New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

MP3 Night Shyamalan

Is there such a thing as a musical spoiler? Spoilers, of course, are details from movies, books and so forth that one learns in advance of experiencing the source first hand. Movie spoilers are perhaps the most notorious. On one side of the aisle, you have rabid fans foaming at the mouth for a mere glimpse of future visions of Darth Vader (yes, the title of the next Star Wars film was revealed last week, here) or Batman (yes, the Batman Begins trailer is now up on the web, here — as with Star Wars, a year in advance of theatrical release). On the other, you have self-cloistering theatergoers who’d rather not know the ins and outs of the plot of a film for which they’re destined to pay the equivalent of minimum wage. If you savor the identity of Rosebud, you’re in the latter camp.

And if there’s a pop filmmaker whose films purposefully teeter on the fulcrum of surprise, it’s M. Night Shyamalan, whose Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, in particular, were probably most enjoyed by the least informed members of their audiences — in fact, his Hitchcock-like sensibility has turned many a foaming-mouth fan into a self-cloistered one, at least in regard to his films.

Thus, the arrival tomorrow, July 30, of a new Shyamalan film, The Village, means another game of hide and seek with the major media. The first preview was characteristically vague: images of a remote, rural town, with echoes of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and of Shyamalan’s previous film, Signs; foreboding dictums (“Never enter the woods,” “Let the bad color not be seen”), hinting at a story, but divulging next to nothing (and peculiarly reminiscent of the high-minded laws that dictated another 2004 summer would-be blockbuster, I, Robot).

If the tease is the thing, then one particular promotion of The Village makes perfect sense: a remix of a track from its score has been made available for free download online. The score is by James Newton Howard, who has composed for the majority of Shyamalan’s movies, and the remix is by Synchronic, whose brief bio credits the “network of skilled composer/producers” with gigs on various movie-promotion campaigns, and other scoring and music-supervision roles. The remix is four-plus minutes of sedate orchestral bed, some understated but virtuoso solo violin, and an overlay of downtempo beats, with a young girl’s voice occasionally chirping those darn dictums. The combination is thoroughly enjoyable, a neo-romantic take on Enigma’s quasi-Gregorian recipe: the high-culture source material, the clubby mix, the self-consciously mysterious vocal. The only sour note is that spoken vocal, which kinda makes the whole thing sound like a commercial (though, in all fairness, that’s exactly what it is). Overall, the promotion is inspired: since we’re experiencing the Synchronic remix before we experience the original Howard score, we don’t know what is the message, and what is the filter. (It’s also worth noting that The Village debuts in theaters on the same day as another remix of sorts, director Jonathan Demme’s update of The Manchurian Candidate.)

Then again, if you’re a diehard Shyamalan fan, you may hesitate before downloading this free song. Perhaps you don’t want to hear the village bell toll (D’oh! — was that a spoiler?) until the theater darkens. If you dare, you can access the MP3 file here.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , , , / Leave a comment ]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website 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

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe

  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of
    December 28, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    July 28, 2021: This day marked the 500th consecutive weekly project in 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

  • Ongoing
    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:

  • 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).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    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.

    Recent Projects

  • 0511 / Freeze Tag / The Assignment: Consider freezing (and thawing) as a metaphor for music production.
    0510 / Cold Turkey / The Assignment: Record one last track with a piece of music equipment before passing it on.
    0509 / The Long Detail / The Assignment: Create a piece of music with moments from a preexisting track.
    0508 / Germane Shepard / The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.
    0507 / In DD's Key of C / The Assignment: Make music with 10 acoustic instrument samples all in a shared key.

    Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 511 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts