With far more elegance than the project might suggest, (dj) morsanek is constructing an album-length collection in which each track is built from segments of pre-existing avant-garde, out-jazz and otherwise exploratory recordings, and he’s posting the material online as a work in progress. For example, “Lucifer on Lucifer” (MP3) pairs two aggressive saxophone theorists, John Zorn and Anthony Braxton, with two masters of the understated: composer Olivier Messiaen and ambient figure Pete Namlook. We get two horns squeaking out tiny complaints at the far sides of peripheral hearing, while an organ and intoned synthesis layer in between. One particularly strong entry, “Double Country Music” (MP3), mashes up Lou Harrison, Steve Roach, Vidna Obmana, Taylor Deupree, Kim Cascone, Tangerine Dream and Town n Country: closely recorded noises linger above a deep drone, the drone itself augmented by the occasional addition of tonal lines that lend gentle highlights. There doesn’t appear to be any pre-production tweaking of the lifted samples, none of the speeding up that a Kanye West might have employed, or the rampant cut’n’paste of a John Oswald, though the latter does figure in here, on a track, titled “Btls Breaks” (MP3), that teams the plunderphonics figure with Maggi Payne, Greg Kelley and Jason Lescalleet. Get them now: offbeater.blogspot.com.
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
• Autumn, 2019: I'll have a new piece in The Wire.
• December 13, 2019: This day marks the 23rd anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 7, 2020: This day marks the 8th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• March 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.
• 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.
• 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).
Most Recent Posts
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.
• 0415 / Seasonal Metal / The Assignment: Tinsel is your latest instrument.
• 0414 / Mod Cons / The Assignment: Compose one or more sounds for an appliance/device/gadget of your own choosing.
• 0413 / Objective Thankfulness / The Assignment: Highlight one piece of musical equipment for which you are particularly grateful.
• 0412 / One Chord Wonder / The Assignment: Play an extended chord where the instrumentation of each note changes as the piece proceeds.
• 0411 / Wrapped Up / The Assignment: Record a piece of music as a gift for someone special to you.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 415 consecutive weeks to date.
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Marc Arsenault: "Are you saying, it’s like a smurf’s arm with a plum in its fist? "
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