The San Francisco-based Other Minds organization generously continues to upload recordings from its 2005 festival, number 11, held this past February. The most recent addition to the Other Minds catalog at the Internet Archive, at archive.org, is a “radiophonic” piece by OM founder Charles Amirkhanian, who turns 60 this year. Titled “Son of Metropolis San Francisco,” it’s half an hour of local field recordings and electronic atmospherics (the original version was about an hour in length), like some avant-garde Frommer’s guided tour for the ear. The raw materials range from the barks of elephant seals to “a runaway overflow valve next to a hot tub at Harbin Hot Springs,” and also include “Tongan gardeners, a Chinese sitcom and conga drummers at Ocean Beach.” For all its random elements, it’s a relatively relaxed audio stroll through the city. The original, full-length version (“Metropolis San Francisco”) was commissioned by Studio 3 Horspiel of the West German Radio in Cologne and New American Radio for the NPR satellite system. The file is only downloadable via FTP, but the site provides clear instructions; just search for “Amirkhanian metropolis.”
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
• August 15 - September 15, 2019: The Disquiet Junto is teaming up with Musikfestival Bern for a series of projects.
• August 29, 2019: This day marks the start of the 400th consecutive weekly Disquiet Junto project. It will be a collaboration with the novelist Malka Older.
• December 13, 2019: This day marks the 23rd anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 7, 2020: This day marks the 8th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• March 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 0400 / Sub Divided / The Assignment: Create a score to a Malka Older story using the author's own voice as source audio.
• 0399 / Edges & Echoes / The Assignment: Make sonic art for a space with the sounds of that space.
• 0398 / Rauschen Bern / The Assignment: Make music by making a collage of noises.
• 0397 / Numbers Racket / The Assignment: It's 808 Day. Do it up.
• 0396 / Front Page / The Assignment: Make music with by humming a song and then processing the humming.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 400 consecutive weeks to date.
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