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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Soothing Sounds for (My) Baby

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Three weeks ago today, my soundworld changed forever. There was a lot of electronic beeping and human panting for many hours, and a not small amount of institutional chatter and directives, and then suddenly silence, into which arrived this incredible scream, a scream of life. This was late in the evening of August 31, 2010, when my wife gave birth to our daughter, who turns a momentous three weeks old this evening.

A group of electronic musicians has put together an incredible (and free to download) compilation of music intended as appropriate for the mix of quietude and gurgling playfulness that one might associate with a baby’s first experiences of life. The project’s production unfolded entirely unbeknownst to me, until the day before its release, when Erik Schoster, who makes music as He Can Jog, wrote to inform me of what he and his musician buddies had been up to.

The album is titled Soothing Sounds for Baby, after the collections by famed inventor-musician Raymond Scott. However this Soothing Sounds collection includes a subhead and a brief introduction that make me blush to reproduce here:

Soothing Sounds for Baby A LuvSound Sampler for Marc Weidenbaum You probably know that Marc Weidenbaum is the man behind the excellent and long-running Disquiet blog on ambient music (and beyond!) but you may have missed a recent tweet declaring his new fatherhood – true to form, it was couched in a reference to an ambient festival he’d planed to attend. This seemed like a good enough excuse to take a moment and pay respect to someone who has tirelessly supported this little corner of the musical world we love so much. So, Marc: thanks for everything! Here are some sounds for you and baby (and you, dear reader) presented with warmth from a gaggle of LuvSound alumni.

Here, by the way, is the tweet in question:

Looks like I will miss the On Land & SFEMF festivals in San Francisco these next weeks. Good excuse: my first child was born Tuesday night.
11:11 AM Sep 2nd  via web  from Ashbury Heights, San Francisco


 
As the fellows who handle the raymondscott.blogspot.com reminded me, I listed Scott’s Soothing Sounds for Baby among the “16 Albums That Changed My Life” when I made the list in February 2009. Let’s just say that the ideas of life and of life changing are even clearer to me now.

You can flip back and forth through the playlist (up above) using the small arrows, or select an individual track down below — as well as click through to learn more about each contributing artist. The collection is housed at the luvsound.org netlabel. Read more »

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At Play in the Field: Found-Sound Mix

About Disquiet.com’s “Listen?”:

This is Disquiet.com’s streaming-audio service. The interface immediately below will stream in sequence a series of tracks, 18 total, by various musicians. What they all have in common is that each has taken sounds from the real world and made something new of them. The raw materials include the ambience of Japanese ritual spaces and the noise of European tunnels, brief snatches of frog-song as well as audio documentation of a distant moon. The phonographers — that is, those who record the world in sound (in contrast with, or as a complement to, the more common practice of photography) — visit Iceland, Mozambique, London, and Laos, just to name a few destinations. Some simply turn their microphones toward their own studios.

You can flip back and forth through the playlist using the small arrows. The duration of this album is 55:36. It is titled At Play in the Field.

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The artists’s creations range from framing a field recording by giving it a beginning and an end, to working the sounds into a composition. In some cases, the listener may even be required to make a leap of faith that the sourced sound is, in fact, buried deep in the mix.

Many but not all the tracks originally appeared in this site’s Downstream section, which focuses on legally free downloads on the Internet

 

Playlist Guide:

Please note that most of the links below in this post will result in pop-ups, so as not to interrupt the streaming audio. Direct links to download the individual MP3s are provided.

Track 1. (Duration: 02:26.) "Church" is a document of Iceland, recorded by Scott Sherk.
[MP3. More info: wanderingear.com, disquiet.com. Musician: thethirdbarn.org.]

Track 2. (Duration: 06:44.) "Natural Sounds of the Mountain Lake Sanctuary (Side One)" is a clip from a nature-sounds 7" that dates from the 1970s, posted by sound artist Steve Roden on his blog. It is, in effect, a twice-found sound, first by the recordist and years later by Roden.
[MP3. More info: inbetweennoise.blogspot.com, disquiet.com. Musician: inbetweennoise.com.]

Track 3. (Duration: 01:40.) "Tunnel Brücke (Excerpt)" by Totstellen is an augmented field recording, taped in a tunnel below traffic, from the album Tunnel Brücke. 
[MP3. More info: reduktivemusiken.de, disquiet.com.] 

Track 4. (Duration: 03:04.) "03 13 09" by map~map (Marcus Fischer) is, he explains, "a little experiment using field recordings of the pacific ocean."
[MP3. More info: unrecnow.com.]

Track 5. (Duration: 00:34.) "Temple Ambience Kamakura" was recorded in Japan by sound designer Tim Prebble.
[MP3. More info: substation.co.nz, disquiet.com. Musician: substation.co.nz.]

Track 6. (Duration: 00:31.) "Taya Cavern" was also recorded by sound designer Tim Prebble in Japan.
[MP3. More info: substation.co.nz, disquiet.com. Musician: substation.co.nz.]

Track 7. (Duration: 04:26.) "Liq" is by Helena Gough, who likes to say she makes something from nothing. She takes field recordings of our real world and creates new audioscapes from them, thanks to microsonic manipulation and an empasis on a narrative-like song structure.
[MP3. More info: disquiet.com. Musician: helenagough.net.]

Track 8. (Duration: 01:29.) "2 O’Clock: I Love You" is a mix of birdsong and electronic synthesis that serves as the soundtrack to Ven Voisey’s installation "Cuckoo Radio."
[MP3. More info: disquiet.com. Musician: v---v.net.]

Track 9. (Duration: 09:49.) "Resonance" by Aaron Ximm, who writes, "Plumbing resonance, reconsidered, in Vang Vieng, Laos. When the stars align, resonance in our bathroom pipes makes them sing." From his album Rockets of the Mekong.
[MP3. More info: quietamerican.org. Musician: quietamerican.org.]

Track 10. (Duration: 04:06.) "Calisthenic" by Aaron Ximm is a beautiful piece, just over four minutes long, though it feels much quicker; brief snippets of real world sound are looped to incantatory effect, moving steadily away from silence. Described by Ximm as an "exercise in negative space." Also from his album Rockets of the Mekong.
[MP3. More info: quietamerican.org, disquiet.com. Musician: quietamerican.org.]

Track 11. (Duration: 02:23.) "Composição n3?" by Cancro (Tiago Jerónimo) announces itself with a sudden thud and then proceeds like the effort of distant machines as heard from a windowless room.
[MP3. More info: clubotaku.org, disquiet.com. Musician: myspace.com/orcnac.]

Track 12. (Duration: 04:05.) "Asagaya Matsuri" recorded in Japan by Carl Stone, who describes it as follows: "An ensemble of drums and flute play while perched atop an elevated scaffold in front of the train station. Add the occasional sound of an ambulance along with the normal sounds of traffic -- incredibly they don’t close the roads but let the paraders mix in with the cars -- and you get a wonderful sound stew which I offer up herewith for your enjoyment."
[MP3. More info: newmusicbox.org, disquiet.com. Musician: sukothai.com.]

Track 13. (Duration: 05:18.) "Sleepless City Remix" by Scanner (remixed by Stephen Vitiello). Back in 1996, Scanner got some young British men and women together to talk about, as the nightjam.org.uk website puts it, "how the city at night looks and sounds to their ears and eyes." Among the results of this project was “Sleepless City,” a maudlin track opening with dolorous piano that, characteristic for Scanner, places spoken word by his young subjects amid a soundscape that lends drama and emotional context. This is Vitiello's remix of that track.
[MP3. More info: disquiet.com. Musicians: scannerdot.com, stephenvitiello.com.]

Track 14. (Duration: 00:17.) "Section of a soundscape of two troops of indris" from FonoZoo.com, which is exactly what it sounds like it promises to be: a menagerie comprised entirely of the sounds of animals.
[MP3. More info: fonozoo.com, disquiet.com.]

Track 15. (Duration: 01:43.) "Huygens Alien Winds Descent" is a "laboratory reconstruction" of what the audio sensors on the HASI probe (Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument) witnessed as the probe descended to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, on Friday, January 14, 2005.
[MP3. More info: esa.int, disquiet.com.]

Track 16. (Duration: 01:48.) "January 21, Pound Ridge, 2:09pm" by Taylor Deupree, who writes, "room tone in my studio. recorder placed on stack of external hard drives." Part of his 2009 "One Sound Each Day" series.
[MP3. More info, musician: 12k.com/onesoundeachday/]

Track 17. (Duration: 02:24.) "Harbourstorm" by Lori Beckstead and Dave Rose is from their Winanga-li: Australian Soundscapes album on the Wandering Ear netlabel. It's the one "composite" track on the album, composed of multiple recordings.
[MP3. More info: wanderingear.com, disquiet.com.] 

Track 18. (Duration: 02:59.) "Out of Our Sight" by Cabaret Voltaire founder Chris Watson, who writes of it: "Motionless anticipation, along the dry sandy banks of the Zambesi a Mozambique nightjar is sucking in all the remaining light."
[MP3. More info: disquiet.com. Musician: chriswatson.net.]


About the Cover Photo: The image of the pond on the "cover" to this collection is borrowed from Stephen Vitiello's "Pond Set," a series of experimental graphic scores that combine to varying degrees sheet music and high-contrast nature photography. Vitiello did the remix of the Scanner track (#13 above).

NB: To the best of my knowledge, my promotion of these tracks in this manner is all above board. However, if you represent any of these tracks and/or artists and feel that they are being inappropriately utilized here, please contact me directly at marc@disquiet.com, and I'll rectify the situation promptly.

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Eno/Byrne Re-Mix: Our Lives in the Bush of Disquiet

About Disquiet.com’s “Listen?”:

Welcome to Disquiet.com’s streaming-audio service. The interface immediately below will stream in sequence the 12-track compilation album Our Lives in the Bush of Disquiet, a project I curated in September 2006 of remixes of tracks off the Brian Eno and David Byrne album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, which was then celebrating its 25th anniversary. To promote the rerelease, Eno and Byrne had embraced open-source music-making, and uploaded to a website, bush-of-ghosts.com/remix, the constituent parts of two tracks off My Life in the Bush of Ghosts: “Help Me Somebody,” a pulsating bit of ersatz African juju, and “A Secret Life,” a more languorous stretch of elegiac atmospherics, and made them available for remixing. I asked a dozen musicians to participate, and this compilation was the result of that request. Since Byrne is currently touring in tribute to his revived association with Brian Eno, which also included the album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, this seemed like a good time to make this set available for streaming.

There’s additional information at disquiet.com/bushofghosts, and the project is housed at archive.org. You can flip back and forth through the playlist using the small arrows.

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The duration of this album of remixes is 56:23.

 

Playlist Guide:

Please note that most of the links below in this post will result in pop-ups, so as not to interrupt the streaming audio.

Track  1. (Duration: 02:59.) "Help Me Help Me" by AllThatFall [Musician: allthatfall.com.]

Track  2. (Duration: 03:48.) "If You Make Your Bed in Heaven" by Roddy Schrock [Musician: fundamentallysound.org.]

Track  3. (Duration: 05:04.) "Leftover Secrets to Tell" by Pocka

Track  4. (Duration: 08:30.) "Secret Life Remix" by Stephane Leonard [Musician: stephaneleonard.net.]

Track  5. (Duration: 05:25.) "The Black Isle (Byrne/Eno Remix)" by (dj) morsanek [Musician: morsanek.blogspot.com.]

Track  6. (Duration: 06:01.) "Hit Me Somebody (Help Me Somebody Remix)" by MrBiggs [Musician: mrbiggs.com, dancerobotdance.com.]

Track  7. (Duration: 03:52.) "Being and Nothingness (A Secret Life Remixed)" by john kannenberg [Musician: johnkannenberg.com.]

Track  8. (Duration: 04:08.) "Somebody Help Us" by My Fun [Musician: thelandof.org.]

Track  9. (Duration: 02:37.) "Hey" by Mark Rushton [Musician: markrushton.com.]

Track 10. (Duration: 07:37.) "My Bush in the Secret Life of Ghosts" by Prehab [Musician: myspace.com/prehab.]

Track 11. (Duration: 04:28.) "Not Enough Africa" by Ego Response Technician [Musician: xtrasauce.com.]

Track 12. (Duration: 01:54.) "Helping (Help Me Somebody Remix)" by doogie [Musician: fluxed.net.]

I plan to do these mixes every month or so. Special thanks to boon/Brian Scott (boondesign.com), who provided the album's "cover."

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Guit-ronic Mix: 6 Solo 6-Strings

About Disquiet.com’s “Listen?”:

Welcome to Disquiet.com’s streaming-audio service. The interface immediately below will stream in sequence six recent favorites from the site’s Downstream section, which focuses on legally free downloads on the Internet — all six are solo recordings of guitar-based music, ranging from unmediated live performance to sounds that are heavily processed digitally. You can flip back and forth through the playlist using the small arrows. At the bottom of this post is additional information on each of the pieces.

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The duration of this mixtape/playlist is 59:37.

 

Playlist Guide:

Please note that most of the links below in this post will result in pop-ups, so as not to interrupt the streaming audio.

Track 1. (Duration: 04:08.) In Giuseppe Ielasi's "Untitled #9," soon enough the gap between the guitar and its sonic surroundings has begun to blur, such is Ielasi’s alchemy. [More info: disquiet.com. Label: 12kblog.wordpress.com.]

Track 2. (Duration: 06:43.) Ann Deveria's "Patio de Luz" is a delightful layering of acoustic guitar, understated percussion, and light digital effects that only make themselves fully apparent as the nearly seven-minute track draws to a close. [More info: disquiet.com. Musician: myspace.com/anndeveria. Label: ambulatore.com/yoyo.]

Track 3. (Duration: 04:20.) There are glistening, cloud-like guitar patterns against pneumatic percussion on “Arteline” by Elisa Luu. [More info: disquiet.com. Musician: myspace.com/elisaluu. Label: phantomchannel.co.uk.]

Track 4. (Duration: 03:35.) This solo guitar piece by Matthew Mullane, "A-7," begs the question if someone is ever truly playing solo when every note reverberates for several seconds before it even begins to fade from recognition. [More info: disquiet.com. Label: luvsound.org.]

Track 5. (Duration: 07:11.) The strings on Mark Templeton's "Holden into Ryley" are filtered through feedback loops, clipped and set on repeat like an album that’s reached the end of its groove. The piece features gentle arrays of microsonic play against a lightly glitchy texture. [More info: disquiet.com. Musician: fieldsawake.com. Label: anticipaterecordings.com.]

Track 6. (Duration: 33:40.) Recorded on April 24, 2008, this live Aidan Baker concert ekes out a splendid haze of slow-build dawn-break stateliness. [More info: disquiet.com. Musician: aidanbaker.org. Label: noisejihad.dk.]

I plan to do these mixes every month or so, but I wanted to get up this second mix shortly after the first, just to make sure there's a variety of material here right from the start.

NB: To the best of my knowledge, my promotion of these tracks in this manner is all above board. However, if you represent any of these tracks and/or artists and feel that they are being inappropriately utilized here, please contact me directly at marc@disquiet.com, and I'll rectify the situation promptly.

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Inaugural Mix: Beats, Drones, Surface Noise, Ether

About Disquiet.com’s “Listen?”:

Welcome to Disquiet.com’s new streaming-audio service. The interface immediately below will stream in sequence five recent favorites from the site’s Downstream section, which focuses on legally free downloads on the Internet. You can flip back and forth through the playlist using the small arrows. At the bottom of this post is additional information on each of the pieces.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The duration of this mixtape/playlist is 57:54.

 

Playlist Guide:

Please note that most of the links below in this post will result in pop-ups, so as not to interrupt the streaming audio.

Track 1. (Duration: 03:22.) Rarified, old-school hip-hop instrumental from Austin, Texas's Diego Bernal. [More info: disquiet.com. Artist site: myspace.com/diegobernalmusic.]

Track 2. (Duration: 09:36.) The dusty drones of Eluder. [More info: disquiet.com. Artist site: myspace.com/eludist.]

Track 3: (Duration: 05:20.) Attenuated piano samples, a collaborative effort between Wavespan and Caleb Deupree. [More info: disquiet.com. Artist site: myspace.com/wavespan.]

Track 4: (Duration: 06:00.) An outtake from O.S.T.'s tension-laden Synken score. [More info: disquiet.com. Artist site: amhain.net.]

Track 5: (Duration: 33:36.) The heavily electronically mediated cello of Ted Laderas and his Oo-Ray. [More info: disquiet.com. Artist site: 15people.net.]

Special thanks: I'm dedicating this initial Disquiet Listen playlist to Lucas Gonze (gonze.com) and Brian Biggs (mrbiggs.com, dancerobotdance.com), who separately nudged me toward rethinking the way I contextualize sound on this website, and to Martin Laine (1pixelout.net), whose elegant audio player made it possible.

NB: To the best of my knowledge, my promotion of these tracks in this manner is all above board. However, if you represent any of these tracks and/or artists and feel that they are being inappropriately utilized here, please contact me directly at marc@disquiet.com, and I'll rectify the situation promptly.

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