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.

Oxford Ambient Collective x Encym

A drone collaboration

Nearly eight minutes in length, “Estuary Fog,” a collaborative track between the Oxford Ambient Collective and Encym, has time to spare and spends it carefully. The piece is barely halfway through before a deep drone makes itself present. Somehow, despite this being a significant shift in tonality, one that lasts the remainder of the extended playing time and totally subsumes the chirping, effects-speckled opening sequence that preceded it, the overall continuity of the piece isn’t ruptured. Instead, the thick morass makes the ear remember, and listen for, what came before.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/oxfordambient. More from Encym (aka Roland Reinke) at instagram.com/encym_. There’s a bit more about their collaboration on the piece at oxfordambient.com.

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Offline(ish) Weekends

And plans

Hello from my Starship Earth cabin. Hope you’re secure in yours. Ship-wide communication was fun last weekend, but I’m taking this weekend off social media. This has been my mode for a long time, and while I appreciated being connected last weekend to friends as the tide in the current global scenario continued to shift, I’m going back into weekend offline(ish) mode again.

Suggested activities:

☐ Start a sound journal.
☐ Re-read a fave book just for its sound.
☐ Watch a movie silent with a fave album.

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Eternal Spiral

NIN x 2

Apparently this is what The Downward Spiral was foretelling all this time (waiting for the Nine Inch Nails albums to download). Jokes aside, they released two excellent albums in the Ghosts series today for free (at nin.com), because the internet hasn’t been suffering enough under Covid-induced streaming traffic.

Update: Not to be outdone in what is shaping up to be Prog War 2020, Battles has uploaded a free, 317-megabyte zip file of remix-able stems: rmx.bttls.com.

Clearly the next step is for Autechre to simply share those 750 hours of jamming they mentioned recently.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0430: Solitary Ensembles x 2

The Assignment: Record the second third of a trio that others will complete.

We’re breaking a Disquiet Junto rule this week. The rule is that in the Junto, musicians should only contribute one track per project. That remained the case last week. Due to the extraordinary output last week (66 different musicians from around the world), we’re going to allow multiple tracks this week (up to 3 per participant). However, where one rule is cast by the wayside, another rule rears its head: For your first track this project, you can use whichever source audio you’d like from the previous project. For your second and third, however, you must choose randomly, with some qualifications. Details below.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, 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. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) 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.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, March 30, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 26, 2020.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0430: Solitary Ensembles x 2
The Assignment: Record the second third of a trio that others will complete.

Step 1: This week’s Disquiet Junto project is the second in a sequence intended to encourage and reward asynchronous collaboration. This week you will be adding music to a pre-existing track, which you will source from the previous week’s Junto project (disquiet.com/0429). Note that you aren’t creating a duet — you’re creating the second third of what will eventually be a trio. Keep this in mind. Leave space for what is yet to come.

Step 2: The plan is for you to record a short and original piece of music, on any instrumentation of your choice, as a complement to the pre-existing track. First, however, you must select the piece of music to which you will be adding your own music. There are tracks by 66 musicians in all to choose from, 64 as part of this playlist:

https://soundcloud.com/disquiet/sets/disquiet-junto-project-0429

Count as the 65th this track from Jason Richardson:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0429-solitary-ensembles/30277/9/

And count as the 66th this track from Samarobryn:

https://samarobryn.bandcamp.com/track/sui-generis-disquiet-0429

To select a track, you can listen through all that and choose one, or you can use a random number generator to select a number from 1 to 66, the first 64 being numbered in the above SoundCloud playlist, and 65 being Richardson’s and the 66th being Samarobryn’s.

Note: It’s fine if more than one person uses the same original track as the basis for their piece.

Also note: Be sure to look back at the discussion on Lines to see if any additional material related to your track is available, such as source code or MIDI data or video, which some of the tracks include:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0429-solitary-ensembles/

Step 3: Record a short piece of music, roughly the length of the piece of music you selected in Step 2. Your track should complement the piece from Step 2, and leave room for an eventual third piece of music. When composing and recording your part, do not alter the original piece of music at all, except to pan the original fully to the left if it hasn’t been panned left already. In your finished audio track, your part should be panned fully to the right. To be clear: the track you upload won’t be your piece of music alone; it will be a combination of the track from Step 2 and yours.

Step 4: Also be sure, when done, to make the finished track downloadable, because it will be used by someone else in a subsequent Junto project.

Step 5: As mentioned up top, unlike usually in the Junto, you can contribute more than one track this week. You can do up to three total. Unlike with your first track, you should choose your second and third randomly. However, if you end up with something you really don’t enjoy working on, then you can roll again. And alternately, you can choose to use a track no one else has used yet (by looking at the project’s post on Lines, linked to in these instructions, or to the project playlist, which will be posted here once tracks start coming in). The goal is for many as people as possible to benefit from the experience of being part of an asynchronous collaboration. After a lot of detailed instruction, that is the spirit of this project.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0430” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0430” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0430-solitary-ensembles-x-2/

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

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #disquietjunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

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

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, March 30, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 26, 2020.

Length: The length should be essentially the same length as the track you are adding to. Yours might be a little longer, if you choose to begin earlier or end later than the source audio.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0430” 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: Given the nature of this particular project sequence, it is best to set your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

Be sure to name and link to the source track you’re collaborating with, and credit the musician who recorded it.

More on this 430th weekly Disquiet Junto project — The Assignment: Record the second third of a trio that others will complete — at:

https://disquiet.com/0430/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

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

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0430-solitary-ensembles-x-2/

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

Image associated with this track is by Abby, used thanks to a Creative Commons license and Flickr. The image has been cropped, colors shifted, and text added.

https://flic.kr/p/8LopPe

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

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Ah, Magnets

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

Frequently and for months I tried different ways to hang up these wireless earbuds near my desk when I wasn’t using them. And then it occurred to me: oh yeah, they’re magnetic.

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