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

tag: field-recording

Gesturally Rhythmic Ambient Music

Straight outta Hiroshima

Ebb and Flow is a split EP of gesturally rhythmic ambient music built from field recordings and other noise sources. It doesn’t have a beat, per se, but it draws percussion into the mix. Half of the EP is by Stabilo and the other half is by Gallery Six. Both Stabilo (aka Yasutica Horibe, of the band Speaker Gain Teardrop) and Gallery Six (aka Hidekazu Imashige) are based in Hiroshima, Japan. The highlight of Ebb and Flow is “Endurance,” which balances a twinkling percussive element, like a vibraphone being played by tiny rubber balls, amid water drops and a thick sonic fog. Gallery Six’s “Vapor” is more textural than its title may suggest — it’s like the sound of a thousand pachinko machines playing from deep in some flooded cistern. There are four tracks in all, and the full set is highly recommended.

The EP is available for free download at stabilo-loadbang.bandcamp.com. More from Stabilo at speakergainteardrop.com. More from Gallery Six at gallerysix.tumblr.com.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0218: Sound Passage

The Assignment: Following the path of artist Kate Carr, explore sounds from a distance.

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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 in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, March 3, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 7, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0218: Sound Passage
The Assignment: Following the path of artist Kate Carr, explore sounds from a distance.

The artist and musician Kate Carr generously agreed to provide a prompt this week for the Junto.

Step 1: Consider the ways that sound changes as it travels across space, moving through specific human-built architectures and/or natural geographies. I live near Belfast’s major football stadium, and the roar that travels from the stadium, across the train tracks, up my street, and into my ears is a very different sound to the roar heard when standing in the stadium itself.

Step 2: Record a distant sound, and reflect on what frequencies have made it to your ears from the source, and which ones have bounced or decayed away.

Step 3: Compose a piece based on this recording, and your meditation on the ways its very journey to you has changed the sounds inherent in it.

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 early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, March 3, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 7, 2016.

Background: Kate Carr composes soundscapes based on field recording and non-conventional instrumentation to explore the relationship between people and place. Weaving together real and imaginary journeys , intensive explorations of sonic enclaves and the re-broadcast of sound in public places, her work is centred on both human and natural geographies. More on Kate Carr at gleamingsilverribbon.com.

Length: The length is up to you. Between one and four 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 “disquiet0218-soundpassage.” Also use “disquiet0218-soundpassage” 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 218th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Following the path of artist Kate Carr, explore sounds from a distance”) at:

http://disquiet.com/0218/

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 Kate Carr, who also guest-crafted the project description.

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Two Rhythms Neither in Sync Nor at Odds

Ioflow has his kalimba commune with the birds

While not quite a duet for kalimba and birdsong, this little piece, “Midday Walk, Local Birds” by Ioflow, makes those the central elements. You can also hear feet hitting the ground at the opening, and throughout there’s a thin veneer of synthesized glue that keeps the whole thing together. The footsteps give way to the kalimba, which constitutes the track’s beat, and the birdsong has its own natural pace — neither in sync nor at odds with the thumb piano. At the end, as if we’re coming out of a reverie, the sound of walking returns, a little crunch underfoot. At barely a minute in length, this would be barely a step outside one’s front door in real life, but somehow the slow, persistent pace, intoned with metal on wood, suggests something far longer, something apart from everyday events. Put it on repeat.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/ioflow. More from ioflow, aka Josh Saddler, at ioflow.bandcamp.com, twitter.com/ioflow, and instagram.com/ioflow. (The track is part of the Weekly Beats series of projects, more on which at weeklybeats.com. The Weekly Beats series has no restrictions or conventions. There are no specific project assignments. From the FAQ: Q: “What style of music should I write?” A: “Any style you want! This is a challenge for you to be productive and creative, it has nothing to do with style, don’t be afraid to experiment. The most important thing is to have fun and maybe learn a thing or two along the way.”)

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Miéville’s Ear

"Listen the Birds," from his collection Three Moments of an Explosion

I finished reading the excellent recent collection of China Miéville’s short stories. It’s an ice cream sundae made of climate dread and narrative ellipses. It’s titled Three Moments of an Explosion, and much of the work is new to the book. Among the new pieces is a series of scripts for movie trailers, each one treating the form of a trailer much as Miéville does the form of a short story, as a cloudy mason jar filled with ambiguous portent: You know something’s in there, but you don’t know quite what it is.

“Listen to Birds” is the third and final of those trailer-stories. In it a person identified as P records birds, and his interlocutor, D, prods him on the undertaking. Eventually the act of recording the birds seems to trigger something in the birds. There may be cross-species contagion. Simple technology may itself be reshaping reality, or at least P’s perception of reality. The result, fractured and deliberate, mundane and otherworldly, comes across like a muted tone poem by Shane Carruth or a willfully bad trip from Terrence Davies.

Here’s one snippet:

P in a café, talking to a young woman. We hear the noise around them. P’s words sound distorted. They are not in synch with his lips.

He says, “There’s a problem with playback.”

Here’s another:

P walking down a crowded city street.

Voice-over, P: “There’s a signal and I can’t tell if it’s going out or coming in.”

Unseen by P, one person, then two people behind him raise their heads and open their mouths skyward as if shrieking. They make no sound.

The whole things lasts under a minute and 20 seconds. It’s a little surprising that a search on YouTube doesn’t yet bring up a fan film version of it.

This first appeared, in slightly different form, in the February 17, 2016 (it went out a day late), edition of the free Disquiet “This Week in Sound” email newsletter: tinyletter.com/disquiet.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0213: Complex Signatures

The Assignment: Combine three field recordings from artist Charles Lindsay to explore and express notions of perceived techno-organic intelligence.

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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 shortly before noon, California time, on Thursday, January 28, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 1, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0213: Complex Signatures
The Assignment: Combine three field recordings from artist Charles Lindsay to explore and express notions of perceived techno-organic intelligence.

This week’s project is being done in conjunction with the head of the Artist in Residence program at the SETI Institute. His name is Charles Lindsay, and he has provided us with three very different field recordings. Work completed for this project will be considered for employment in a future project of Charlie’s. Work won’t be used without the given participating musician’s permission.

Step 1: Consider what it is that Charlie is exploring in his work: “I’m thinking about evolution, entropy, sentience, and the complex signatures of intelligence: what microtonal soundtrack would best express the micro and the vast, the field and the matrix, what we call nature and what we call machine, in unity, as music or as sound?”

Step 2: Download the three tracks recorded by Charle that are in this playlist on SoundCloud. The first track was made on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, rain-forest ambient sounds caught with a parabolic microphone at nightfall. The second was made with a hydrophone at dusk amid the Bunsby Islands in British Columbia. The third was made at the D-WAVE2 Quantum Computer at NASA Ames.

https://soundcloud.com/charlies-experiment/sets/disquiet-junto-complex-signatures

Step 3: Follow this request from Charlie: “Please process, merge, and mix these tracks to seven minutes total. Imagine the final track looping indefinitely in a sound installation in a museum or gallery environment. This use of sound in controlled space is something I’m very interested in, as a real time, real space tool to blend so-called realities. Imagine dream images, much the way our mind seems to, glitches and all. I look forward to what you come up with, and thanks very much for your interest.”

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

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

Deadline: This project was posted shortly before noon, California time, on Thursday, January 28, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 1, 2016.

Length: Your track should be seven minutes in length — if that request proves too long, certainly consider submitting something shorter.

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 “disquiet0213-complexsignatures.” Also use “disquiet0213-complexsignatures” 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 213th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“The Assignment: Combine three field recordings from artist Charles Lindsay to explore and express notions of perceived techno-organic intelligence”) at:

http://disquiet.com/2016/01/28/disquiet0213-complexsignatures/

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/

The photo associated with this project is the cover of Charles Lindsay’s forthcoming book, Carbon, more on which here:

http://minormattersbooks.com/collections/books/products/charles-lindsay-carbon

And here are details on a MASS MoCA exhibit he will be participating in. It begins May 28, 2016:

http://www.massmoca.org/event_details.php?id=1045

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