At the end of every video shoot, the recording engineer calls “room tone” and everyone sits or stands in place, in silence. Usually there is someone on the shoot who doesn’t know what “room tone” means. They know enough, though, to stay silent until the engineer announces that enough audio has been captured, enough of the space’s inherent sound, its sense of space, its echo, its ambient foundation. I like figuring out who is unfamiliar with the term “room tone” and then discussing the concept with them. It isn’t, by any means, difficult to grasp that such a tone would be useful. Say you want to place a title card in the video. If you have no sound, then the viewer would experience a sudden drop in sound when the title card appears and a sudden sonic jut when the footage cuts back in. Discussing these two different silences — digital silence and room silence — always makes for a good conversation starter. In the right company, it extends into a broader consideration of assumptions about the concept of silence, how it is a platonic ideal, not a physical reality, as well as to how various types of silence — an echoing space, the light chatter of a workplace, the random intrusions of street noise — lend their own meaning.An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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King Britt: "Thank you so much. Fan of yours and the site…. gotta grab that book you released…. bravo! "
Sharps: "Great job. I love the emphasis on the songs that relate to SAW II. I hope RDJ sees this and makes an..."
Lee Rosevere: "Brave New Waves was an institution here in Canada as some of the best and most ground-breaking radio..."
Lukas: "Oops, the link to stream or buy it: https://earthrid.bandcamp.com/ album/ive-had-dreams-like-this "
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• December 13, 2015: The 19th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• Ongoing: The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: soundcloud.com.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
disquiet juntoThe Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. It's housed at soundcloud.com. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 10 most recent weekly projects: • 0191: One chord to rule them all — on several instruments. • 0190: Set two out-of-sync loops atop each other, and then add sonic glue. • 0189: Create a dense stack of attack-free tonal material from one audio source. • 0188: Take a provided track and make it more complex. • 0187: Shift between three renditions of the same melody. • 0186: Explore the sonic contours of a word you've spelled out loud frequently: your name. • 0185: Summon up a memory, and then summarize it in sound. • 0184: Explore the relationship between segments that consist of 1 bar, 8 bars, and 4 bars. • 0183: Insert something that plays across the stereo spectrum in an after-dark field recording. • 0182: Do a rendition of Ethan Hein's laptop orchestra score by yourself.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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