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

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

“Silent Night,” Noise Edition

An extrapolation and reworking of the carol by Forelight

There is something inherently electronic about the holidays. The most glitched-out, gentle static sounds like the distant hum of a wandering band of carolers, like the whir of electricity demanded by a block of houses full of lit-up trees, like a year expending its last bit of energy before being wound back up for the next dozen months. This is the sound of “silent-silent.night” by Forelight, the halo of the holidays, the first half of its 12 minutes a haze of digital glisten, followed by a short sequence of what seems to be modified everyday sound, all carillon and traffic, followed by an extended, reverberant reworking of the classic carol from which the piece takes its name.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/forelight.

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via instagram.com/dsqt

Another sound-lab shot. Small “noise bomb” chamber for testing microphones in near-silence.

Cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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Disquiet Junto Project 0154: Groove Unlocked

The Assignment: Create a track from two locked grooves.


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, December 11, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, December 15, 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 0154: Groove Unlocked
The Assignment: Create a track from two locked grooves.

This week’s Disquiet Junto project builds on last week’s. Last week, 67 different musicians uploaded as many locked grooves. This week we’ll make new music atop the locked grooves. Here are the steps. Note that there are some options:

Step 1: Choose two locked grooves from the set at http://goo.gl/0s4WmM. You can accomplish this in several ways. You can choose random numbers between 1 and 67 and use those tracks, or you can just select the tracks you most want to work with. Note that most of the tracks should be set to allow, via Creative Commons, for non-commercial re-use. However, if you aren’t sure, please contact the musician to confirm.

Step 2: Make a new track alternating the two locked grooves for between one and two minutes.

Step 3: Use the track that resulted from step 2 as the foundation for a new piece of music. Transform it as you desire, which might include altering the foundational track and adding new material atop it.

Step 4: Upload the finished track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

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

Length: Your finished work should be between roughly 1 and 2 minutes long.

Deadline: This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, December 11, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, December 15, 2014, as the deadline.

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 “disquiet0154-grooveunlocked” 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 154th Disquiet Junto project — “Create a track from two locked grooves” — at:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Join the Disquiet Junto at:


Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:


Image associated with this project by Risa:


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via instagram.com/dsqt

Head and torso simulator from yesterday’s audio-lab tour. #soundstudies

Cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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Madeleine Cocolas & Monolyth & Cobalt, Monthly

A new series from the Australian and French musicians

Madeleine Cocolas — born in Australia, based in Seattle — has begun a new monthly music series, each track of which is a collaboration with Monolyth & Cobalt. There are two tracks in their effort so far. The series follows Cocolas’ previous “Fifty-Two Weeks” project (see madeleinecocolas.blogspot.com), which took longer than one full year for her to complete, but during which she managed all manner of musical exercises. Like the most memorable of the Fifty-Two Weeks music, the first track in her new series with Monolyth & Cobalt achieves a natural, patient balance between classical ambient music and, well, actual classical music, of the chamber variety. Lens-flare synthesis finds its match in elegant, patiently revealed arrangements for more “traditional” instrumentation. The second track opens with a texture that seems alien to the first one, the rough sound of dirt, of gravel, of vinyl surface noise. That sound, which suggests slow toil and a state of disrepair, underlies an angelic vocal line, amid soft, lightly transformed touches of piano, until closing with a horn like that of a forlorn lighthouse.

Month one:

Month two:

Both tracks originally posted at soundcloud.com/madeleine-cocolas. More from Cocolas at madeleinecocolas.com, and more from Monolyth & Cobalt, aka the French composer Mathias Van Eecloo, at soundcloud.com/monolyth-and-cobalt and monolythcobalt.com.

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