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

Disquiet Junto Project 0241: Foreground Effect

The Assignment: Compose a piece of music in which the material processed is secondary to the processing.

3349883_2b3eaaf24f_z

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.

This project was posted around noon, California time, on Thursday, August 11, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, August 15, 2016.

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

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0241: Foreground Effect
The Assignment: Compose a piece of music in which the material processed is secondary to the processing.

Please pay particular attention to all the instructions below, in light of SoundCloud closing down its Groups functionality.

Big picture: One thing arising from the end of the Groups functionality is a broad goal, in which an account on SoundCloud is not necessary for Disquiet Junto project participation. We’ll continue to use SoundCloud, but it isn’t required to use SoundCloud. The aspiration is for the Junto to become “platform-agnostic,” which is why using a message forum, such as llllllll.co, as a central place for each project may work well.

And now, on to this week’s project.

Project Steps:

Step 1: Consider the following. New music can often involve flipping a perceived hierarchy: between rhythm and melody, between harmonic and melodic development, and between background and foreground, for example. This project involves flipping another perceived hierarchy: between the effect employed and the source audio on which it is employed (for example, between a flanger and a rhythm guitar line, or a gate and a drum kit, or between a filter and a complex waveform).

Step 2: Create an original piece of music in which the effect is the prominent thing heard throughout, while the source audio changes frequently between varied materials. The compositional goal is that the piece still hangs together as a considered whole unto itself.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Per the instructions below, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0241” in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: This is a new task, if you’ve done a Junto project previously. In the following discussion thread at llllllll.co post your track:

http://llllllll.co/t/foreground-effect-disquiet-junto-project-0241/4134

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 around noon, California time, on Thursday, August 11, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, August 15, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you. Between two and four minutes seems about right.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0241” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, 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.

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 online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 241st weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Compose a piece of music in which the material processed is secondary to the processing” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0241/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

http://llllllll.co/t/foreground-effect-disquiet-junto-project-0241/4134

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this project is by Nadar, and is used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

flic.kr/p/iaNB

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The Forum as Playlist

Platform agnosticism and Junto life after SoundCloud Groups

This is excerpted from a note I sent out last night to the Disquiet Junto project email list:

From lemons -> lemonade.

From a software company shuttering a service -> a platform-agnostic undertaking.

For longtime Junto participants especially, there’s been an occasional refrain that it’d be nice for the Junto not to be bound to one platform. Many people at SoundCloud have been very supportive of the Junto since the first project, back in January 2012. The end of the Groups functionality could be seen as a need for a quick fix. I’m trying to see it as an opportunity for change — specifically, to a means in which folks who would rather post music to YouTube or Archive.org or their own URLs or anywhere can do so, and still be part of the overall community. This process will not necessarily yield something as tidy as a SoundCloud playlist, but the tidiness that the SoundCloud playlist provided was also a reflection of how bonded the Junto was to SoundCloud. Anyhow, the discussions at llllllll.co, which is closely associated with the development of the Monome grid interface, has been very supportive of the Junto for several months, and I’m hopeful that this week’s Junto experiment in forum-as-playlist will work out well.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0240: Emerging from a Drone

The Assignment: Compose a piece of music in which a drone slowly, imperceptibly, gives way to something rhythmic and/or melodic.

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.

This project was posted in the evening, California time, on Thursday, August 4, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, August 8, 2016.

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

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0240: Emerging from a Drone
The Assignment: Compose a piece of music in which a drone slowly, imperceptibly, gives way to something rhythmic and/or melodic.

Please note the new instructions below, in light of SoundCloud closing down its Groups functionality.

Big picture: One thing arising from the loss of the Groups functionality is the goal that an account on SoundCloud is not necessary for Disquiet Junto project participation. The aspiration is for the Junto to become platform-agnostic.

Project Steps:

Step 1: Record a short drone, something that suggests stasis, timelessness, something that could play forever and feel like it never substantially changes.

Step 2: Create a piece of music that slowly emerges from that drone. More to the point, create a piece of music for which the drone is the beginning — a drone that slowly, imperceptibly, gives way to something rhythmic or melodic or both.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done :

Step 1: Per the instructions below, be sure to include “disquiet0240” in the name of your track.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track. It is also helpful that you are a member of the discussion boards at llllllll.co.

Step 3: Add your track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud (this specific task will continue until the August 22 sunsetting of that service). The group is here:

Step 4: This is a new task, if you’ve done a Junto project previously. In the following discussion thread at llllllll.co post your track:

http://llllllll.co/t/music-that-emerges-from-a-drone-disquiet-junto-project-0240/4027

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

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

Deadline: This project was posted in the evening, California time, on Thursday, August 4, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, August 8, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you. Between one and four 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 “disquiet0240.” Also use “disquiet0240” 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 online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 240th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Compose a piece of music in which a drone slowly, imperceptibly, gives way to something rhythmic and/or melodic” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0240/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place on llllllll.co and on a Junto Slack (send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion).

The image associated with this project is by Michel Banabila, and is used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

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Disquiet Junto Project 0239: Code Requiem

The Assignment: Compose a short composition in memoriam for a piece of recently deceased software.

deadcode

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.

This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, July 28, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, August 1, 2016.

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

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0239: Code Requiem
The Assignment: Compose a short composition in memoriam for a piece of recently deceased software.

Please note the instructions below, in light of SoundCloud closing down its Groups functionality.

Project Steps:

Step 1: Compose a short composition in memoriam for a piece of recently deceased software.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done :

Step 1: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud (this task will continue until the August 22 sunsetting of that service). It’s here:

Step 2: This is a new task, if you’ve done a Junto project previously. In the comment field to the track mention @disquiet. This will ping me to add the track to a playlist.

Step 3: Per the instructions below, be sure to tag your track #disquiet0239

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 morning, California time, on Thursday, July 28, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, August 1, 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 “disquiet0239.” Also use “disquiet0239” 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 239th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Compose a short composition in memoriam for a piece of recently deceased software” — at:

http://disquiet.com/0239/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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 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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