New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Tangents (freesound, Luaka, Accelerando)

Quick Links: (1) The Freesound Project is “a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds,” at freesound.iua.upf.edu (via makezine.com). Among the highlights is a “remix tree,” in which users add samples of previous entries, forming an outline-style branching tree of derived sounds. … (2) Also via makezine, the WorldEar project, a somewhat utopian sound-art project that proposes piping ambient sound from cities around the world to each other, to be played in public transportation (link). … (3) When the Hard Rock Cafe opened a new location in Manhattan on August 12, some 100 Gibson guitars were smashed to commemorate the event (link). It’s billed as the biggest guitar smash ever. Guinness might have been on hand to record the world record, but shouldn’t Christian Marclay have been, too? … (4, 5) Via gizmodo.com: a MIDI-controlled beer-bottle organ (link) and a neural synthesizer (link). … (6) Engadget.com covers said synthesizer as part of a roundup of boutique synths (link). … (7 – 9) Boingboing.com was on a music roll this week, including: sonic blaster used by LAPD (link), a proto-historical version thereof (link) and “laughing” records (link). … (10, 11, … ) Createdigitalmusic.com points to eBay circuit-bent goodies, microtone data, and more (link).

… Good Reads: (1) The New York Times on the theremin (link). … (2) The BBC on “DIY DJs” (link), part of a series on “digital citizens” who create their own culture. … (3) At Wired.com, the future of hearing aids and a related exhibit in London (link). “Social noise has tripled since the 1980s and most people struggle on a regular basis to have conversations in noisy places,” says one audiology professional (via lifehacker.com). … (4) In Artforum, a report on a William Basinski exhibit/performance in Los Angeles (link).

… Select New Releases: (1) Among the contributors to Luaka Bop Remix, from the label run by David Byrne, are John McEntire, Fila Brazilia, Mario Caldato, Masters at Work, Carl Craig and Scratch Perverts. Among the remixed are Tom Ze, Los Amigos Invisibles, and Zap Mama teamed up with Erykah Badu. … (2) Rapper Common‘s Be will reportedly be made available as an official instrumentals version (Geffen), which means it’s essentially a solo Kanye West album, as West produced the full set. … (3) Broadcast‘s single “America’s Boy” takes as its subject the war in Iraq (Warp). … (4) From Aphex Twin’s label, Rephlex, comes Quantum Transposition, credited to the mysterious Arpanet. … (5) The Black Dog‘s drowsy dub Trojan Horus 12″ (Dust Science) … More new release info at brainwashed.com/releases and icemagazine.com.

… Disquiet Heavy Rotation: (1) Koji Asano‘s Sanctuary on Reclaimed Land, his 36th full-length album on Solstice, finds the itinerant musician — who has resided in London, Tokyo and Barcelona over the course of his career — performing live in a warehouse in Osaka, Japan. He was invited to be an artist-in-residence, and he decided to record live piano in a sizable empty warehouse, processing the music and its reverberations with his computer. Despite muddy, distant sound (due, likely, to the diffusion of the warehouse’s inherent acoustics), it’s a majestic piece. … (2) Judging by the album Pounded Masses (Hymen), if there’s a Bermuda Triangle where grime, IDM and industrial music meet, that’s where Somatic Responses has chosen to set course. They may never make it back alive, but their distress signal is mighty entertaining. … (3) The top Disquiet Downstream entry of last week was Chris Herbert‘s deceptively quiet “Chlorophyl” (MP3, entry)

… Quote of the Week: “The noise around them is a random susurrus of machine-generated crowd scenery, the people motionless as their shared reality thread proceeds independently of the rest of the universe.” The word “accelerando” is a term in musical notation that directs the performer to gradually speed up the tempo. Accelerando is also the title of science fiction writer Charles Stross‘s humorously hyperbolic new novel, from which that quote was taken. The book, which describes the intense fast-forwardization of humanity, is in stores now, but it’s also downloadable for free at accelerando.org.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • 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

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    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
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  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) 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.)

  • 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.

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