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.

tag: copyleft

Forum Digging and the Fate of Netlabels

I was interviewed for WFMU's Radio Free Culture podcast.

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Radio Free Culture WFMU exists to, per its credo, “examine issues at the intersection of digital media and the arts.” I was excited to be interviewed for the podcast by Erik Schoster, aka the musician He Can Jog. We talk about a wide range of subjects, including the role of netlabels in the age of streaming, listening strategies in our age of sonic abundance (forum digging as the new crate digging), the benefits and challenges of platform agnosticism (in light of the Disquiet Junto’s shifting dependence on SoundCloud), the imminent 250th weekly Disquiet Junto project, the imminent 20th anniversary of Disquiet.com (December 13, 2016), and the return to active duty of Aphex Twin.

I can’t seem to sort out how to embed the audio here, but you can listen at prx.org.

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A Drone Built from Media Artifacts

Listen to music made by Kate Carr from the vantage of listening to music.

Kate Carr’s “She Played The Drums Badly/I Never Found Huitlacoche” is built from bug noise and field recordings. The latter seem to be of people talking and (talking while) listening to TV and recordings, maybe catching live bands. The sources are difficult to recognize because Carr relegates them to temporary background state, muffled and situated behind everyday sounds. It’s music made from the experience of consuming music, music that consumed music and that produced something else in turn.

It’s a mixtape, a travelogue, a drone of sorts built from media artifacts. It’s not a tonal drone, but a media drone — a slowly shifting yet seemingly continual state of relative blankness. Despite its decidedly derivative circumstances — in the Creative Commons sense of “derivative,” which is to say derived from something, not qualitatively inferior — it maintains the form of a composition, especially when, around the 2:40 mark, it takes a brief, dramatic pause, before slowing the perceived tempo further for the final, reflective stretch.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/katecarr. More from Karr, who is from Australia but currently based in England, at katecarr.bandcamp.com, gleamingsilverribbon.com, and twitter.com/flamingpines.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0234: Remix Ximer

The Assignment: Make a remix of three tracks of a remix of three tracks, courtesy of a Creative Commons license.

20140213-actsofcommons

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. 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.

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

This project was posted in the late afternoon, California time, on Thursday, June 23, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 27, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0234: Remix Ximer
The Assignment: Make one track from three different netlabels, courtesy of a Creative Commons license.

This week’s Junto project builds directly on last week’s, though you needn’t have participated in last week’s to join in this one. This week we’re remixing remixes. The remixes we’re remixing are the pieces that resulted from last week’s project, which involved taking three tracks from different netlabels and making one new track from them. Last week’s Junto project celebrated derivatives, as licensed by the Creative Commons. This week’s celebrates derivatives of derivatives. (Thanks to Audio Obscura, aka Neil Stringfellow, for proposing this week’s project.)

These are the steps:

Step 1: Select and download three tracks from last week’s project, Disquiet Junto 0233:

https://soundcloud.com/disquiet/sets/disquiet-junto-project-0233

All the tracks in last week’s project were made from the first 30 seconds of three pre-existing recordings: “HNY” off the album Wormbole by ʞık (Karl & Karlik) on the Bump Foot netlabel, “Pepper Jelly” off the album Recombinations by Andre Darius and Riley Theodore on the Haze netlabel, and “Autista 3” off the album Autista by Pablo Reche on the Impulsive Habitat netlabel.

Step 2: Extract the first 30 seconds from each of the three remix tracks that you selected in Step 1.

Step 3: Create an original piece of work including that source material from Step 2.

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

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the late afternoon, California time, on Thursday, June 23, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 27, 2016.

Length: Length is up to you, though between two and three minutes seems about right.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this project, 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.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please in the title to your track include the term “disquiet0234.” Also use “disquiet0234” as a tag for your track.

Download: It is necessary that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing and attribution, per the Creative Commons license of the source audio.

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 234th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Make a remix of three tracks of a remix of three tracks, courtesy of a Creative Commons license” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0234/

Be sure to credit all the tracks (first and second generation) employed in your piece.

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place on a Slack (send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for inclusion) and at this URL:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

Thanks to Audio Obscura (aka Neil Stringfellow) for proposing this week’s project.

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“Midnight Frames”

This is me learning about iOS apps by reworking audio recorded at midnight

This is a minute of sound recorded just past midnight and then subsequently reworked digitally:

The audio plays on three separate channels, the source tracks slightly out of sync, each channel being muted at random, with a little live, real-time human interaction on my part to nudge the listenability and sense of overall composition. That is, “human interaction” distinct from the human interaction involved in the process of setting up the whole random-mute system.

It’s an experiment in making something just using the iPad. The mixer is the iOS app AUM and the mute is being triggered in an iPad app called Xynthesizr. There is a bit of effects being implemented on the three channels. One is being lent an echoing depth, thanks to the Dahlia Delay app. One is getting lightly distorted, thanks to the Saffron Saturator app. And one is being lightly tweaked with some filters internal to the AUM app.

I have a lot to learn about all these apps. This began as me trying to get the AUM muting triggered by the Fugue Machine app, but that inter-app functionality evaded me for more than one channel. The Xynthesizr worked fairly smoothly, largely because someone introduced me to the MIDI Wrench app, which let me figure out the note values of what’s being emitted by Xynthesizr, so I could assign them directly to be interpreted as on/off signals by AUM. All of which said, I’m still fumbling about with the tools, finding my way. The image accompanying this track is a screenshot of the AUM app with the three channels in view:

File Apr 20, 9 27 53 AM

This is a reworking of a single minute of audio recorded by Forelight. The original track is titled “Midnight {disquiet0160-oneminutepastmidnight}.” It was part of the 160th weekly Disquiet Junto project. That 160th project was the first in an ongoing series, collectively titled One Minute Past Midnight, that explore nocturnal ambience.

The original source track by Forelight is at soundcloud.com/forelight.

More on the One Minute Past Midnight series here: oneminutepastmidnight.com.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0216: Thin Layers

The Assignment: Add a thin foundational bed to beats of pin-prick audio.

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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. 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.

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

This project was posted at noon, California time, on Thursday, February 18, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 22, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0216: Thin Layers
The Assignment: Add a thin foundational bed to beats of pin-prick audio.

Step 1: For this project you’ll be adding sounds to a pre-existing track of your choosing. Select one track from the previous Junto project, in which beats were made with five tiny, pin-prick sounds:

http://disquiet.com/0215

Step 2: Confirm the track you selected in Step 1 is available for creative reuse. If you’re not sure, correspond with the musician. If you’re short on time, select a different track.

Step 3: Create a new track by adding a thin layer, or several thin layers, of an ambient foundational bed to the pre-existing track. Don’t alter the pre-existing track significantly. Maintain its original length.

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process — identify the source track and include a link to its SoundCloud page.

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

Deadline: This project was posted at noon, California time, on Thursday, February 18, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 22, 2016.

Length: The length of your track should be the same as that of the source track.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this project, 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.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please in the title to your track include the term “disquiet0216-thinlayers.” Also use “disquiet0216-thinlayers” 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 216th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“The Assignment: Add a thin foundational bed to beats of pin-prick audio”) at:

http://disquiet.com/0216

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

The image associated with this project is by Evelyn Flint, used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

Natural Scrim - FREE TEXTURE

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