Quote of the Week: “[T]he easy access to and ubiquity of music is oppressive. It often feels like a passive aggressive assault. I’d pay extra for silence.” That’s David Byrne, replying at length at davidbyrne.com to Alex Ross‘ recent New Yorker essay (“The Record Effect“) on the impact of recording technology on the direction of music. … Quick Links: (1) A roundup on slate.com of new CDs helmed by famed producers (link) notes of Brian Eno‘s Another Day on Earth that “iTunes automatically labels it as ‘New Age.'” … (2) Speaking of Eno, if you’re looking for a Palm OS version of his Oblique Strategies card deck, check out the free program at tribblescape.com/palm.php. (3) A thorough overview of the Strategies at rtqe.net/ObliqueStrategies. … (4) In one among a fleet of stories on Stevie Wonder, in advance of his new A Time to Love album, the Scottish Sunday Herald (link) notes Wonder’s early use of Arp and Moog synthesizers, “making him a pioneer in the field of electronic music.” … (5) Via numerous sites, video of Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson‘s “contraption made of computer-controlled musical instruments” (boingboing.net), “[i]n lieu of coaxing Enya to do permanent in-house entertainment duties” (engadget.com). … New Releases: New album releases this week: (1) Brian Eno‘s Another Day on Earth (Hannibal) and (2) Philip Glass‘ Orion (Orange Mountain). (3) There’s also Lusine‘s four-song Inside/Out 12″ (Ghostly). … More new-release info at brainwashed.com/releases. … Disquiet Heavy Rotation: (1) Monolake‘s Axis Carbon (ml/i), less ambient, more lounge than his recent work. … (2) The CD of View of Rainbow by Turntabrush, abstract hip-hop from Japan (there are apparently three versions, on CD, cassette tape and LP, each different from the others, all released on the Clockwise label; I picked up my copies of the cassette and the CD at Other Music in Manhattan). … (3) Miragliuolo‘s free MP3 download “Skipfunk (Short Version)” (MP3), courtesy of kracfive.com, and the subject of the June 8 Disquiet Downstream (link).
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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