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.

Granular (Granular Guitar)

A live performance from Daniel McGinn (aka All These Wires)

All These Wires employs just a few in this video, a purposeful few. Daniel McGinn, the musician behind the All These Wires channel on YouTube, is seen, and heard, enhancing his guitar via a modular synthesizer. Half the sound is the guitar itself, and half is the guitar processed, not once but twice, in succession, by a pair of granular synthesizer modules. The modules echo and smudge the input. Watch McGinn’s hands, and you can trace the cause and effect, the pacing and impact. As has become a performance custom, his synthesizer is tipped forward, so the audience can see what he’s up to. Watch carefully enough, and you might find lights whose on and off align with the music’s internal metronome.

Video originally posted at the All These Wires YouTube channel. This is the latest video added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of live performances of ambient music. More from McGinn on instagram.com/all_these_wires.

Tags: , , / Leave a comment ]

Disquiet Junto Project 0421: Marquee Ghosts

The Assignment: What sounds haunt a discarded movie theater in the middle of the night?

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, January 27, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 23, 2020.

Tracks will be added to the playlist for the duration of the project.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0421: Marquee Ghosts
The Assignment: What sounds haunt a discarded movie theater in the middle of the night?

This week’s project is just one step:

Step 1: What sounds haunt a discarded movie theater in the middle of the night?

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0421” (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 “disquiet0421” (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-0421-marquee-ghosts/

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, January 27, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 23, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you. Shorter is often better.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0421” 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: Consider setting 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:

More on this 421st weekly Disquiet Junto project — Marquee Ghosts / The Assignment: What sounds haunt a discarded movie theater in the middle of the night? — at:

https://disquiet.com/0421/

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-0421-marquee-ghosts/

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

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]

Field Recordings of Dreams

Succumb to Sekunder, eoner from Snufmumriko, of Gothenburg, Sweden

The atmosphere is so thick on “Kasta loss,” the opening track of the Snufmumriko album Sekunder, eoner, that your ears may not pick up on the emergent rhythm until well after it has set a determined pace for what feels, at its heart, more windblown than metronomic. Blurry, static-dabbled white noise gives birth to EKG pulses and pin-prick hi-hats, and then subsumes them again well before the track is over, at which point vinyl surface abrasions are working in parallel with sustained, woodwind-like drones.

There’s a stately quality to Snufmumriko’s music. Take “Jordeliv,” which has pizzicato strings, redolent of their synthesized origins, alongside aquatic field recordings, and yet the main impression is made by the hush that serves as both the track’s background and foreground, the thick, warm noise that envelops the other sounds. The way field recordings are treated throughout the album is Snufmumriko’s greatest accomplishment. Close your eyes and listen to the closing track, “Drömmens tassemarker,” which doesn’t merely suggest a walk in the forest; it takes you on one, crumpled leaves yielding to echoed, scattered fragments of birdsong. To be clear, this isn’t all hyper-naturalism. The title track, for example, features throaty robospeak before its club beat kicks in. But it is the dreamy, slightly-altered-reality quality that is the album’s greatest accomplishment.

Sekunder, eoner, six tracks in all, was released on the Moscow-based Dronarivm label a little over a month ago, in early December 2019, at dronarivm.bandcamp.com. More from Snufmumriko, aka Ingmar Wennerberg of Gothenburg, Sweden, at soundcloud.com/snufmumriko and twitter.com/snufmumriko.

Tags: , / Comments: 2 ]

Chorus of One

Listen as r beny granulates himself

Even the most talented musicians can be self-conscious about something. In the case of r beny, the focus of his doubt is, apparently, his voice. Here, for the track “A Path Opens in the Bloom,” he takes a sample of himself vocalizing (“trying to hold a C, I cannot sing”), and then processing it through granular synthesis. What this means is he is taking tiny slivers of the voice and holding them for an extended period, essentially turning a little thing into a whole. Further, he is layering the same sample played at different note values, creating a chorus of one. Without getting too technical, if you’re wondering where that raspy texture comes from, beny is running the audio through the cassette deck seen in the upper left. The deck isn’t merely recording the audio; it is also immediately outputting what it records, so we’re hearing the result of the degradation that the tape impresses upon the source material. Beny writes in more detail about the track’s impetus and his process at his YouTube page. He’s great about not only notating what he does in the text accompanying his videos, but also replying to the comments.

This is the latest video added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of live performances of ambient music. More from r beny, aka Californian musician Austin Cairns, at rbeny.bandcamp.com.

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]

Yosemite Doorbell

When calling proximate to nature

Throughout Yosemite National Park, as in many forests and parks, the garbage pails are locked tight. It takes opposable thumbs, and a reasonable amount of literacy, and an ability to follow instructions in order to get the darn things open, lest bears and other fierce if less mythical creatures become tempted regularly into human habitats. At the entrance to this local hotel, you might think a similar concern about undesired visits was on someone’s mind when the front entrance’s doorbell was installed. You don’t just press the large button to register your presence. You must first flick a separate switch to the “on” position, and then not only press but hold the red button to speak. You must then, as with walkie talkies, release the button in order to listen for a reply. Worth noting is that this hotel has a fairly international clientele, and yet the instructions appear solely in English. (Japanese visitors lacking English skills might feel particularly put off, assuming they recognize the Aiphone intercom device as a product of their own country, all the more so because someone decided the thing required that aftermarket switch hack.) Fortunately for those arriving befuddled in the middle of the night, knocking remains a universal language.

Tag: / Leave a comment ]