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tag: classical

Disquiet Junto Project 0182: Diverge Converge

Do a rendition of Ethan Hein's laptop orchestra score by yourself.

divergence-convergence

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at disquiet.com/junto, 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.

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

This assignment was made in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, June 25, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 29, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0182: Diverge Converge
Do a rendition of Ethan Hein’s laptop orchestra score by yourself.

Step 1: The following is Ethan Hein’s score for laptop orchestra. You will record a version that you will do by yourself — an orchestra of one:

  • Each performer loads a short, shared sample. It should have a distinct attack and decay, for example a bell or gong. It can be pitched or unpitched, musical or unmusical.

  • Each performer triggers the sample repeatedly, either as a steady loop or at any arbitrary time interval.

  • After a few repetitions, each performer manipulates the sample as they see fit, via pitch shifting, time stretching, filtering, or other effects. Transformations should be gradual and clearly perceptible.

  • Once the entire ensemble is playing altered versions of the sample, the performers begin to undo their manipulations, preferably in the reverse order that they were originally applied.

  • When all performers have resumed playing back the original sample, the piece ends.

Step 2: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 3: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This assignment was made in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, June 25, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work is up to you, but between one minute and four minutes is probably best in this context.

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. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0182-divergeconverge” 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 182nd Disquiet Junto project (“Do a rendition of Ethan Hein’s laptop orchestra score by yourself”) at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/06/25/disquiet0182-divergeconverge/

The piece is based on Ethan Hein’s score, more on which here:

http://www.newmusicbox.org/articles/brahmss-third-racket/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

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New Music for a 17th-Century Organ

Composed by Marta Lennartsdotter of Stockholm, Sweden

The note is held, and held — and then it is held some more. The note is dense and thick. It is braided with overtones. It sounds like a bag pipe chanting a mantra. It sounds like a ship coming into port in slow motion. It sounds like a car horn stuck in some blissful mid-state — traffic honking turned into reverie, in other words: the annoyance at lack of motion turned into a celebration of stasis.

What it is is Johan Graden and Marcus Pal performing a piece by Marta Lennartsdotter at Tyska Kyrkan, an church in Stockholm, Sweden, where the instrument was installed in the late 1600s. She describes the work as “A piece for two players composed with drawn-out tones interrupted by lack of air,” and herself as “a violinist and a electroacoustic composer. I work in the field of free improvisation and slow, drone based music.”

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/marta-lennartsdotter. More on her in this brief interview at futurelegendsmalmo.tumblr.com. The live concert was recorded October 3, 2014. Also on the program (see the Facebook.com event) were works by Lo Kristenson and Ellen Arkbro.

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Pictures at an Arvo Pärt Exhibition

A synthesizer rendition of the composer's "Solfeggio"

Classical music and synthesizers go hand in hand, in part because of the academic origins of much beta-era synthesizer experimentation, and in part because of how renditions by Wendy Carlos, Tomita, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, among others, of standard repertoire helped expand the early audience for electronic music. The tradition is alive and well. This coming month, Sony will release the retro Bach to Moog by Craig Leon.

What follows are two different versions of a contemporary classical favorite: the same Arvo Pärt piece performed on two very different synthesizers. The piece is Pärt’s “Solfeggio,” which in its original form is arranged for a gently shifting array human voices. Here it is with its tones transferred by the artist Tomorrow the Cure to the Tetra, from Dave Smith Instruments, the “father” of MIDI:

There is also a version from 2009 on the Doepfer Dark Energy by the same musician, who is based in Norfolk, Great Britain (more at soundcloud.com/tomorrowthecure). That Dark Energy recording is not available for embedding, but can be accessed at the musician’s youtube.com account.

And here, for cross-reference, is a vocal rendition of the same Pärt piece:

The Tetra version was originally found thanks to the excellent matrixsynth.com website.

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Sabrina Schroeder’s Industrial Theater

A live performance from late 2014

The sheer scale of Sabrina Schroeder’s “Stircrazer: Hammer + Flutter” brings to mind theater as much as it does music. Despite its extended quiet passages, it is dense with activity. It has the implicit energy and presence of a massive construction site sealed off by a privacy wall. Whirring and rattles, dragged equipment and electric drones, all amid fierce rumbles, collectively bring to mind an industrial set piece out of Heiner Goebbels. The work credits four performers in addition, presumably, to Schroeder herself — Pablo Coello, saxophone; Angélica Vázquez, harp; David Durán, piano; and Ramón Souto, percussion — but it sounds like legion. And as it progresses, it comes into focus, like the massive machinery has been laid bare, and yet its purposes remain mysterious.

In an accompanying note, Schroeder, who posted the track at the start of this month, gives some context: “Work-in-progress workshopped and premiered this past November (2014) by Vertixe Sonora Ensemble in the Correspondencias Sonoras Festival at Galician Center for Contemporary Art, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.”

The piece was posted at soundcloud.com/sabrinaschroeder. More from Schroeder at sabrinaschroeder.com. She is based in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she is pursuing her PhD at Harvard in composition, and is director of the Harvard Group for New Music (hgnm.org).

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The Flute in the Cellar

By Katie English of Halifax, West Yorkshire

Isnaj Dui is Katie English of Halifax, West Yorkshire. Her work generally focuses on the flute, which, along with other instruments, is transformed through unusual performance practice, including electronic processing. The track “Dean Clough Cellar” is named for the Halifax business and arts center “that was once the world’s largest carpet factory.” The piece is gestural, the flute heard as a series of looped, layered fragments amid the ritual clank of, perhaps, pots and pans. Over the course of nearly four minutes, the looping provides a mechanical inflection to the flute, helping form a complementary pairing with the more percussive material.

More on Katie English / Isnaj Dui at isnajdui.bandcamp.com and facebook.com/isnajdui and at the label she runs, FBox (fboxrecords.co.uk). A note accompanying “Dean Clough Cellar” says it was originally recorded in October 2014 for the awards show of the Dead Albatross Music Prize (deadalbatross.com).

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