Good Reading: The “projects” section over at the home page of musician Keith Fullerton Whitman (aka Hrvatski), keithfullertonwhitman.com, is highly recommended. Currently up are detailed explanations of three of his performance/recording systems. Each entry features screen shots and lengthy audio samples. There’s a 2,500-word section on various patches he has devised for the Max/MSP software package, such as “Bleep Factory, a six-voice synth that produces a very wide range of traditional ‘analog’ synthesizer sounds,” and “Taaltronixxx,” which he created, he explains, “to add a ‘rhythmic’ element to one of my guitar-drone patches.” Each of these entries dives deep into his tech and technique. Another 2,500-word piece focuses on what drove his excellent album Playthroughs (Kranky, 2002), which was built from guitar source material. There’s also a section on his work with moving pictures, including an ongoing project involving “47 very short films (less than 1 minute in length each) shot on (literally) and about/of turntables, with musical accompaniment.” … Glitch stars Autechre were interviewed by Matmos member Drew Daniel for pitchforkmedia.com about remixing Skinny Puppy, where Charles Manson went wrong, and the “how?” question. Autechre’s new album, Untitled, will be released in the U.K. on April 18 and in the U.S. on April 19. … Another IDM: For most readers who happen upon this website, the three letters IDM mean one thing: the perhaps unfortunately named genre “intelligent dance music.” But there are other IDMs, most of them institutes, like the Institute of Direct Marketing, the Institute of Design Montreal, and a transatlantic biotech firm with an interest in immunotherapy. Fans of the IDM genre should, if they already don’t, take interest in yet another IDM, the Internet Download Manager (internetdownloadmanager.com), a Windows tool that speeds downloads. What it also happens to do is extract MP3 files from the Flash scripts that provide streams and jukeboxes to numerous websites. (Side note: That biotech firm IDM’s logo, which is “made by mapping prime numbers along a square spiral, and marking the locations of the prime numbers with a different color from the non-primes,” is downright psychedelic [link].) … Search Returns: Top 10 most popular search returns on this site: bjork, moby, bedroom, mp3, dj, eno, ambient, ryoji, chemical, autechre. Recent search returns on this site: craig david, granddaddy, Nancarrow, bedroom, piano magic, speakspell, white, michael torke, yellow pages, boards, coldcut, 2pac, dj, 20th century, dj food, john duncan, jaga, kid koala, rhona, satie, iron chef, Royksopp, Morton Feldman. … Let’s Vibrate: Perhaps the most ubiquitous form of electronic music is cell-phone ring tones. The vibrate option isn’t really much of an option, since a phone vibrating on a desk is louder than most ring tones. And, come to think of it, isn’t putting your phone on vibrate redundant? That is, isn’t all sound a matter of vibration?
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.
• 0472 / Jam Time (1 of 3) / The Assignment: Record the first third of a trio that others will complete.
• 0471 / Phase Transition / The Assignment: The Assignment: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something with it.
• 0470 / Calendar View / The Assignment: Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen (or more) super-brief segments.
• 0469 / [Missing in Caption] / The Assignment: Make music that pushes the constraints of descriptive television captions.
• 0468 / Mirror Rorrim / The Assignment: Create a new persona for yourself, and record a duet together.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 472 consecutive weeks to date.
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