Reading and Listening of Interest on the Internet This Past Week or So: An overview of sound artist Christian Marclay (“An Artist Makes Music Touchable,” from the New York Times) and an interview with British painter Trevor Bell, long ago one of Brian Eno’s art-school teachers (here, from the Tallahassee Democrat). And two shorts worth noting from the gadget ezine gizmodo.com: Technics’s digital turntable (here) and the United States military’s digital bugle (here). … And, of course, Apple (the computer company that brought us the iPod, not the record label of the Beatles) finally released the Windows version of its popular iTunes software yesterday (here), and it sweetened the deal with exclusive tracks by various artists, including electronic figures Moby, Alva Noto (aka Carsten Nicolai, remixing Ryuichi Sakamoto), Fischerspooner and Massive Attack. The Noto-Sakamoto item is the standout, a beading remix of a track former Yellow Magic Orchestra leader Sakamoto recorded with cellist Jaques Morelenbaum and Brazilian singer Paula Morelenbaum, aka Morelenbaum2; if you have iTunes on your computer and you’re connected to the Internet, this link (here) should take you directly to it. It’s easy to compare the remix with the original, off the album A Day in New York, thanks to the 30-second clips provided in the iTunes Music Store. This Noto-Sakamoto collaboration comes from Sony Classical, the same company that this year released pianist Christopher O’Riley‘s arrangements of Radiohead songs, True Love Waits. Clearly someone there is thinking beyond the warhorses.
Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media
• July 29, 2021: This day marks the start of the 500th consecutive weekly project in the Disquiet Junto music community.
• December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
• January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
• There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
• A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)
• The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).
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Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.
• 0500 / Humming to Your Selves / The Assignment: Play a tune by yourself and as if by two people whom you invent.
• 0499 / Out of the Landscape / The Assignment: Record a piece of music in which a sound emerges from a field recording.
• 0498 / Sonic Entomologist / The Assignment: Create a new hybrid insect from the sound of two different insects.
• 0497 / Benjamin's Glass / The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica
• 0496 / Isolation Room / The Assignment: Create new music around one strand of something you made in the past.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 500 consecutive weeks to date.
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