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.
Composing in code.

tag: live-performance

Alternating Foreground and Background

A live performance by Italian musician Nicola Fornasari (aka Xu)

Attenuated strings, a low level static that resembles vinyl or cassette surface noise, extended near silences — the tension in the track “Droplets” off the Xu album Circular Buffer is between foreground and background. When the strings cut in, the minor distractions of that noisy substrate become almost inaudible, yet when the strings are on hold, or even quiet down a tad, that same near-silent texture comes fully into the fore. Xu is the Italian musician Nicola Fornasari.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/nicola-fornasari. The full album is available for free (name your price, that is) at Fornasari’s bandcamp.com account. More from Fornasari at substance.it. (Found via a repost from soundcloud.com/roamin).

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Solo Flute, in Narrative Segments

A work by Kansas City–based Mara Gibson

The solo flute is heard, in this piece by composer Mara Gibson, as a sequence of solitary gestures. A whistling high note succeeds a breathy mid-register tone, the two separated by a sudden sharp sound that reminds the listener that any instrument, including the flute, can play percussion. There are as well desperately tenuous moments where the lips seem to struggle to eke out the quietest sounds possible, and others where a short melodic phrase is given a moment to develop before being cut short. There are extended silences, and near-silences that suggest distant birdsong. At seven and a half minutes in length, it’s an absorbing work that exerts a narrative logic as each segments reflects both backward and forward.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/mara-gibson. More from Gibson, a professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, at maragibson.com and twitter.com/GibsonMara.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0132: Posthumous Nofi Trio

The Assignment: Collaborate with the late Jeffrey (Nofi) Melton using a previous tribute track.


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 assignment was made in the mid-afternoon, California time, on Thursday, July 10, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, July 14, 2013, as the deadline.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0132: Posthumous Nofi Trio

This week’s project is a tribute to the late Jeffrey Melton, the talented musician, best known on SoundCloud and Twitter as @nofi. The project builds on the Disquiet Junto Project 0066, which took place 66 weeks ago.

The Disquiet Junto Project 0066 had participants perform live over a segment of a live recording of Melton himself playing solo. The result was a series of posthumous duets. This week we’ll produce a series of posthumous trios. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Choose one of the tracks that resulted from Disquiet Junto project 0066:


Step 2: Listen to your chosen track several times, to get to know it.

Step 3: Extend the file by 10 to 15 seconds.

Step 4: Record yourself performing live along with the track. Any instrumentation is fine. Just no voice. Be sure to play alone for approximately 10 seconds after the original track ends.

Step 5: Upload the track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud, following the directions below.

Background: Melton passed away March 30, 2013, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he lived with his wife and seven-year-old son. He was 42. Melton had been involved with the Disquiet Junto since the very first Junto project, back in January 2012, and he early on volunteered to create a Twitter list of the handles of participating Junto members.

Deadline: Monday, July 14, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: The length of your finished work will be 10 to 15 seconds longer than the track you selected.

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 “disquiet0132-posthumousnofitrio″ 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 link to the source track from project 0066, and to include this information:

More on this 132nd Disquiet Junto project — “Collaborate with the late Jeffrey (Nofi) Melton using a previous tribute track” — at:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Join the Disquiet Junto at:


Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:


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Bulgarian Dread

A live set from the Sofia Underground Festival


Multiple monikers utilized by a single artist can be confusing to listeners, yet provide orientation for the musicians who adopt them. Take the Bulgaria-based Mytrip, whose work has been covered here in the past, often as an exploration of subsumed tones that push at the contours of rhythm and melody. When planning a set at the Sofia Underground Festival this year, he opted for another name, Dayin, which should not be mistaken for a brighter outlook. Quite the contrary, he states in a brief liner note to the uploaded recording, “I decided to go a bit darker and deeper.” The result is a haunting half hour of ghostly chatter and dense drones:

Track originally posted for free download soundcloud.com/dayin. More on the Sofia Underground Performance Art Festival at sofiaunderground.com.

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The tape-loop decay of Howlround


Don’t let William Basinski get all the Google search returns for “ambient decay tape loops.” Save some for Howlround, which pairs Robin the Fog and Chris Weaver, who use reel-to-reel machines to make sounds as rough as they are fragile, as ephemeral as the are rooted in texture. This audio is sourced from what was, apparently, their first ever live performance, back in May 2013, as part of the Great Escape Festival in Brighton (MP3):

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Track originally posted for free download at part of the Touch Radio series at touchradio.org.uk. More from the duo at howlround.co.uk and twitter.com/howlroundmusic.

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