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
• July 28, 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 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.
• 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.
• 0487 / Carillon Quotidian / Assignment: Turn a recurring sound from your life into music.
• 0486 / Earths Days / The Assignment: Celebrate Earth Day on or for another planet.
• 0485 / Strange Weather / The Assignment: Remix the pure sounds of Chris Kallmyer's traveling wind chimes to your own musical purposes.
• 0484 / A Movable Heart / The Assignment: Transplant the sounds of Chris Kallmyer's wind chimes to a new location.
• 0483 / Type Set / The Assignment: Use a recording of yourself typing something as the underlying rhythmic track for a piece of music.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 487 consecutive weeks to date.
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