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.
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tag: junto

Disquiet Junto Project 0129: Sonic Emoji

Create tones to match five of the new emoji.

20140719-sonicemoji

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.

This project was published in the evening, California time, on Thursday, June 19, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, June 23, 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 0129: Sonic Emoji

Emoji are compact electronic visual symbols for various things, ranging from objects to ideas to emotions. This week an announcement was made by the Unicode Consortium that 240 new emoji are due to be introduced. We will, in this project, devise sonic complements to those same objects, ideas, and emotions. The sounds should bear the hallmarks of emoji: concision, self-evidence, a willful genericness, and humor.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Download the PDF emoji chart from the following URL:

http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/assets/4629797/U70-1F300.pdf

Step 2: Look at the document. Note the items that are highlighted. Those are the 240 new emoji.

Step 3: Using a random selection process of your own devising, decide upon 5 of the 240 new emoji.

Step 4: Create short (less than three seconds each) sonic equivalents for each of your 5 emoji. Do not use any words in these sounds.

Step 5: Record a single track containing each of these 5 sonic emoji. Repeat each one 3 times. Include a brief pause between each repetition.

Step 6: Upload the track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud, following the directions below. Be sure to list the subjects of the 5 emoji in the notes associated with your track.

Deadline: Monday, June 23, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: The length of your finished work will likely between 20 seconds and 60 seconds.

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 “disquiet0129-sonicemoji″ 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 129th Disquiet Junto project — “Create tones to match five of the new emoji” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/06/19/disquiet0129-sonicemoji/

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

Image associated with this project via:

http://goo.gl/m2bSoC

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Disquiet Junto Project 0128: One Year Ago

Write a score to accompany a short piece of text you wrote a year ago today.

20140612-ayearago

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.

This project was published in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, June 12, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, June 16, 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 0128: One Year Ago

We just these past few weeks launched a new online forum for discussion by members of the Disquiet Junto (at disquiet.com/forums). So, it seems fitting to engage in a project that involves us hearing each others’ actual voices — and, thanks to the vantage provided by passing time, to hear our own.

These are the steps:

Step 1: Locate some text that you wrote one year ago. It might be a tweet, a Facebook post, an excerpt from an email, a review of a product on Amazon.com, a shopping list, a diary entry, the day’s events in a calendar. (You can interpret “today” in the first step to mean June 16, or the date that you do this project.)

Step 2: Record yourself reading the text aloud.

Step 3: Compose a short piece of music that accompanies the recording of you reading the text. Have the piece open with at least five seconds of sound before your voice kicks in and have at least five seconds of sound at the end after you speak your final syllable.

Deadline: Monday, June 16, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: The length of your finished work will be determined by the text you select, likely between 30 seconds 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 “disquiet0128-ayearago″ 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 128th Disquiet Junto project — “Write a score to accompany a short piece of text you wrote a year ago today” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/06/12/disquiet0128-ayearago/

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 project originally by Dustin Ground, used via Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dground/502943475

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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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Tangents: Data Immersion, the Tuning of the Internet, Superloops, …

Plus: the emotional key of books, physical computer drums, quantum computer sounds, steampunk modular, and more

Tangents is an occasional collection of short, lightly annotated mentions of sound-related activities.

Data Immersion: Characteristically breathtaking video of a new work by Ryoji Ikeda, perhaps the leading installation poet of data immersion. This is of his piece “supersymmetry,” which relates to his residency at CERN, the supercollider. More at supersymmetry.ycam.jp:

In an interview he talks about the dark-matter research that informed his effort:

“Supersymmetry is being considered as a possible solution of the mystery of this dark matter. During the period I’m staying at CERN, there are experiments being carried out with the aim to prove the existence of as-yet undiscovered ‘supersymmetry particles’ that form pairs with the particles that make up the so-called ‘Standard Model’ catalogue of physical substances. Data and technologies of these experiments are not directly incorporated in the work, but I’m going to discuss a variety of things with the physicists at CERN, and the results of these discussions will certainly be reflected.”

Tones of the Internet: The tonal repository of the Internet is very different from the room tone of the Internet, which we explored in a recent Disquiet Junto project. Over at wired.com, Joseph Flaherty profiles Zach Lieberman, with an emphasis on his Play the World project, which scours the Internet for sounds — the music heard on radio stations — and then allows them to be played back. “Using the set-up,” Flagerty writes, “a person can literally turn the internet into a musical instrument.” What makes that sentence more than hyperbole is that the source audio is played at the note triggered by the user, though it’s by no means “the Internet” being played, and instead a fairly well-circumscribed and specific subset of the Internet. (The effort brings to mind the title of R. Murray Schafer’s classic book of sound studies, The Tuning of the World.) It’s part of DevArt, a Google digital art endeavor that has nothing to do with Deviant Art, the longstanding web forum for (largely) visual artists, or with Devart, the database software company. “Play the World, and several other DevArt projects,” reports Flaherty, ” will make their debut at the Barbican Gallery of Art in London in July, but the code is available on Github today.” There’s something intriguing about an art premiere that is preceded by the materials’ worldwide open-source availability. Here’s audio of the note A being played for 20 minutes based on a wide array of these sound sources. It appears to be from Zieberman’s own SoundCloud account, which oddly has only 15 followers as of this writing. Well, 16, because I just joined up:

The Singing Book: At hyperallergic.com, Allison Meier writes about an effort to extract the emotional content from writing and turn it into music. It’s a project by Hannah Davis and Saif Mohammad. Below is an example based on the novel Lord of the Flies. More at Davis and Mohammad’s musicfromtext.com. A few weeks back, the Junto explored a parallel effort to listen to the rhythm inherent in particular examples of writing, and to make music based on that rhythm:

Everyday Drum: The divisions between words like “analog” and “digital,” and “electric” and “acoustic,” are far more blurred than they get credit for, as evidenced by this fine implementation of an iPad triggering not just physical beats, but whimsically innovative ones made from bottle caps, buttons, grains tacks, and other everyday objects (found via twitter.com/Chris_Randall). The project is by Italy-based Lorenzo Bravi, more from whom at lorenzobravi.com:

LED Modular: Vice Motherboard’s DJ Pangburn interviews Charles Lindsay (the SETI artist-in-residence, who invited me to give that talk last month) on his massive LED installation, which involves the chance nature of modular synthesis applied to recordings of the Costa Rica rainforest. Says Lindsay:

“I love modular synthesis, the unpredictable surprises, the textures and wackiness,” he said of his heavily-cabled Eurorack modular synthesizer. “My rig is populated by a lot of SNAZZY FX’s modules. I’m part of the company, which is essentially Dan Snazelle, a wonderful genius, inventor and musician. We share an approach that says ‘let’s build these things and see what happens.’”

Also part of the LED exhibit, titled Carbon IV, is audio sourced from the quantum artificial intelligence laboratory at NASA Ames. Here’s audio from Linday’s SoundCloud account:

Superloops: Rob Walker shifts attention from the “supercut” of related material — like the “yeahs” of Metallica’s James Hetfield — to the superloop of standalone elements. “The opposite of a supercut,” writes Walker at Yahoo! Tech, “the superloop condenses nothing. To the contrary, it takes one brief moment of sound or video and repeats it.” It was an honor to be queried, along with Ethan Hein, in Walker’s research. I pointed him to the great sounds of the Star Trek enterprise on idle. … And in somewhat related news, in Walker’s “The Workologist” column in The New York Times, in which he responds to “workplace conundrums” from readers, he has some advice for someone bothered by an office mate’s gum chewing (“Other than the clicking of keys and occasional phone calls, it’s the only sound in an otherwise quiet office”); he writes, in part:

Because you’ve ruled out music, maybe a comfortable set of noise-canceling headphones — tuned to nothing — would be enough to blunt the irritating sounds. Or you could consider any number of “white noise” generators that are available free online. Noisli.com, for example, generates forest sounds, coffee-shop noise and the like. You also could do a little research on “ambient” music and use a service like Pandora to construct a nondistracting sound stream. Such approaches may be inoffensive enough that you can simply play the sound at low volume from your computer — no earbuds required.

Steampunk Modular: By and large, I tend to keep the threshold of coverage above the level of “things that look neat,” but sometimes that neat is neat enough that I can’t resist, especially when it’s tied to a fine achievement by a talented sound practitioner. Richard Devine has posted on Instagram this shot of steampunk-style effects module, encased in an old book, that he got from the makers of the Xbox One video game Wolfenstein: The New Order:

Synesthesia Robots: And here’s one from Kid Koala of his lofi visual interface for his sampler. Koala is a talented cartoonist as well as an ace downtempo DJ. Those efforts have collided in a score he’s made for a graphic novel, and in various staged performances he’s put together, and this achieves a functional correlation in a very simple manner:

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Disquiet Junto Project 0126: NOLA Re-metered

Change the meter of a 1918 jazz recording by the Louisiana Five.

20140529-lh5

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, May 29, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, June 2, 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 0126: NOLA Re-metered

This week’s project combines two familiar Disquiet Junto elements: shared source audio and a pair of dice. The goal is to rework an existing archival jazz track by adjusting it to a new meter. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Download the song “Slow and Easy” by the Louisiana Five Jazz Orchestra from this URL:

https://archive.org/details/LouisianaFive-SlowAndEasy

Step 2: Roll two dice. Add 1 to the result of each rolled die. Thus, if you rolled a 4 and a 6, you would have a 5 and a 7. (Note: if both dice resulted in the same number, roll one of them again until you have two different numbers. And if you find your result just plain confusing, certainly feel free to roll until you find one you’re comfortable with.)

Step 3: The new meter of your project is the first die over the second. Thus, the result from step 2 would mean your new meter is 5/7.

Step 4: Rework a segment of the source track and in the process change the meter from the original to the meter that was determined in step 3. You may add additional audio, but some prominent aspect of the original source track should be evident in your final work.

Deadline: Monday, June 2, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your finished work should likely be between a two minutes and four minutes, but there’s no formal length requirement.

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 “disquiet0126-nolaremetered″ 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 126th Disquiet Junto project — “Change the meter of a 1918 jazz recording by the Louisiana Five” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/05/29/disquiet0126-nolaremetered/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Track sourced from:

https://archive.org/details/LouisianaFive-SlowAndEasy

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