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.

Eno-Wright Discussion MP3

Brian Eno named the Long Now Foundation, the San Francisco-based organization that promotes long-term thinking. How long term? The Foundation writes years as a series of five digits, thus suggesting a continuity well beyond the sort imposed by a mere four digits, or so the theory goes. Thus it was this past Monday, June 26, 2006 (or 02006, in the Long Now mode), that Eno took the stage at the Herbst in downtown San Francisco, sat across from the creator of the video game The Sims, Will Wright, and launched into a lengthy discussion about generative art.

I was fortunate enough to be one of the 900 attendees at the sold out Eno-Wright event, and I took a bunch of notes, but they’re rendered somewhat redundant, since the Foundation has quickly posted a downloadable file of the discussion (MP3) and launched an online forum (at longnow.org). They had three laptop computers between them: two PCs for Wright, and an Apple for Eno, who also had an Evolution musical keyboard hooked up. At times he provided a score to the talk, or to Wright’s visuals.

Some key observations from each of them: Eno on being a maker of seeds, not forests; on wind chimes as an early version of generative art; on how he recorded much of his ambient work at twice the speed at which it was commercially released. Wright on Eno re-releasing the music at the speed at which it was recorded. Eno christening such a re-release “amphetamine ambient.” Eno on hearing a piece of a country song emerge from a random piece he’d played for thousands of hours. Wright on how his next game, Spore, was inspired by the film Powers of 10 by Ray and Charles Eames; the game is amazing, by the way, so much so that it makes Pikmin (one of the best games ever for the GameCube) look like Pickup Sticks by comparison.

Eno on how culture is “everything you don’t have to do,” how he was so entranced by the game Life at the S.F. Exploratorium when he was living here that he became a docent, an “explainer,” at the museum. Wright on discovering art made with material from The Sims by players of the game: he realized fans were entertaining him much as he had been entertaining them. Stewart Brand, another Long Now founder, at the start of the question period, contrasting the way Eno and Wright work: Eno’s ambient music expands time, while Wright’s simulations compress it. Wright, in response to Brand’s question about how one “plays” both music and games, suggesting that “play” is a word that is designed not to be precise.

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