Matmos Stream: A 20-minute live set featuring Matmos, along with frequent guest J Lesser, recorded March 17 for the BBC Radio 3’s Mixing It show dated April 1 (link). … Keeping Score: Here’s some soundtrack news, courtesy of the imdb.com database. Cliff Martinez (Solaris, Traffic) is attached as the composer for Havoc, a new L.A. story directed by Barbara Kopple, which features actress Laura San Giacomo, a star of Martinez’s score debut, 1989’s sex, lies and videotape. … The Jacket, which featured a score by Brian Eno, died in U.S. theaters, and is tentatively scheduled for a July DVD release. … Gustavo Santaolalla (whose music was featured in Michael Mann‘s The Insider, even before he scored Amores Perros, 21 Grams and last year’s The Motorcycle Diaries) is attached to Ang Lee’s upcoming Brokeback Mountain. … Cross-Cultural Review: The New York Times reviewer of the Onkyo Marathon last week at the Japan Society was Anthony Tommasini, one of the paper’s classical/opera critics. This may have been a signal of appreciation of the compositional roots of today’s avant-garde electronic music, or an act of curiosity on the writer’s part, or one of against-type assigning on his editor’s part. The Japan Society defines “onkyo” as “an umbrella term for a new genre of computer music that is primarily atonal, noise-based and improvised.” Performers included Sachiko M, AOKI takamasa, Carl Stone, Nobukazu Takemura, o.blaat (Keiko Uenishi) and Otomo Yoshihide. The reviewer’s conclusion: “Whether loud or soft, noisy or soothing, an onkyo improvisation is more like a sound environment than a musical composition.” Not, as they say, that there’s anything wrong with that. “You can’t complain when a sound environment runs on or seems aimless. Such concerns are not the point.” (nytimes.com) … Psychoacoustics Today: In today’s New York Times Sunday Magazine, a piece (“Our Ratings, Ourselves,” nytimes.com) on the science of TV ratings mentions “psychoacoustic masking, which places a signal just beneath the frequency of whatever is being transmitted.” The signal helps Arbitron track consumers’ media usage. However, it’s not a simple task. The signal’s developers “discovered that the masked code’s frequency could not be too low (where it would run into technical problems) or too high (where it would bother dogs and cats).” … Quote of the Week: “The bus plows down the highway at a set speed, the tires humming along, never getting any louder or softer. Same with the engine, its monotonous sound like a mortar smoothly grinding down time and the consciousness of the people on board.” From Haruki Murakami‘s recent novel, Kafka at the Shore.
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 28, 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 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.
• 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.
• 0494 / Insect Menagerie / The Assignment: Record a 20-second clip of the sounds of an insect that you yourself have invented.
• 0493 / AudioCorrect / The Assignment: Think about the utility and the useful failures inherent in autocorrect and apply this to your music.
• 0492 / Kintsugi Rework / The Assignment: Employ the Japanese technique of mending broken ceramics as a metaphor for remixing.
• 0491 / Footsteps Sequencer / The Assignment: Compose a piece of music structured upon a walk through your home.
• 0490 / In Conversation / The Assignment: Compose a piece of music structured like dialog.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 494 consecutive weeks to date.
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