In a post titled “The End Is Near,” Kit Clayton and Sue Costabile, founders of the Musork record label, announced on its website that they’ll be closing the organization down in early 2005. Since 2000, the duo’s label has released fine original recordings and remixes by the likes of Blectum from Blechdom, Stephan Mathieu, Ekkehard Ehlers, Kid606 and many others. Musork’s 18th and most recent set, Westernization Completed by AGF, earned an Award of Distinction this year, along with Janek Schaefer’s Skate, in Ars Electronica’s Digital Music category (Thomas K?ner, of minimal-techno greats Porter Ricks, took the top prize, the Golden Nicas). Today’s Downstream entry is a track from that award-winning AGF album, “Private Birds” (album page here, MP3 here), which features the voice of Antye Greie (aka AGF) intoning fragments of poetry, the fragments gaining an almost funky quality the way they’re interspersed with, and joined by — and set up against — snippets of delicate electronica, and how her words are sometimes tweaked and echoed with light digital processing. More on Greie/AGF at poemproducer.com. More on Musork at musork.com. (Clayton and Costabile mention on the Musork site that there will be one more release, due out in spring 2005: “something new made out of things old … mostly out of past Musork releases.”)
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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