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.

tag: field-recording

Disquiet Junto Project 0131: The Key of Tea

Create a composition that naturally extends from the whistle of a tea kettle.

shardayyy Each Thursday at the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.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.

Tracks by participants will be added to this playlist as the project proceeds:

This project was published in the evening, California time, on Thursday, July 3, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, July 7, 2014, as the deadline.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0131: Kettle Development

These are the steps for this week’s project:

Step 1: Record the sound of a tea kettle coming to a boil, preferably a tea kettle that whistles when the boil is achieved.

Step 2: Create a piece of music that originates from the sound of that tea kettle reaching its climax. Employ the sound of the tea kettle in an original composition that can be heard to extend from the field recording of the kettle itself. Start your piece with between five and ten seconds of the unaltered kettle sound.

Step 3: Upload the track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud, following the directions below.

Deadline: Monday, July 7, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: The length of your finished work will be between one and two minutes.

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, 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 “disquiet0131-thekeyoftea″ 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 131st Disquiet Junto project — “Create a composition that naturally extends from the whistle of a tea kettle.” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/07/03/disquiet0131-thekeyoftea/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/?p=16588

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums

Photo associated with this track by Shardayyy via Creative Commons license:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shardayyy/5587696584

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Disquiet Junto Project 0127: Library Shhh

Record the sound of your library — and then maybe make something of it.

20140605-libraryshhh

Each Thursday at the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.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.

Tracks by participants will be added to this playlist as the project proceeds:

This project was published in the evening, California time, on Thursday, June 5, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, June 9, 2014, as the deadline.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0127: Library Shhh

This week explores the concept of silence. You will record one full minute of sound in the sort of place that is often associated with silence, or at least near silence: the library. By doing so, you will help support artist Zoè Benoit’s artwork called “bibliobeep,” which is a collection of library soundscapes from around the globe. Benoit is especially interested in the “beeps” that might occur in a library, so if possible follow this instruction:

“We are looking for one-minute recordings of background noises occurring at library checkout points and returns, including: electronic ‘beep’ sounds, sounds of books or other library media being handled, words exchanged, etc. To properly record a sound, position yourself near the offices where you can hear especially machine ‘beeps’ that incorporate the voices and sounds of library staff and the materials they handle.”

These are the steps:

Step 1: Record the sound of a library.

Step 2: Locate a continuous one-minute segment and upload it to the Numelyo “bibliobeep” project website:

http://goo.gl/7oKwfM

Step 3 (optional): If you so desire, create a very quiet piece of music suitable for background listening. This piece should employ your library field recording as source material.

Step 4 (optional): If you made the piece of music in step 3, then create a two-minute file by appending it at the end of the original one-minute library field recording.

Step 5: Whether you did steps 3 and 4 or if you merely made the field recording from steps 1 and 2, upload the finished file to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud, following the remaining instructions:

Deadline: Monday, June 9, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: The length of your finished work should be either one minute (if you just do the field recording) or two minutes (if you also do the composition).

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, 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 “disquiet0127-libraryshhh″ 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 127th Disquiet Junto project — “Record the sound of your library — and then maybe make something of it” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/06/05/disquiet0127-libraryshhh/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/?p=16588

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

More on Zoè Benoit’s “bibliobeep” art project at:

http://conference.ifla.org/ifla80/librarians-worldwide-call-beeps

Photo associated with this project via:

http://goo.gl/UJhtQr

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Rain Through a Mixer Darkly

And through a windshield

It’s arguable that the remix of my afternoon sounds more realistic than did the original.

This week has seen some tremendous rainfall in San Francisco, where I live. I was sitting in my car on Monday, just after noon, when the power of the storm was so intense that it was remarkable — and by “remarkable” I mean that I felt the desire to remark on it, which I initially did on Twitter (“Noon bells heard through the rain and through the breathing of a post-swim sleeping toddler”) and then in the form of a 30-second recording on my SoundCloud account. That track sounds more like an ice machine than rain, which was clairaudient, in that shortly after I hit stop on my recorder — in this case my phone, a Nexus 5 — the rain turned to hail, and shortly thereafter came lighting and then, with alarming proximity, thunder.

The storm is longer, more consuming, and less immediately threatening in this reworking by Larry Johnson, who plucked my Creative Commons–licensed audio and had his way with it:

And here, for reference, is the original:

Tracks posted respectively at soundcloud.com/l-a-j-1 and soundcloud.com/disquiet.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0109: Craghead Sketch

Insert musical objects into an urban soundscape.

20140117-wc2

Each Thursday at the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.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.

Tracks by participants will be added to this playlist as the project proceeds:

This project was published in the evening, California time, on Thursday, January 30, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, February 3, 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 0109: Craghead Sketch

For this week’s project, we’ll insert musical objects into an urban soundscape.

The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Download the field recording of a walk through New York City at this URL:

https://soundcloud.com/craghead/sound-of-walking-to-the

Step 2: Listen to the track and note moments when space allows for the insertion of a musical object. Try to locate at least one space every 30 or 45 seconds.

Step 3: In each of those spots, layer in a unique musical object (e.g., a tone, a riff, a beat, some combination thereof). Each musical object should be self-contained (i.e., not overlap with each other).

Background: The project is derived from the drawings of the very talented illustrator Warren Craghead, himself a Junto member and participant. Among Craghead’s artistic practice is the act of leaving Post-its and other small drawings in public places. This project is an attempt to find a musical equivalent of his art. Examples of Craghead’s work can be seen in this recent post:

http://disquiet.com/2014/01/17/gestural-sound-gestural-drawing/

And on his own website:

http://craghead.com

Deadline: Monday, February 3, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your finished work should be 3:36 in length — same as the source material.

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, 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 “disquiet0109-cragheadsketch” 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, be sure to include this information:

More on this 109th Disquiet Junto project (“Insert musical objects into an urban soundscape.”) at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/01/30/disquiet0109-cragheadsketch/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/?p=16588

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Image from Warren Craghead’s website:

http://craghead.com

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Rainy Day IDM

From Berkeley, which is, like much of California, experiencing a drought

Yesterday’s featured track took the chitinous sound of insects as the inspiration for its beats. Today’s track likewise takes nature as its point of origin, but more along the lines of the Aphex Twin song mentioned earlier. In the Aphex Twin piece, “Grey Stripe” off Selected Ambient Works Volume II, the audio is more sound than music — that is, along a continuum of conventional understandings of those terms. “A Hard Rain” by Eric Kuehnl begins in similar territory, as the title suggests. The rapid rainfall is a flurry of pinprick static. Then, 20 seconds or so in, just as the rain has taken on the sense of white noise, a rubbery, fanciful beat, reminiscent of ancient IDM, kicks in. Its frenetic energy and burbling, brittle acoustics build on the natural rhythms of the rain, which seem to continue to linger in the background.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/erickuehnl, where there is more from Kuehnl, who is based in Berkeley, California.

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