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tag: remix

Disquiet Junto Project 0207: Remixing Marilli

Rework source audio from Michel Banabila's 1983 album, Marilli.

20151217-mr

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.

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

This project was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, December 17, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, December 21, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0207: Remixing Marilli
Rework source audio from Michel Banabila’s 1983 album, Marilli.

Step 1: Michel Banabila, the Dutch musician, this past week released a freely downloadable album of reworkings of his 1983 album, Marilli. (Full disclosure: I contributed a track to the remix collection.) He’s provided three brief samples from the album for the Junto to remix. The first step is to download the three samples from the Dropbox folder at this link:

https://goo.gl/JmDEfB

Step 2: Create a new track using only those three samples.

Step 3: Upload your completed track from Step 2 to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 4: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, December 17, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, December 21, 2015.

Length: The length is up to you, though between one and three minutes seems appropriate.

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 “disquiet0207-remixingmarilli.” Also use “disquiet0207-remixingmarilli” as a tag for your track.

Download: Having provided the samples, Banabila has asked that you assign a Creative Commons license allowing for downloads but not for subsequent reworkings or commercial use.

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 207th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Rework source audio from Michel Banabila’s 1983 album, Marilli”) at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/12/17/disquiet0207-remixingmarilli/

The audio was sourced from the 1983 album Marilli by the album’s composer, Michel Banabila. This project marks the release of the 2015 album Marilli Remixed:

https://banabila.bandcamp.com/album/marilli-remixed-free-download

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

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Remixing Michel Banabila’s Marilli (1983)

Along with 19 other people

I was asked by Michel Banabila to contribute a remix to Marilli Remixed, a collection of reworkings of tracks from his very first album, Marilli, released in 1983. I selected the fourth track on the first side of the LP.

The original was elegant, but had percussion throughout. I wanted the ambient quality more formalized, and the percussion a little more muted and arhythmic.

The full list of contributors to Marilli Remixed is: Andrés G. Jankowski, Andrew Lagowski, Arno Peeters, Bogumil Misala, Mike Kramer, Hanyo van Oosterom, Hero Wouters, Jos Smolders, Koos Derwort, Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek), Marc Weidenbaum, Martin Hoogeboom, Naoyuki Sasanami, Peter Van Cooten, Frans de Waard (QST), Radboud Mens, Roel Meelkop, Theo Calis, Wouter Veldhuis, and Lukasz Szalankiewicz. The full album is available for download at banabila.bandcamp.com.

. . .

Here are some notes on my remix. I’ll note in advance, they’re fairly technical, as a notebook entry on what went into this, and what I learned in the process.

I used the my modular synthesizer (mostly filters, and a little triggered live sampler), the software Audacity (to sequence it, and also for some effects), and my Monome (running the mlr patch in the software Max).

First I stretched a relatively percussion-less segment of the original track to get an ambient bed, yielding in the end something about 30 seconds long. I set it to run eight times in a row, overlapping to varying degrees at each repeat.

Then I extracted a small percussion loop from the original. I did a “live performance” of that percussion loop with the Monome (four simultaneous tracks: one straight through, two running tighter sub-loops against each other a little quieter, and one in reverse even quieter still, though it’s also the last bit to fade out of that sequence, so it has a little moment in the sun). The loop ran a little slower than the original, and I used a small Novation Launch Control to manage the relative volume of the four tracks within mlr.

And then I used my modular synthesizer to create variations on the ambient bed, which I layered in at various stages.

In the end I had eight tracks in Audacity:

The 1st and 3rd tracks are the eight sequential repeats of the ambient sound bed, each intersection overlapping to varying degrees.

The 2nd track is a filtered version of the ambient bed, which has a slow LFO on it (giving it a light Laurie Anderson–ish “ha ha ha” feel) and some echo. This was done on the modular using a filter (either the A-121 or the A-136 or the Z2040 — my notes are unclear — influenced by a digital LFO, the Hikari Sine, and then run through an Eko module).

The 4th is the “live performance” on the Monome of the percussion loop, running mlr. It has four tracks of the loop doing different things. I used a Novation Launch Control to balance the volume of those four tracks.

The 5th is a copy of the ambient sound bed, pitched lower for the full length of the loop. This gives it that deep vibe for the penultimate repeat of the ambient bed. In track 1 at that same stage the volume of the original ambient bed is a little quieter, to let the deep version sound even louder than it is, in relative terms.

The 6th track is a copy of the ambient bed but pitched higher, and I just use it for a very short moment, a final peak before the track fades out.

And the 7th and 8th are two different instances of the same tweak of the ambient bed, which I did in the modular using a Harvestman Polivoks. It’s a tingling, slightly irritating sound, a momentary breach in the ambience.

The whole idea is it opens with this expanse, and then goes to something a little tribal, and then returns to the expanse. I’ll be honest about my influences here. The ambient bed is striving toward Brian Eno’s Thursday Afternoon, and the rhythmic part has Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ in mind. The first appearance of the Polivoks “irritant” is then repeated toward the end to provide a sense of reflection on where the piece started, but in between is that percussion performance. The deep vibe in track 5 gives an orchestral sense of closure, and the peak in track 6 is little filigree, like the clouds breaking, before it all ends.

At least that’s where I ended up. It wasn’t where I started. When I started, it was all gonna be about this firecracker/rattle sound in the original, but in the end I went a totally different direction.

Again, the full album is available for download at banabila.bandcamp.com. More from Banabila at twitter.com/banabila and banabila.com.

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The Bell Jar Filter

Talking with Christina Vantzou about graphic scores, structuring improvisation, and the compositional facets of post-production

Vantzou (standing) in a performance at M-Museum in Belgium with a six-piece cello ensemble

Vantzou (standing) in a performance at M-Museum in Belgium with a six-piece cello ensemble

Christina Vantzou makes a dense, rich music that brings old-world classical textures into a contemporary electronic realm — and vice versa. She directs her own videos, drawing not only on the slow-motion aesthetic that guides her music, but also on the training she received as an art student in Baltimore, Maryland. Video is what brought her into music in the first place. She collaborated with, among others, Adam Wiltzie, of Stars of the Lid, and their work together culminated in recordings under the name the Dead Texan.

Having lived in Brussels, Belgium, for over a decade, Vantzou has released a trio of solo albums whose evocative stasis never fully hides the sense of sheer effort that is required for her to consistently achieve this level of concerted, sublime quietude. This interview was timed to coincide with the release of her latest full-length record, Nº3 (Kranky). She agreed to be interviewed, and after some phone calls we did this via email as a back-and-forth. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of that discussion, in which she details her compositional process, describes how she interacts with chamber ensembles by utilizing graphic scores, and reveals that the sound she most wants to achieve may be that of an orchestra performing inside a giant bell jar. Her use of graphic scores and mid-performance flash cards bring to mind the experiments of Frank Zappa and, later, John Zorn. For one track on the new record the “score,” as she describes it, was a prepared recording that musicians listened to on headphones and responded to in real time. We discussed her graphicscores.com website, which she launched to explore common ground between visual artists and musicians, including John Also Bennett, Peter Broderick, and Julia Kent.

Interspersed throughout are photos shared by Vantzou that depict her visual scores and her live interaction with musicians. Also below are two videos from the album, both of which she directed. (And full disclosure: Vantzou contributed a score to a museum installation, “Sonic Frame,” that I developed for the 45th anniversary of the San Jose Museum of Art based on a video by artist Josh Azzarella.)

Vantzou makes music that doesn’t so much blur the lines between what is broadly considered “classical” and “electronic,” as it is that she lets the two conceptions overlap until wonderful moiré patterns result from where they do and don’t inherently align.

Marc Weidenbaum: Just to start with, what brought you to Brussels?

Christina Vantzou: I was passing through. I was on my way to Greece. I’m half Greek, so I would travel to Greece a lot, and I had a plane flight that was rerouted through Brussels. So, I had an unexpected stop in Brussels, and I liked it and decided to stay. Well, I did go to Greece, but I ended up moving to Brussels not long after that. It was all these unexpected circumstances that introduced me to Brussels. I’ve been there since 2004. When I moved to Brussels I spoke the kind of French that you learn when you learn French in American schools, so very little, but I did take French classes in elementary school and high school.

Weidenbaum: That’s around when the Dead Texan work came out.

Vantzou: Yeah, the Dead Texan work started in transition from when I was living in Baltimore. I remember starting there and then continuing in Brussels. I was working on that for a couple years — 2003, 2004 — and then focused on touring with the Dead Texan the next few years.

Weidenbaum: Please say a little about your art-school education.

Vantzou: I went to MICA, the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. They had a general fine art degree, which is common now in art schools, but it was not so common at the time. It was the “newest” major in a lot of art schools. You could shift around to different departments. It got made fun of within the school at that time. While now interdisciplinary work is really well accepted, at the time I remember the general fine art department — which was called “GFA” for short — was referred to as “generally fucking around.” [Laughs.] I got into art school after I got a full scholarship based on a very strong ceramics portfolio. [Laughs.] I was doing a lot of ceramics but I thought I would be a painting major. And then after my first foundation year I decided I wanted to do GFA as a major where I ended up doing mostly photography at first, black-and-white and color, and then slowly I started focusing more and more on video. My last two years I took mostly all video and animation courses. I took a sound class and learned Pro Tools, which I still use today. I think on my degree it says “general fine arts major with an emphasis on video.”

Weidenbaum: Were there instructors there who were especially instrumental in honing your sense of what you wanted to do?

Vantzou: Yeah. There were two or three people in particular who were influential in their open-minded approach to being practicing artists in the world. I remember there was one teacher in particular. We spent a lot of the class time just watching music documentaries. We watched the Maysles Brothers’ Gimme Shelter, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Don’t Look Back, about Bob Dylan, and on and on. Anyone could recommend one; we’d watch it. I got really interested in this genre and even thought, as a video artist at the time, that I would work in this field. I was really inspired by cinéma vérité and the artists making these documentaries. That particular class had a number of individuals in it who have become successful visual artists. I think the teacher inspired a lot of us. His name was Jeremy Sigler, and his class was called “Parapainting.” We also had to form bands as part of the class and each band played a show at the end of the semester. Read more »

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Disquiet Junto Project 0201: Real Future

Encapsulate an album for efficient yet meaningful consumption.

20151105-realfuture

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.

Tracks will be added to these playlists for the duration of the project.

This is all the music derived from the Montano album:

This is all the music derived from the Salmo album:

And this is the full project:

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

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0201: Real Future
Encapsulate an album for efficient yet meaningful consumption.

This week’s project is a special collaboration with Real Future, as part of the Real Future Fair being held in San Francisco on November 6 and 7. On the evening of the 7th I’ll be presenting some of this project’s audio during the Fair’s Real Future of Sound segment, and talking about the Junto with Alexis Madrigal, the Editor-in-Chief of Fusion. Madrigal and Fusion’s Cara Rose DeFabio participated in the development of this week’s project.

Step 1: First, ask yourself this question: As the population on Earth increases, and more and more people are creating art, how will technology and our brains collaborate to process all that creative information. In 2015 it’s hard enough to keep track of all the TV shows, albums, novels, and video games. What about in 2055?

Step 2: Choose one of these two albums to be your source material and download it:

This self-titled ambient pop album by the New Zealand act Montano: https://montano.bandcamp.com/album/montano

This self-titled album by the French rock band Salmo: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Salmo/Salmo/

Step 3: Consider an approach to compress the selected album for … let’s call it “efficient yet meaningful” consumption. Already today supercuts and superfuses condense material through quick sequences and dense simultaneity. Come up with an approach to similarly compressing a full-length album. You might consider the “overture” employed in project 0198, but you’ll likely come up with your own approach. And keep in mind that the end result should be … let’s call it “enjoyable.”

Step 4: Apply the result of Step 3 to the album you downloaded in Step 2.

Step 5: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

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, November 5, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, November 9, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be as long as you see fit.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, 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 include the term “disquiet0201-realfuture” in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: Due to the Creative Commons nature of the source material, you should use the following license for your work:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 201st weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Encapsulate an album for efficient yet meaningful consumption”) at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/11/05/disquiet0201-realfuture/

This project was developed for the November 2015 Real Future Fair in San Francisco at the encouragement of and with the participation of Alexis Madrigal and Cara Rose DeFabio:

http://realfuturefair.com/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

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

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

[And here be sure to mention which of the two albums served as source audio, because attribution is an essential part of the Creative Commons.]

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Disquiet Junto Project 0200: Kadrey Score

Create a score to a Richard Kadrey short story — using his own voice as source audio.

Kadrey Richard ap1

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.

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

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, October 29, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, November 2, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0200: Kadrey Score
Create a score to a Richard Kadrey short story — using his own voice as source audio.

This week marks the 200th weekly Disquiet Junto. I’m very excited that the accomplished novelist Richard Kadrey recorded himself reading interlocking segments of his own short story specifically for use as source audio for this week’s project.

Richard Kadrey is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sandman Slim supernatural noir books. The eighth book in the series, The Perdition Score, will be out in July 2016. Some of his other books include The Everything Box, Metrophage, Butcher Bird, Dead Set, and the graphic novel Accelerate. Sandman Slim was included in Amazon’s “100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime.” More from Kadrey at richardkadrey.com, facebook.com/richard.kadrey, and twitter.com/Richard_Kadrey.

These are the 5 steps in the project:

Step 1: The author Richard Kadrey (Sandman Slim, Metrophage) has recorded himself reading seven separate one-minute segments of a short story that can be listened to in any sequence. Choose a number from 1 to 7. The tool at the top of this page is useful:

http://www.randomnumbergenerator.com/

Step 2: Download the numerical track from this following playlist. The tracks are listed from “MUDROSTI 1” through “MUDROSTI 7.” Download the one that correlates with the number resulting from Step 1 of this project.

https://soundcloud.com/disquiet/sets/richard-kadrey-mudrosti-junto/s-H7sas

Step 3: Create a score to accompany Kadrey’s reading of his own short story in the track that you got in Step 2. Primarily use Kadrey’s own voice as the source material for your score — bend it, shape it, extract from it, and burnish it to your will. Additional sonic elements, both musical and foley, are welcome, but a substantial percentage of the sound should be from Kadrey’s own voice. Also: keep Kadrey’s own reading audible and inteligible; don’t slow or speed or otherwise edit it. Your score should accompany his reading, not thoroughly supplant it.

Step 4: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud. Include the term “disquiet0200-kadreyscoreX” in the title of your track, where X is the number of the track you were assigned (1 through 7).

Step 5: 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, October 29, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, November 2, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be the same length as that of the original Kadrey track you downloaded.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, 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: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term term “disquiet0200-kadreyscoreX” in the title of your track, where X is the number of the track you were assigned (1 through 7).

Tags: And include “disquiet0200-kadreyscore” as a tag for your track.

Download: Due to Kadrey’s generosity and the Creative Commons nature of his source material, you should use the following license for your work and make your work available for download:

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

More on this 200th Disquiet Junto project (“Create a score to a Richard Kadrey short story — using his own voice as source audio”) at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/10/29/disquiet0200-kadreyscore/

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/

More from Kadrey at

http://richardkadrey.com
http://facebook.com/richard.kadrey
http://twitter.com/Richard_Kadrey

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