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

One More Month of “Sonic Frame”

My sound installation at the San Jose Museum of Art

20150122-sjma

The installation “Sonic Frame” that I developed for the San Jose Museum of Art will be exhibited for one more month from today. The exhibit runs from October 2, 2014, through February 22, 2015. I’ll be giving a little talk the early evening of February 19, 2015, at the museum as part of the latest edition of its Art Rage event series (details will surface at sjmusart.org).

“Sonic Frame” is a three-screen response to Josh Azzarella’s video “Untitled #8, 2004.” Each of the three screens has original pieces of music, 21 total, that are intended to serve as scores to the video. Each score changes the viewer’s experience of the video, which in its original form is entirely silent.

The scores are largely drawn from members of the Disquiet Junto community of weekly music projects (disquiet.com/junto), and were created by the following musicians: Taylor Deupree, Van Stiefel, Natalia Kamia, Naoyuki Sasanami, Carlos Russell, Mark Rushton, Paolo Mascolini (Sōzu), Stephen Vitiello, Steve Roden, ævol, Marcus Fischer, Julia Mazawa, the duo of Westy Reflector and Lee Rosevere, Ezekiel Kigbo (The Atlas Room), Steiner (Stijn Hüwels), Christina Vantzou, Scanner, Inlet (Cory K.), Jean Reiki, Marco Raaphorst, and Bad Trails.

There is a video in which I talk about the piece. The thorough summary is here: “How Sound Frames Vision.”

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Disquiet Junto Project 0159: Recipe Hyperlapse

The Assignment: See what music the steps of a favorite recipe yield.

20150115-dj0159

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.

This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, January 15, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 19, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0159: Recipe Hyperlapse
The Assignment: See what music the steps of a favorite recipe yield.

The steps for this week’s project are as follows.

Step 1: Choose a favorite recipe.

Step 2: Note key moments in the recipe: the procurement of materials, the preparation of an ingredient, the turning on or off of a device, etc.

Step 3: Prepare the recipe, and when doing so record a sound representative of each of those key moments.

Step 4: Stitch the audio resulting from Step 3 into a single piece of audio, roughly a minute or two minutes in length.

Step 5: It’s not necessary, but consider adding tonal material to the results of step 4.

Step 6: Upload the finished track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 19, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be between one minute and two 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 “disquiet0159-kitchenhyperlapse” 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 159th Disquiet Junto project — “See what music the steps of a favorite recipe yield” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/01/15/disquiet0159-kitchenhyperlapse/

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/

Photo associated with this project by Andy Schultz used via Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/5QvQyc

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Disquiet Junto Project 0158: Syllable Gumbo

The Assignment: Go from noise to signal with words.

20150108-syllablegumbo

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 as the project proceeds:

This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, January 8, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 12, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0158: Syllable Gumbo
The Assignment: Go from noise to signal with words.

Quite often Disquiet Junto projects actively avoid the human voice. This week’s project engages directly with the voice, and with language.

Step 1: Select the least important story on the front page of your local newspaper or the home page of your local newspaper’s website.

Step 2: Select the first or first two sentences of that story. Combined the resulting text should have between roughly 15 and 25 words.

Step 3: Record yourself, or someone else, reading the text aloud. You can use text-to-speech, though it is by no means required.

Step 4: Break the recording from step 3 into tiny parts.

Step 5: Produce an original piece of music in which the randomized “noise” of those tiny parts heard out of order slowly, over the course of one or two minutes, comes to form the full original statement.

Step 6: Add tonal and rhythmic material to the results of step 5.

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

Step 8: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 12, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be between one minute and two 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 “disquiet0158-syllablegumbo” 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 158th Disquiet Junto project — “Go from noise to signal with words” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/01/08/disquiet0158-syllablegumbo/

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/

Photo associated with this project by Beanbag Amerika used via Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/uvuHK

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On the Benefits of Being Incomplete

A firm deadline is both a taskmaster and an alibi.

This is a short note at the start of the fourth year of the Disquiet Junto. Right now, as I type this, musicians around the world are working on the 157th consecutive weekly music assignment in the Junto. As of this writing, there are already 25 tracks in the project, by 25 different musicians from places like Murwillumbah, Australia; Norwich, England; Munich, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Bolzano, Italy; and, in the United States, Denver, Colorado; Brooklyn, New York; Montpelier, Vermont; and Iowa City, Iowa, just to name a sample of the locations.

The first project this fourth year is the same as the first project the very first year, and at the start of the series’ second and third years: “Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it.” The point of repeating this same project at the start of each year is to note the ritual of it all, the macro annual ritual that wraps around the weekly ritual that is the Disquiet Junto, which itself suggests a potential model for the everyday ritual of making music, of producing creative work. Each Thursday there is a new project, and each following Monday there is a pressing deadline. Few combinations prove as effective in getting creative people producing new work as the trio of a firm deadline, a firm assignment, and the awaiting support of a collegial audience — in the case of the Junto, fellow makers of music.

Many months into the launch of the Junto, back in 2012, I came to recognize that one of the key factors in the group’s welcome acceptance by so many musicians — at this stage almost 500 actively participating SoundCloud accounts, over 800 email list subscribers, nearing 2,000 SoundCloud group members — is that the Junto provides a place where people feel comfortable risking failure, even pursuing failure. A deadline is both an impetus and an excuse, both a taskmaster and an alibi. The deadline is an opportune means to explain that a posted piece of work is unfinished, incomplete.

And speaking of incomplete, I started writing this note to mention something specific, which is that there should be no pressing sense on the part of any Junto participant that they do every Junto — all 52 — in a given year. The point of the Junto’s weekly schedule is that it’s there, dependably, when participating members have the time to drop in. The projects are structured, as well, so that they are self-contained. You can show up at any point between a Thursday and the looming Monday and start and complete the project. Occasionally there is a specific task that may take some time, such as visiting a shopping mall to make a field recording or recording oneself sleeping, but never does a Junto project require any time beyond the time frame of the given project. Almost every project can be started and completed within an hour or so, though many musicians give far more time to them.

Anyhow, this explanation is sort of having it both ways. On the one hand, I’m saying don’t worry about doing every project, week in, week out. On the other, I’m saying don’t worry that the work doesn’t feel done, which is to say don’t hesitate to post something. Either way, I hope you feel welcome.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0157: A Little Ice Music

The Assignment: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it.

20150101-icemusic2015

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 as the project proceeds:

This assignment was made in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, January 1, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 5, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0157: A Little Ice Music
The Assignment: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it.

Happy new year! This week’s project is as follows:

Step 1: Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it.

Step 2: Upload the finished track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

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

Background: Longtime participants in, and observers of, the Disquiet Junto series will recognize this single-sentence assignment as the very first Disquiet Junto project, the same one that launched the series on the first Thursday of 2012. Revisiting it a year and two years later, on the first Thursdays of 2013 and 2014, provided a fitting way to begin the new year. Now, at the start of the fourth year of the Disquiet Junto, it is a tradition. A weekly project series can come to overemphasize novelty, and it’s helpful to revisit old projects as much as it is to engage with new ones. Also, by its very nature, the Disquiet Junto suggests itself as a fast pace: a four-day production window, a weekly habit. It’s beneficial to step back and see things from a longer perspective.

Deadline: 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 5, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be between one minute 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 “disquiet0157-icemusic2015” 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 157th Disquiet Junto project — “Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it.” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/01/01/disquiet0157-icemusic2015/

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/

Photo associated with this project by Michael Scott used via Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/5vyz3G

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