, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0242” 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: This is a new task, if you’ve done a Junto project previously. In the following discussion thread at post your track:

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.

This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, August 18, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, August 22, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you. Between 30 seconds and two minutes seems about right.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0242” 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 242nd weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Make (and annotate) a track that provides an example of a trick/skill/tip you want to share about a piece of musical software or hardware” — at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

Project discussion takes place on

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

The image associated with this project is by Susanna Bolle, and is used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

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Rural and Feral

Two takes on backwoods ambience

This split release of half-hour tracks from Seth Chrisman and Nathan McLaughlin pairs elegant, rural electronics with a slightly noisier, certainly more feral counterpart. It’s a mix of field recordings, substantively muffled instrumentation, and thorough filtering by the like-minded if not entirely similar musicians. Chrisman’s piece, “Topographies,” is the musical equivalent of the sound of a forest floor that you’re walking alone. It combines motoric textures and light bits of string tension. McLaughlin’s, “Surface Noise,” eventually resolves to something close to Chrisman’s, but it starts with a jolt that it never quite shakes. It adds a sense of threat to the proceedings. If Chrisman’s is a walk in the great outdoors, then McLaughlin’s suggests that the listener may also be the prey.

Album originally posted at It’s the latest release from FET, which is led by Joe Houpert and McLaughlin.vMore from Chrisman, who’s based in Hudson Valley, New York, at More from McLaughlin, also from Hudson Valley, at

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Bratislava Beatcraft

A bit of downtempo from Jojo Blue of Slovakia

“Questions Forever” is a piece of delicate, arid beatcraftsmanship. It’s made from snare drums and magnified pin drops, mallet wallops and steam exhaust, anxious chatter and whirligig resonance. There are tonal aspects, musty bits of harmonic effluence that begin to fill in the substantial gaps, but that’s ethereal stuff, not a melody, not a song. The meat of this piece is its bones, a stuttery but steady bit of downtempo rhythm play. Toward the end it veers into psychedelia, the warpy background sounds echoing into a frayed, uneasy spaciousness, but the underlying grid work is where it’s at. “Questions Forever” is all infrastructure, all girding and planning, pacing and metrics.

Track originally posted at Jojo Blue is based in Bratislava, Slovakia.

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Amanda Feery’s Cello + Electronics

A rough draft of her "Stray Sods" — plus a video excerpt

“Stray Sods,” as heard here, is a rough take of a piece for cello and electronics by Amanda Feery, the Dublin-based composer. The first thing you hear in the piece isn’t the cello, at least not in recognizable form, but a pulsing, filmic, beading field of percussion. The effect of these tiny percussive tones is caught somewhere between a tossed snow globe and the sound design of a particularly heightened moment in a contemporary thriller. A cello enters that zone and saws long, held notes. It fills the space between the many pointillist dots. At first the cello is halting, cautious, and then it gains melodic complexity. This isn’t a whisper-to-a-scream composition, however. Pauses come at appropriate increments, and the percussion fades back and forth between modes in a manner that suggests time shifts and tectonic adjustments. There have been times when I’ve let the nearly seven minutes of “Stray Sods” play on repeat for hours, and I recommend doing so.

As a bonus, here’s a video excerpt of “Stray Sods” performed by cellist Amanda Gookin. It’s the latest piece I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine “Ambient Performances.”

Track originally posted at More on Feery, who is completing a PhD in Compositon at Princeton, at

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