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

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Disquiet Junto After the End of SoundCloud Groups

Processes and platforms in the near term, and after

This morning SoundCloud announced that it is sunsetting it Groups functionality. This is the note that came today to Groups moderators:

We’re constantly looking for ways to make it easier for creators to share their work and connect with new fans. As well as adding new features and updates, we review existing features to see if they’re still beneficial to the community.

As we dug into the best ways for curators to connect with artists and fans, we found that Groups aren’t working as well as reposts, and curated playlists.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to phase out Groups on Monday, August 22nd to make room for future updates. Until then, you can collect, like or repost the content you would like to save, and connect with your fellow Group members.

As a Group moderator, we understand the following you’ve built by moderating submissions to your Groups — we suggest to keep that following going by creating a profile to curate. You can use Reposts and Playlists to share suitable tracks, and accept submissions via Messages.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can continue to improve your experience on SoundCloud. Send your ideas and feedback by replying directly to this email.

Here is the note that I sent out just now to the members of the Disquiet Junto email list (tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto). The short version: the Disquiet Junto is not going away.

Dear Members of the Disquiet Junto,

You may have read about upcoming changes to SoundCloud, specifically that the Groups functionality is going to be mothballed.

Just to be clear, the Disquiet Junto is not going away. More on that below.

SoundCloud has been incredibly supportive of the Junto since the group was founded back in January 2012. The Junto was, in fact, devised with the Groups functionality in mind. In many promotional/editorial ways, SoundCloud employees have played a big role in helping the Junto build an audience and its membership. Key personnel there have also been especially responsive to technical queries over the years. (Speaking of which, on an unrelated note, if you know someone at Instagram who is supportive, I have a small request I’d like to make.)

With the SoundCloud Groups functionality going away (technically the old groups will be frozen in state), I’m now pondering next steps. There are various options.

Certainly for the short term, the Junto will proceed on the SoundCloud service. I’m not sure how exactly I’m going to manage the production of playlists, but my current workflow thought is as follows:

Step 1: Participant posts track to SoundCloud.

Step 2: Participant (privately) messages me the track’s URL.

Step 3: I then add the track to two playlists: (1) an overall group playlist and (2) a project-specific playlist.

The end result is that there still would be, as with the current group page, a playlist that allows Junto participants and observers to witness all tracks as they’re added. (An alternate to Step 2 above is the participant tags my username, @disquiet, in the comment of the track. That could save a step that messaging would require.)

There actually some potential small benefits to this scenario. One benefit is that it’s harder this way for someone to spam the group, because they have to get through me first. (Spam has been a hassle, not because of the process of removing tracks, but because of how rude people can be when I do so.) The other benefit is that participant messages (or comment tags) will automatically ping me, which in turn means I don’t have to check the Junto page multiple times a day (as I do now) to see if new tracks have been added. This would also, come to think of it, free up whatever part of my brain remembers the most recent track that I’ve already added to the group — and believe me, freed-up brain space is attractive to me, even in tiny increments.

There are, of course, demerits to the change, and while I have no plans to vacate SoundCloud, I would be ill advised not to think about ways to potentially migrate the Junto down the road, either to another service or to the Junto’s own dedicated online space. I’m interested in seeing what Naviar Haiku and other groups based on SoundCloud do. The Weekly Beats site (weeklybeats.com) is worth taking a look at in this regard. Likewise, the great Stones Throw Beat Battle uses a public message board (in contrast with our semi-private Junto Slack) as a way to track participation. It’s here:

http://www.stonesthrow.com/messageboard/?showforum=11

For the Junto, I don’t currently see this Groups-function sunset as a huge issue. I think it’ll potentially have a more adverse effect on groups dedicated to particular types of software and hardware, as I’m not sure how a dedicated Octatrack or OP-1 or Monome (etc.) group would transition to a playlist-only system. Then again, I’m only just now beginning to think about all this.

Anyhow, I wanted to get my thoughts on this out as soon as possible. As always, if you have any input on options for the future, that’d be super. A year or so ago I put out a call for a Disquiet “board of advisors,” and ironically I was so overwhelmed by the response (about 35 people offered to participate) I just haven’t had the time to (yet) act on the generosity.

Thanks for reading.

Best wishes from San Francisco,

Marc
marc@disquiet.com

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Disquiet Junto Project 0238: Magnifying Contact

The Assignment: Record a piece of music, emphasizing the sounds of production over the music itself.

alfstorm

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 morning, California time, on Thursday, July 21, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, July 25, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0238: Magnifying Contact
The Assignment: Record a piece of music, emphasizing the sounds of production over the music itself.

Project Steps:

Step 1: Record a short piece of music. When recording the music, use additional microphones to capture the process itself: your fingers on strings, touching keyboard and screen surfaces, clicking on laptop keys, etc.

Step 2: When the piece is fully recorded, create a mix that makes the “performance” sounds slightly either equal to or slightly more prominent than the performance itself.

Three More Steps When Your Track Is Done :

Step 1: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud. It’s here:

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

Step 2: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 3: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, July 21, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, July 25, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you. Between one 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 “disquiet0238.” Also use “disquiet0238” 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 238th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Record a piece of music, emphasizing the sounds of production over the music itself” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0238/

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/

Image associated with this project adapted from one by Alf Storm, used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/6pazwd

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Disquiet Junto Project 0237: Combination ABCs

The Assignment: Build a 90-second composition from three 10-second segments.

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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, July 14, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, July 18, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0237: Combination ABCs
The Assignment: Build a 90-second composition from three 10-second segments.

Project Steps:

Step 1: Record three 10-second sound elements. Keep in mind that they will be layered subsequently in various combinations. You might find it useful to set one or more of the elements to loop naturally after 10 seconds, but you might also enjoy the seam where a given loop begins again.

Step 2: Label the three 10-second sound elements A, B, and C.

Step 3: Create a 90-second track of the following sequence of standalone and combined elements: A, B, C, A+B, A+C, B+C, A+B+C, A+B, A.

Step 4: Your track is complete. However, you may opt to go back in and adjust transitions and add effects.

Three More Steps When the Track Is Done :

Step 1: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud. It’s here:

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

Step 2: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 3: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Background: This project is partially inspired by the recent book Dramaturgy in Motion: At Work on Dance and Movement Performance, written by Katherine Profeta. In the book, Profeta notes A/B/A as a structure for contemporary dance choreography. It’s a structure I’ve noted, as well, as being perceptible in contemporary electronic music, especially drone-based music. This project is a step toward seeing what the A/B/A structure might sound like when a third element, C, is added.

Deadline: This project was posted shortly before noon, California time, on Thursday, July 14, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, July 18, 2016.

Length: The finished track should be 90 seconds long.

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 “disquiet0237.” Also use “disquiet0237” 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 237th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Build a 90-second composition from three 10-second segments” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0237/

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/

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Disquiet Junto 0236: Hello Jun(t)o

The Assignment: Say hi to the Juno Spacecraft by embedding Morse code in an original composition.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 10.38.56 AM

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 morning, California time, on Thursday, July 7, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, July 11, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto 0236: Hello Jun(t)o
The Assignment: Say hi to the Juno Spacecraft by embedding Morse code in an original composition.

In this project we’re going to send a friendly signal to the NASA probe, the Juno spacecraft, that just entered orbit around Jupiter. Well, we’re going to compose such signals. Sending them is a separate endeavor. We’re going to build on the “Say ‘Hi’ to Juno” endeavor, which had thousands of ham operators sending a message to Juno during its five-year voyage. The “Say ‘Hi’ to Juno” message was Morse code for “Hi” — that is, four dots followed by two dots (…. ..).

Step 1: Listen to the Morse code for “hi” (four dots followed by two dots) on repeat for a short time.

Step 2: Create an original musical composition that in one or more ways interpolates that Morse code.

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

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

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

Deadline: This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, July 7, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, July 11, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you, though around one 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 “disquiet0236.” Also use “disquiet0236” 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 236th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Say hi to the Juno Spacecraft by embedding Morse code in an original composition” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0236/

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/

More on the Juno Spacecraft technology at:

http://spaceflight101.com/juno/spacecraft-information/

More on the “Say ‘Hi’ to Juno” ham operator project here:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/details.php?id=1263

Image associated with this project courtesy of NASA.

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Disquiet Junto 0235: Dice Music

The Assignment: Create a piece of music based on a structure determined by the roll of a single die.

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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 evening, California time, on Thursday, June 30, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, July 4, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto 0235: Dice Music
The Assignment: Create a piece of music based on a structure determined by the roll of a single die.

This week’s project requires one die (that is, singular of dice).

These are the steps:

Step 1: Roll one die to determine the length of your piece in minutes.

Step 2: Roll two dice to determine the number of sections to your piece. Their length should be equal.

Step 3: For each section roll one die to determine the number of layers.

Step 4: For each layer roll one die to determine the number of different notes played. A note is only played once per layer, but it can be held for as long as desired within that section.

Step 5: Bonus: Create additional dice-based rules and mention them in the notes associated with your finished track.

Step 6: Create an original piece of music based on the result of Step 1 through Step 5.

Step 7: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 8: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 9: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, June 30, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, July 4, 2016.

Length: Length is determined by the first step in the project.

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 “disquiet0235.” Also use “disquiet0235” 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 235th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Create a piece of music based on a structure determined by the roll of a single die” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0235/

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/

Image associated with this project by Chris Gladis, used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/f24Vc/

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