The latest free EP from 12k.com’s Term sublabel is a three-track live set by Alessandro Canova, who records as Mugen. The music was recorded like at Fabrica, the Benetton Research and Development Communication Centre, outside Treviso, Italy, on October, 25, 2002. With their lingering pulses of ethereal hum, these are among the loveliest releases yet from Term, which specializes in fragile sound works. The tracks are labeled Parts 1, 4 and 5. Two are about three and a half minutes long (Parts 1 and 5), and the third (Part 4) is a little over a minute and a half. Part 1 has a distant, white-noise groove like the locomotion of a nanotech train engine. Part 4 has, for its rhythm, an initial string of Geiger counter-like static, which gives way to extended long, round tones. Part 5 is distinguished by its opening, a light rupture of irritated beats, a cross between the locked groove at the end of a vinyl LP and the internal workings of a computer; eventually this beat-like material is joined by elegiac synth tones. Term says of Mugen’s music, “In 1999 Canova started experimenting with sine waves and white noise as his only sound sources, developing a special interest in a micro sounds aesthetic. Influenced by his studies on Asian arts he aims to create a meditative dimension: a contemplation of sound that lucidly expresses a refinement of the frequencies.” The Term label’s homepage is 12k.com/term, and the Mugen 25 October Live @ Fabrica EP is located here. (More on Mugen at pachinkostudio.com. More on Fabrica at fabrica.it.)
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
• February 5, 2020: The first session of the 15-week course I teach at the Academy of Art about the role of sound in the media landscape.
• April 15, 2020: A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the forthcoming 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.)
• December 13, 2020: This day marks the 24th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 7, 2021: This day marks the 9th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
• There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the forthcoming 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.
• At least two live group concerts by Disquiet Junto members in the San Francisco Bay Area are in the works for 2020.
• I have liner notes for a musician's solo album and an essay in a book about an art event due out. I'll announce as the release dates come into focus.
• 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.
• 0456 / Line Up / The Assignment: Interpret a painting by Agnes Martin as if it were a graphic score.
• 0455 / Inner Invertebrate / The Assignment: What does a moment (or a day) in the life of a jellyfish sound like to a jellyfish?
• 0454 / Lsoo Vneg / The Assignment: Encode the name of someone you love into a piece of music.
• 0453 / Dial Up / The Assignment: Imagine the technologically mediated First Contact through sound.
• 0452 / Let's Scream / The Assignment: Get cathartic. Be resilient. Turn your scream into music.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 456 consecutive weeks to date.
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