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.

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Scanning the Background

A reworking of Alan Dunn and Martyn Rainford

20140414-colonize Scanner’s reworking of a track by Alan Dunn and Martyn Rainford is the latest in a series of efforts by the duo to explore the idea of “background.” The source audio for their remix is their A History of Background CD. This remix by Scanner is part of a dubplate made for an exhibit currently going on in Jamestown, New York, under the name Colonize. It’s a rich, constantly shifting piece, snatches of dubby static and gadgety fragments heard over a compelling electronic-tribal beat, bits of vocal tweaked and layered, filtered and muffled, until they’re just beyong ready comprehension — leaving them lingering in, as it were, the background.

Track originally posted for free download at 67projects1.bandcamp.com. More on the originating project at alandunn67.co.uk. The Jamestown exhibit was funded thanks to a kickstarter.com campaign. A previous remix in the series is by Dr Cyclops, and it is also available for free. Scanner promoted this on both his Facebook and Twitter pages, which are highly recommended.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0119: Paperback Beatmaker

Write music to accompany the typing of a work of fiction.

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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, April 10, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, April 14, 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 0119: Paperback Beatmaker

This week’s project listens to the rhythms inherent in text. Please use a manual typewriter if possible.

These are the steps:

Step 1: Locate a section of a piece of written fiction that you admire. The section should be roughly between 125 and 200 words long.

Step 2: Record youself typing those words. Please note: You need not type it perfectly, and you should feel comfortable making some corrections as part of your typing. That said, you should come as close as possible to typing it straight through. And you should, if possible, record this in stereo in a way that distinguishes between the left and right sides of your typewriter. That text should account for roughly between a minute and a half and three minutes.

Step 3: Listen through the recording, making note of rhythmic themes, such as repeated sequences of letters, or natural pauses, or intriguing spacial separations across the keyboard.

Step 4: Record a piece of music to accompany the typing, music that uses the inherent rhythm of the typing as its foundation. Imagine, if you will, that someone could listen to this music while writing, and get into the groove, the zone, the mindset of the original writer.

Step 5: Upload the file to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud and describe your approach and process in the text field associated with the track. Please be sure to name your source-material text.

Step 6: Listen to other members’ tracks as they appear in the Disquiet Junto feed on SoundCloud, and comment on them when you have the time.

Deadline: Monday, April 14, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: The length of your recording should be 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 “disquiet0119-paperbackbeatmaker″ 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 119th Disquiet Junto project — “Write music to accompany the typing of a work of fiction” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/04/10/disquiet0119-paperbackbeatmaker/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Image associated with this Junto project used via a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/bRZRL

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Disquiet Junto Project 0118: That Ringing Sound

What is the room tone of the Internet?

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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, April 3, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, April 7, 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 0118: That Ringing Sound

This week’s project is as follows. Please answer the following question by making an original recording: “What is the room tone of the Internet?”

When you’re done, upload the file to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud and describe your approach and process in the text field associated with the track. Listen to other members’ tracks as they appear in the Disquiet Junto feed on SoundCloud, and comment on them when you have the time.

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

Length: The length of your recording should be 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 “disquiet0118-internetroomtone″ 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 118th Disquiet Junto project — “What is the room tone of the Internet?” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/04/03/disquiet0118-internetroomtone/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Image associated with this Junto project used via a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/2af9A

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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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Bulgarian Dread

A live set from the Sofia Underground Festival

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Multiple monikers utilized by a single artist can be confusing to listeners, yet provide orientation for the musicians who adopt them. Take the Bulgaria-based Mytrip, whose work has been covered here in the past, often as an exploration of subsumed tones that push at the contours of rhythm and melody. When planning a set at the Sofia Underground Festival this year, he opted for another name, Dayin, which should not be mistaken for a brighter outlook. Quite the contrary, he states in a brief liner note to the uploaded recording, “I decided to go a bit darker and deeper.” The result is a haunting half hour of ghostly chatter and dense drones:

Track originally posted for free download soundcloud.com/dayin. More on the Sofia Underground Performance Art Festival at sofiaunderground.com.

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