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: field-recording

Jmmy Kpple’s Home Life

Domestic sounds, turned this way and that

Only three comments into the Jmmy Kpple track does its source material surface. In retrospect, there were clues. The track title, “weakov injune,” in the glitch spelling that’s at the core of Kpple’s generous pleasure center, suggests either a week off or a weak oven, or both. The sole accompanying text, aside from his standard “#cheap concrete” tag, is the spaced-out word “/ d o m e s t i c i c i t a t i o u s.” This is domestic sound, turned into something else, in this case a drowsy, dolorous clanging that slowly builds to a mild clamor. It’s just loose enough to be mistakable for a quotidian field recording, though of the deep bowels of a municipal substation, not of a contemporary residence. You might have been left imagining that Kpple had, indeed, wandered underground with a tape recorder, had he not responded to someone complimenting the piece — “Love the subtle metallic chords” — with the experimental-sound equivalent of a tell-all: “thanks – s’all slow-motion kitchen implements.”

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/jmmy-kpple. More from Jmmy Kpple, based in England, at twitter.com/jmmy_kppl, jmmykppl.tumblr.com, and mixcloud.com/jmmykppl.

Also tagged / / Comments: 2 ]

Disquiet Junto Project 0178: Berlin Bells

Deadline June 1, 11:59pm: Emphasize the bells in an urban field recording.

20150528-dj0178

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at Disquiet.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.

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

This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, May 28, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 1, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0178: Berlin Bells
Emphasize the bells in an urban field recording.

Step 1: Download the audio file at this URL. It is a field recording of urban Berlin by Michael Raphael (aka Sepulchra):

https://goo.gl/C3kJNA

Step 2: Rework the source audio in a manner that reinforces the melodic component of the bells. Beyond that sole instruction, the choices are up to you.

Step 3: Upload your track 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 assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, May 28, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 1, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be roughly between one minute and four minutes.

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 “disquiet0178-sepulchrabells” 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 178th Disquiet Junto project — “Emphasize the bells in an urban field recording” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/05/28/disquiet0178-sepulchrabells/

Source audio by Michael Raphael, aka Sepulchra, who runs the sound-library firm at rabbitearsaudio.com. Audio used with Raphael’s permission. Track originally posted at:

https://soundcloud.com/sepulchra/150526-marienkirche

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/

Photo associated with this track taken by Michael Raphael from his Berlin hotel room, where he recorded the source audio.

Also tagged / / Leave a comment ]

Busman’s Holiday (Berlin Edition)

Michael Raphael (aka Sepulchra) puts his mic out the hotel window.

Michael Raphael (aka Sepulchra) is a highly trained and well-equipped field recordist. He operates Rabbit Ears Audio, which produces a series of sound effects libraries, their contents ranging from steam whistles to helicopters to winter atmospheres to typewriters. And when Raphael goes on vacation, he takes along his microphones. This track was recorded outside his Berlin hotel window. I wrote to him to confirm it wasn’t edited, which he confirmed and elaborated on in a blog post at his sepulchra.com site. His hotel was located near Marienkirche, St Mary’s Church, and its bells are heard rolling through much of this track, above the din of traffic on Karl-Liebknecht-Straße. A testament to Raphael’s ear, the piece is easily believable as a post-production construction, so flowing and sinuous are the bells, and so perfectly interweaved are the street sounds. And yet, like a well-framed photograph, it is simply daily life, elevated thanks to the refined sensibility and ability of its documentarian.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/sepulchra. More from Sepulchra/Raphael at sepulchra.com and twitter.com/sepulchra.

Bonus: Here’s a promotional video of his steam-whistle collection:

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

The Birds: After and Before

Transmuted field recordings by Richard Fair (aka Audiodays)

By the sounds of Richard Fair’s “Birdy Birdy,” the temporary autonomous zone has gone to seed. The birds have taken over the biodome, the dusty, moldering place long vacated by humans. The air is thick with the birds, and the cold surface echoes their songs with mechanical affect. Simple, cheerful tunes are quickly transmuted into something threatening, something hard. The birdsong itself is beginning to show evidence of an environmental feedback cycle, the birds’ own tune becoming slower, drowsier, more defensive, more feral. (Fair is aware of such a transaction, having written in a brief post: “I do wonder if the birds outside are reacting to what I’m doing in.”)

“Birdy Birdy” is not a real field recording, in the sense that it is not a pristine document, not by any means. What it is is the result of a field recording, a fairly blissfully mundane one, turned electronically into something quite other. The source audio was posted by Fair, who goes by Audiodays, of Norwich, England, as “Norwich Birdsong 17 May 2015.” It is bird song heard in the urban wild, complete with motorcycles and other evidence of 21st-century life. “Birdy Birdy” was posted shortly thereafter, the diary turned into a fiction.

This is the after:

This is the before:

More from Fair at audiodays.org and richardfair.co.uk. He also has a podcast.

Also tagged / / Leave a comment ]

Disquiet Junto Project 0176: Walk It Out

Create a composition on top of a rough idea first recorded on your cellphone.

20150517-tauzero

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at Disquiet.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 will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project.

This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, May 14, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, May 18, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0176: Walk It Out
Create a composition on top of a rough idea first recorded on your cellphone.

Like last week’s project, this week’s involves treating a rough draft as part of the finished piece.

Step 1: Go for a walk, and don’t forget your cellphone (or other audio recording device).

Step 2: When the idea for a short piece of music occurs to you, record it into your phone — whether humming or singing or, say, knocking on a fence. Keep it simple. (Note: You can only use the microphone. Don’t use any specific music/sound apps.)

Step 3: When you get back to your home/studio/etc. complete the track, including the (unedited) audio from your walk. Any ambient background noise is just part of the project.

Step 4: Upload your track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud. If possible, include an image of your sheet of paper.

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

Deadline: This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, May 14, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, May 18, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be between 30 seconds and three minutes.

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 “disquiet0176-walkitout” 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 176th Disquiet Junto project — “Create a composition on top of a rough idea first recorded on your cellphone” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/05/14/disquiet0176-walkitout/

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/

Photo associated with this project by Tau Zero, used via Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/e8sqLg

Also tagged , / / Leave a comment ]