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: video

Disquiet Junto Project 0151: Reliving Dead

The Assignment: Score a segment of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead using the movie's audio as source material.

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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 evening, California time, on Thursday, November 20, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, November 24, 2014, as the SoundCloud deadline — though the encouraged optional video part of the assignment can wait a day or two longer, if necessary.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0151: Reliving Dead
The Assignment: Score a segment of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead using the movie’s audio as source material.

Step 1: Download the classic film Night of the Living Dead, which is in the public domain, at the following URL:

http://goo.gl/rm1lMy

Step 2: Locate a short segment of interest, between 1 and 3 minutes, in which there is no musical score present.

Step 3: Compose a score for your chosen segment using only the audio from that segment as the source material. You can alter the source audio in any way you choose. You just can’t add any new sounds.

Step 4: Upload the finished track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 5: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Step 6: This part is optional, and you can take an additional couple of days if you need them. Upload the video segment combining the original audio and your score, and link to it from the notes field in your SoundCloud track.

Length: Your finished work should be between 1 and 3 minutes long, depending entirely on the length of the segment you selected.

Deadline: This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, November 20, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, November 24, 2014, as the deadline.

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.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0151-relivingdead” 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 151st Disquiet Junto project — “Score a segment of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead using the movie’s audio as source material” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/11/20/disquiet0151-relivingdead/

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/

Image from the George Romero film Night of the Living Dead.

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Automation, Sound, Systems, Art

A short film on Tristan Perich

This short video documentary, Tristan Perich: Mind the Machine, by Russell Oliver, explores artist and composer Perich’s processes and thoughts on automation, sound, systems, and art. As Perich describes it, he’s interested in “where the physical world around us meets the abstract world of computation and electronics.” Perich speaks throughout, describing his approach to his work, and the video includes a studio tour — his studio being as much an electronics tinkering zone as it is a musician’s home recording space. He’s at work, for example, on a variation on the microtonal wall that consisted of 1,500 small speakers, and the studio is filled with clear plastic boxes to help him manage all his parts. He connects his own minimalist — “bare bones,” in his words — approach to that of his father, the artist Anton Perich. Like his father, Perich has explored an automated drawing machine, images of which open the film. There’s some especially glorious material toward the end in which a chorus of exposed speaker cones accompany pianist Vicky Chow in a live performance.

The video is a little over 17 minutes long and is streaming at vimeo.com. More on Perich at tristanperich.com.

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The Radio as Divining Rod

Video of a live performance by Steve Roden and Stephen Vitiello

Even had the Downstream section of this site not expanded recently to include non-downloadable music, it should long ago have paid more attention to video, if for no reason other than the fact that videos are often, such as this live performance by Steve Roden and Stephen Vitiello taped back in February, intended for offline use. (That said, since this site was online for over a decade before running images, the lack sense of urgency was in the DNA.) The Roden-Vitiello set is an alternately tandem and tag-team project recorded at Eclats in Bourdeaux. They both have at portable sets of modular synesizer tools — plus radio, which Roden wields like a divining rod, and laptop, and a few other devices — in this nearly 40-minute piece. Small vocal snippets are heard amid characteristically slow-moving figments, more textural than melodic, the reluctant pace providing sly cover for just how much sonic material is being heard at any given moment.

More from Roden at inbetweennoise.com and from Vitiello at stephenvitiello.com. The video was shot by Etienne Coussirat. More from Eclats at eclats.net.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0138: Video Sonic Void

The Assignment: Compose a 2.5-minute soundtrack to complement a work of silent video art.

Note: This special Disquiet Junto project is the result of an invitation by the San Jose Museum of Art for me to develop a sound installation to be displayed on its second floor from October 2014 through February 2015.

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 are added to this playlist as they appear in the SoundCloud group:

This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, August 21, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, August 25, 2014, as the deadline.

The instructions are available in English, Danish, French, German, and Japanese — the four translations courtesy of, respectively, Robert Rizzi (soundcloud.com/rizzi), Éric Legendre, Peter Tigges (soundcloud.com/peter-tigges), and Naoyuki Sasanami (soundcloud.com/naotko).

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0138: Video Sonic Void The Assignment: Compose a 2.5-minute soundtrack to complement a work of silent video art.

Many thanks to the San Jose Museum of Art for inspiring and encouraging this project.

This week’s project involves writing music to accompany a short video. The video is “Untitled #8, 2004″ by the artist Josh Azzarella. His original work is silent, and we’ll be adding music to it that complements the source material. Do note that the video is intended by the artist as a “Never Ending Loop.”

The instructions are straightforward:

Step 1: Watch the following video.

Step 2: Compose and record a piece of audio that matches the video in length.

Step 3: Upload your piece of audio to the Disquiet Junto group’s SoundCloud page, following the instructions below.

Step 4: Listen to and comment on the other tracks posted by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

The “Untitled #8, 2004″ video is archived along with other works on the following page at the artist’s website. “Untitled #8, 2004″ is the fourth video in from the left. Its length is 2:31 (2 minutes and 31 seconds):

http://www.joshazzarella.com/videoworks200408/

https://vimeo.com/21678371

Background Information: The “Untitled #8, 2004″ video by Josh Azzarella is part of the permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, California. This Disquiet Junto project is the result of an invitation by the Museum for me to develop a sound installation to be displayed on its second floor from October 2014 through February 2015. Tracks submitted to this project will be considered for inclusion in that installation.

Restrictions: Please do not, at the museum’s request, post the video online with your audio.

Deadline: Monday, August 25, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your finished work should be 2 minutes and 31 seconds long (2:31).

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 “disquiet0138-videosonicvoid″ 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 138th Disquiet Junto project — “Compose a 2.5-minute soundtrack to complement a work of silent video art″ — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/08/21/disquiet0138-videosonicvoid/

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/

The image associated with this track is a still from the video that inspired it: “Untitled #8, 2004″ by Josh Azzarella. Read more »

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The Dance Music of Failing Digital Memory Systems

A downloadable 2011 performance by Valentina Vuksic

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As solid state drives (SSD) rapidly put old physical digital memory into the trash bin of history, it’s worthwhile to reflect on the sounds intrinsic to them. While today SSD is widely appreciated for its near-silent operation, the primary sound source being the fan that is occasionally required to cool a computer system, in its day the physical disc drive was itself seen as a respite from the devices that had preceded it: the click of the shuffling CD player, the surface noise of vinyl, the playback mechanism of cassette tapes. Valentina Vuksic has made much of the inherent idiosyncrasies of the hard drive, the galloping clicks and fizzy transgressions, turning those signals of function and malfunction into sound for its own sake, a post-digital chamber music of delicate tensions. She’s employed the word Harddisko as an umbrella name for many of these projects.

It’s been two years since Sonic Circuits, the Washington, DC–based experimental music promoter, has updated its SoundCloud page, but there’s still plenty of engrossing listening there. A track by Vuksic dates, as well, from two years back, but since it currently shows just 331 listens, it’s safe to say it can benefit from some additional coverage. The performance is from a September 26, 2011, Sonic Circuits show at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. At nearly half an hour it is an engaging and challenging listen, the dance music of failed digital memory systems.

And here’s video of one of her Harddisko installations, from the 2007 Dutch Electronic Art Festival, including interview segments in which she describes her artistic and musical activity:

More on Vuksic’s Harddisko at harddisko.ch. More from Sonic Circuits at dc-soniccircuits.org, twitter.com/soniccircuits, and soniccircuits.tumblr.com.

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