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.

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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:

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

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:

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

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:

https://flic.kr/p/rKoG1i

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How Erik Satie Foresaw Brendan Landis’ Excavation of His “Gymnopedie No. 1”

And how Sean Dack intervened in between, back in 2011

There are influences, and there are precedents. Influences are generally things that one senses as having helped shaped one’s world view. Precedents are often recognized afterward as having foretold, to some small or great degree, efforts that came later. Precedents can serve as akin to influences when their scope is such that even if the influenced isn’t ever directly aware of the original work, that work resulted in a cascade such that a chain of influence is essentially undoubtable, even if it’s only evident in retrospect. There’s plenty of illustrated work, for example, that resembles Rube Goldberg’s complex drawings of unnecessarily complicated inventions designed to achieve a specific end result, yet was done by artists who might only have ever witnessed Goldberg’s specific kind of genius thirdhand. In a way, discussion of influence and precedent is its own Rube Goldberg apparatus: a complicated means by which to say, simply, “This has happened before.”

Satie is often credited as a strong precursor — a precedent — of ambient music due to his exploration of stasis and repetition. This is to say that Brendan Landis’ “Every Recording of Gymnopedie 1,” which has experienced a flurry of attention this past week, can trace its existence back to early Satie works. This parallel distinguishes Landis’ effort — which overlays reportedly 60 different takes of “Gymnopedie 1” end to end — from many other supercut-style pop-culture reworkings. In other words, we might learn something about the form of every Star Wars film played simultaneously or every episode of the TV series MAS*H played simultaneously, but it’s a stretch to suggest that the mashup treatment is intrinsic to those two subjects’ original aesthetic.

Landis, to the contrary, can point to the ambient legacy of “Gymnopedie 1,” to the egoless quality of Satie’s famous “Musique d’Ameublement” (music intended to merge with, to disappear into, the expected sounds of a dinner party), and especially to the composer’s “Vexations,” in which a single musical phrase is repeated 840 times. Landis’ technologically enabled reworking of Satie might take “Vexations” as its strongest precedent: Satie played one thing many times to hear the differences; Landis played many versions of one thing at the same time to hear the differences.

Here, for reference, is a complete performance, almost 10 hours in length, of Nicolas Horvath performing “Vexations” live at the Conservatoire de Musique in Lagny-sur-Marne, France, on June 26, 2011:

Here is Landis’ versions(s) of “Gymnopedie 1.” It had about 2,000 or so listens when I first wrote about it, on January 15. As of this writing it has just shy of 30,000 listens:

Just a day before the Horvath “Vexations” performance, a show closed by coincidence halfway across the world at the Fitzroy Gallery in Manhattan. The exhibit, 21st Century Dub Dub, which was up for almost two months, showcased the artist Sean Dack, who is based in New York. There was only one piece in 21st Century Dub Dub, but as Walt Whitman wrote, it contained multitudes. Titled “Version/Variation,” the piece took 26 different takes on the same Satie piece as Landis, “Gymnopedie 1,” and played them simultaneously. One key difference is that Dack opted to play them not at their original speed but slowed down significantly, so each was just over 70 minutes long — “the total length of a commercially available compact disc,” as described in a program note at the gallery’s website, fitzroygallery.com. In a nod to Janet Cardiff’s monumental “The Forty-Part Motet,” in which each vocal line is played on its own freestanding speaker, the Dack Satie piece has each individual recording playing on a different speaker, thus allowing the listener to walk around and amid the piece, to experience it as frozen music, an architecture of sound.

Here, for reference, is footage of a Cardiff/Motet installation:

The Dack video (shown up at the top of this post) has been online for over a year, since September 10, 2014, but as of today still has fewer than 50 views. It deserves to be more widely heard, though it goes without saying that its strongest effect would be in person, in full multi-speaker surround sound. I want to thank a commenter to my previous piece on Landis (who records and performs under the name Hey Exit), “Every* Recording of Erik Satie’s ‘Gymnopedie 1’ Played at the Same Time,” for having brought the earlier Dack Satie piece to my attention.

The video of “Version/Variation” originally posted at youtube.com. More from Sean Dack at seandack.net. This May 17 will mark the 150th anniversary of Erik Satie’s birth. Perhaps an exhibit this year will show both the Landis and the Dack, and other work inspired by Satie.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0207: Remixing Marilli

Rework source audio from Michel Banabila's 1983 album, Marilli.

20151217-mr

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 project was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, December 17, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, December 21, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0207: Remixing Marilli
Rework source audio from Michel Banabila’s 1983 album, Marilli.

Step 1: Michel Banabila, the Dutch musician, this past week released a freely downloadable album of reworkings of his 1983 album, Marilli. (Full disclosure: I contributed a track to the remix collection.) He’s provided three brief samples from the album for the Junto to remix. The first step is to download the three samples from the Dropbox folder at this link:

https://goo.gl/JmDEfB

Step 2: Create a new track using only those three samples.

Step 3: Upload your completed track from Step 2 to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 4: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, December 17, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, December 21, 2015.

Length: The length is up to you, though between one and three minutes seems appropriate.

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 “disquiet0207-remixingmarilli.” Also use “disquiet0207-remixingmarilli” as a tag for your track.

Download: Having provided the samples, Banabila has asked that you assign a Creative Commons license allowing for downloads but not for subsequent reworkings or commercial use.

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

More on this 207th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Rework source audio from Michel Banabila’s 1983 album, Marilli”) at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/12/17/disquiet0207-remixingmarilli/

The audio was sourced from the 1983 album Marilli by the album’s composer, Michel Banabila. This project marks the release of the 2015 album Marilli Remixed:

https://banabila.bandcamp.com/album/marilli-remixed-free-download

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

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