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.

Welsh Scanner MP3s

Science-fiction novelist William Gibson once noted that the Walkman changed the way we experience cities. Among the many things packed into that koan is the sense that music shapes human interaction. Few musicians have embraced the idea as thoroughly as has Scanner, much of whose work involves providing soundtracks to conversation after the fact. He’ll take audio, often ripped from the ether thanks to the equipment from which he takes his name, and provide a sympathetic score that illuminates not only the words but the emotions those words are intended to convey and to mask. Sometimes Scanner’s work is less clandestine. He reported this month on his website, scannerdot.com, that he’s spent time recently in North Wales, where he was commissioned to travel around and record people, often talking about the Welsh language and culture, and to produce his compositions on a portable studio.

Almost a dozen free downloads resulting from this experiment, which was commissioned by the Cardiff Festival of Creative Technology, have been posted subsequently (link). In “Around and Around” (MP3) we witness a family discussion, and it has two soundtracks: a Satie-esque piano part introduced by Scanner, who emphasizes the emotional undercurrent, and the on-site jukebox spitting out the pop song “The Rhythm of the Night,” which despite being more factually accurate to the event feels far more artificial and out of place. Other times, Scanner erases the divide between speech and music. On “Love of Love” (MP3), a man’s cackle is echoed until it fades into the background like a dubby sound effect. (Note: the track titles listed on the website and the titles encoded into the files don’t always match up. According to the file itself, “Love of Love” is titled “Caernarvon 1.”)

By the way, when Scanner (aka Robin Rimbaud) reports on his website that he did the Wales work on “the portable studio on the Hysbys,” understand that “Hysbys” is not a new generation of audio software. Well, not quite. Hysbys is a bus-cum-studio that travels from town to town, visiting Welsh communities. It was developed by the Department of Lifelong Learning, University of Wales Bangor; BBC Wales and the Welsh Language Board. More info at hysbys.org.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , , / Leave a comment ]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

Subscribe without commenting

  • 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

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe



  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    December 28, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    July 28, 2021: This day marked the 500th consecutive weekly project in 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.)

  • Ongoing
    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).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    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.

    Recent Projects

  • 0511 / Freeze Tag / The Assignment: Consider freezing (and thawing) as a metaphor for music production.
    0510 / Cold Turkey / The Assignment: Record one last track with a piece of music equipment before passing it on.
    0509 / The Long Detail / The Assignment: Create a piece of music with moments from a preexisting track.
    0508 / Germane Shepard / The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.
    0507 / In DD's Key of C / The Assignment: Make music with 10 acoustic instrument samples all in a shared key.

    Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 511 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts