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

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Monthly Archives: September 2006

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The email newsletter for Disquiet.com is back up and running, after a two-plus-year lull. For instructions on how to subscribe, visit the URL:

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If you were already a subscriber, you should by now have received an email notifying you that the newsletter has been revived. If you’ve tried to subscribe since March 2004 or then-abouts, you should by now have received an email with instructions on how to subscribe.

As before, the Disquiet email newsletter will be occasional at best, published perhaps once or twice per month. And just to be clear: it’s an email newsletter, not a discussion group.

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Elektroplanktune MP3s

As many have noted, the one major detraction of the Nintendo DS game Electroplankton, designed by Japanese media artist Toshio Iwai, is that you can’t save the musical compositions you make. (The other one is it pauses when you close the DS, so you can’t walk around listening to it like one might an iPod.) This hasn’t kept individuals from outputting the audio from their DS into a computer. The person who runs the website randomambient.com has posted two such clips. The first has a somewhat Christmas carol-ish feel (MP3), but the second buries those chimes beneath an estimably hazy drone (MP3).

For instructions on how to output audio from the game, visit makezine.com; the author of the post, Phillip Torrone, uploaded his own clip, a slow scalar exercise that suggests watery mallets (MP3). Also for your listening pleasure, the official Electroplankton site (electroplankton.nintendods.com) includes a track of that bubbly loop that provides the game’s immediate sense of immersion (MP3).

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Analog-Synth Flashback MP3

Earlier this month, Charles Amirkhanian uploaded another of his archival nuggets: a 1971 radio broadcast focused on analog synthesizers. According to the write-up at archive.org, where the file is housed (MP3), the Mills College Electronic Tape Music Center hosted an event that year inviting San Francisco Bay area residents to drop by and play with various synthesizers, among them Moogs and Buchlas. Don Buchla himself brought some of his inventions, and Amirkhanian reports live from the event, in between what sound like field recordings from the sets of science fiction films. The event, organized by Tom Zahuranec, is titled “Bucket-Ful Mercury Walk.”

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Glossolalia Beat MP3

The freaky thing about speaking in tongues isn’t how meaningless all that gibberish sounds. The freaky thing is how, despite the fact that it’s all nonsense syllables, glossolalia seems to contain meaning, like an ancient forgotten language, or something other and paraphysical. Transfer that sort of meaning-through-meaninglessness from words to beats and you have some sense of the rhythmic disjunction that is “Away” (MP3), the latest free monthly download from kracfive.com. Credited to Nepracww, a name that seems like a snippet of glossolalia itself, the piece plays like several different songs simultaneously, snippets of percussives never quite meshing, each one straining for your ear to identify it as the root rhythm. Despite which chaos, it sounds very much like a song.

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Broken Beat MP3

Talk about a short-lived blog. Perhaps throttleclark.com will find a second life, but with its third posting it’s pretty much fulfilled its charter agenda. Clark, a prominent artist on the Warp label, has posted three tracks at the site over as many weeks, in advance of the release of Body Riddle, his forthcoming Warp album. As an appointment in appointment-downloading, it’s been a success. Furthermore, it’s done more than just whet our appetites. Sure, the first track was from the album itself, but the subsequent entries haven’t been, which has made listeners all the more curious about what’s to come. (Sure the tracks can be streamed, in 30-second chunks, at bleep.com, but that requires patience and a blind ear when it comes to the seams between chunks.) And the final of the three free downloads, “Dusk Raid” (MP3), may be the best so far, less rhythmically succinct than what came before, and rich with plucked instrumentation and broken beats that suggest DJ Krush’s machine-molested shamisen, not to mention muddled horns that bring to mind Robert Wyatt’s solemn art-pop. If these are the leftovers, one can only imagine what the main course will bring. The album will be released the first week of October.

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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.
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • 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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  • 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.

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  • 0548 / Drone Vox / The Assignment: Make a drone using just your voice.
    0547 / Genre Melee / Combine two seemingly different genres.
    0546 / Code Notes / The Assignment: Make music that includes a secret message.
    0545 / Unself-Awareness / The Assignment: Learn from feedback intended for others.
    0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.

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