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: junto

Making Abstraction Engaging

When is a podcast not a podcast?

I’ve been thinking for a long time to make a Disquiet.com podcast, and I’m still intent on doing it, but not quite yet. I even have the theme music in the can, thanks to a regular participant of the Disquiet Junto project series, but I’m still fiddling with the format, and I want to make sure I have the time to do it regularly. I may wait until after this semester is over, since I’m already dedicating time each week to creating 2,000-word summaries of each lecture in my “role of sound in the media landscape” course, and sending those to my tinyletter.com/disquiet email list.

What’s been on my mind lately has been how best to frame the abstract work I’m often up to in sound, so that it can have an audience beyond those already attracted to abstraction. The goal isn’t a larger audience unto itself; the goal is an audience that would quickly find the work of interest when given the proper context.

The “Sonic Frames” installation I developed for the San Jose Museum of Art was an attempt at this, and I think a fairly successful one. Using imagery, and elegant physical frames, and directional speakers, along with other tools, the piece can attract a potential listener from across the room, and keep them focused once they decide to interact with it.

For the Junto projects, I share the written instructions each week as part of the setlist I create for the given project, but that requires someone to take the time to read. Also, those instructions are intended for a different audience: the participants in the projects. So, three weeks ago I acted on the instinct to record myself describing the project. It’s very different to be told a story than to read one, and very different to have a (somewhat?) friendly voice explain something abstract than to have to decipher it on a page. So now each week’s setlist begins with me, for a minute or so, explaining what the project is about. Collectively the intro and the tracks that follow it comprise something akin to a podcast, though it’s not quite yet the podcast I have in mind.

Below are the first four such project-introduction narrations. The first week I did this, I actually made two separate playlists, for reasons explained in the audio below:

More on the Disquiet Junto at disquiet.com/junto.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0164: Junto Hay Fat Choy

The Assignment: Create music that emerges from the sound of fireworks.

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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 from this project will be added to this setlist:

This assignment was made in the late evening, California time, on Thursday, February 19, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 23, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0164: Junto Hay Fat Choy
The Assignment: Create music that emerges from the sound of fireworks.

These are the steps for this week’s project:

Step 1: Locate or create a field recording of fireworks (at freesound.org, for example)

Step 2: Listen to the musical content of the recording — rhythm, tempo, tone, arc, melody.

Step 3: Create a piece of music that begins as five seconds of that field recording, and then emerges out of the sound of fireworks.

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

Step 5: Be sure to include link/mentions regarding the source tracks.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This assignment was made in the late evening, California time, on Thursday, February 19, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 23, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be one minute.

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 “disquiet0164-juntofireworks” 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 164th Disquiet Junto project — “Create music that emerges from the sound of fireworks” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/02/19/disquiet0164-juntofireworks/

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/

Image associated with this project by Carl Guderian, used via Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/dGNiDc

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Disquiet Junto Project 0163: Layering Minutes After Midnight

The Assignment: Create a new late-night ambience with sounds from a handful of pre-existing field recordings.

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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 set for the duration of the project:

This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, February 12, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 16, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0163: Layering Silence After Midnight
The Assignment: Create a new late-night ambience with sounds from a handful of pre-existing field recordings.

This project is the second in what will be an ongoing occasional series that focus on late-night ambience. Collectively these nocturnal endeavors are being called “One Minute Past Midnight.” No one’s work will be repurposed without their permission, and it’s appreciated if you post your track with a Creative Commons license that allows for non-commercial reuse and sharing.

The steps for this project are as follows:

Step 1: Revisit project #0160 from January 22, 2015, in which field recordings were made of the sound one minute past midnight:

http://disquiet.com/0160/

Step 2: Locate segments that are especially quiet and meditative — and confirm that they are available for creative reuse. Many should have a Creative Commons license stating such, and if you’re not sure just check with the responsible Junto participant.

Step 3: Using segments from three different tracks from the January 22 project, create a new work of sound that layers the pre-existing material into something new, something nocturnal. Keep the length of your final piece to one minute

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

Step 5: Be sure to include link/mentions regarding the source tracks.

Step 6: 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, February 12, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 16, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be one minute.

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 “disquiet0163-layeringminutes” 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 163rd Disquiet Junto project — “Create a new late-night ambience with sounds from a handful of pre-existing field recordings” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/02/12/disquiet0163-layeringminutes/

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/

Image associated with this project by Matthias Ripp, used via Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/qoxehn

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Video, Final Days of San Jose Museum of Art Installation

A brief video interview about my SJMA / Disquiet Junto piece, "Sonic Frame

The San Jose Museum of Art has posted this interview with me about the piece, “Sonic Frame,” that I developed to be part of its 45th anniversary exhibit, Momentum, which runs through February 22, 2015:

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Disquiet Junto Project 0162: Junto in a Box

The Assignment: Use Paul Lamere's "Girl Talk in a Box" to gain a new perspective on your own music.

20150205-girltalkinabox

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 length of the project:

This supplemental playlist sequences the “after” and “before” versions of the tracks in the project — well, those for which there is a “before” version on SoundCloud. It’s unusual that I’d make a second playlist, but this project suggests the treatment. Also, for the first time I’ve recorded a spoken introduction to the project.

This assignment was made in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, February 5, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 9, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0162: Junto in a Box
The Assignment: Use Paul Lamere’s “Girl Talk in a Box” to gain a new perspective on your own music.

These are the steps:

Step 1: Choose a piece of music of your own that you would like to get a new perspective on.

Step 2: Go to the following URL to access the web app Girl Talk in a Box, which Paul Lamere designed. As he explains, “While a song is playing, you can take control, speeding it up, slowing it down, skipping beats and so on.”

http://static.echonest.com/girltalkinabox/

Step 3: Upload your song to Girl Talk in a Box and play with it. After gaining some measure of facility with the web app, record your own edit of your song.

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

Step 5: Be sure to include a link to the original track, so listeners can compare and contrast.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, February 5, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, February 9, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be between two 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 “disquiet0162-juntoinabox” 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 162nd Disquiet Junto project — “Use Paul Lamere’s ‘Girl Talk in a Box’ to gain a new perspective on your own music” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/02/05/disquiet0162-juntoinabox/

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/

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