In the November issue of Wired magazine last year, a CD was tucked under the cover. At first glance, one might have mistaken its reflective surface for a graphic designer’s attempt to add some metallic bling to the cover subjects: hip-hop outfit the Beastie Boys, whose early albums helped cement sampling in the imagination of the mainstream, back in the day when lifting a Led Zeppelin drum beat wasn’t heavily regulated. But it was a full-length CD, with tracks licensed under the Creative Commons, by the Beastie Boys, as well as Dangermouse, Matmos, David Byrne and others. The project didn’t end there. The website ccmixter.org provided a community space for folks to sample the collection and upload the results of their fiddling. That contest has ended, the winners have been announced, and they’ll appear on a followup CD, The Wired CD — Ripped. Mixed. Sampled. Mashed. Of course, they’re already available for download, for free. The music ranges through genres, from noodly funk fusion to homebrew hip-hop to generic electro-pop, and there’s some abstract goodness in there, too. Highlights include SSLID‘s “dislocation” (at five and a half minutes, the longest track in the set), a pulsing metronomic delight, and Pat Chilla the Beat Gorilla‘s dubby “Wadidyusay (Beatgorilla’s 28 grams REMIX).” Coming soon from ccmixter: an ODB remix contest.
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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