News on Quiet, Minimal and Otherwise Atmospheric Music on the Big and Small Screens: (1) As of my first viewing, I can’t say if there’s enough of a proper score in No Country for Old Men to fill a 7″ single, but what there is is evocative, as blissfully mundane and forebodingly arid as the movie’s setting. It was composed by Carter Burwell, regular colleague of the film’s directors, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, and includes guitarist David Torn among its musicians. … (2) It’s way early on The Road, the next film adaptation of a novel by Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country, but the movie is currently associated with director John Hillcoat, whose The Proposition was scored by Nick Cave (who also wrote it) and Warren Ellis (of Dirty Three), which is quite promising. … (3) Control, the bio-pic of Ian Curtis‘s brief life and briefer career with rock band Joy Division, features a score by New Order, which Joy Division became after Curtis’s 1980 suicide. Reportedly, Curtis watched director Werner Herzog‘s Stroszek (1977) that final night, which means some of the last music Curtis heard — in addition to Iggy Pop‘s The Idiot (also 1977), which he’s said also to have played that night — was by country guitarist Chet Atkins and blues harmonica player Sonny Terry, who contributed the score to Stroszek. … (4) Under-recognized ambient musician (and longtime sound designer) Kent Sparling is on The Princess of Nebraska by director Wayne Wang (whose Slam Dance had music by Mitchell Froom) and on Seventh Moon by Eduardo SÃ¡nchez (The Blair Witch Project, which was scored by Tony Cora, who’s also on Seventh Moon). … (5) David Holmes (Ocean’s Eleven, Out of Sight) is on director Aisling Walsh‘s The Daisy Chain. … (6) Clint Mansell (Requiem for a Dream) is on The Calling, from director Jan Dunn. … (7) The excellent, score-centric blog theplaylist.blogspot.com discusses Jonny (Radiohead) Greenwood‘s work on the new Paul Thomas Anderson film, There Will Be Blood, which had previously been associated with Jon Brion, who scored Anderson’s Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love; the piece quotes a recent Entertainment Weekly profile of Greenwood and focuses on the composer Krzysztof Penderecki‘s influence. … (8) Is there another credit more bittersweet for the movie-music professional than “Additional Music By”? … (Much of the above film-composer associations via imdb.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.
• 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.
• 0482 / Exactly That Gap / The Assignment: Make a musical haiku following instructions from Marcus Fischer.
• 0481 / Capsule Time / The Assignment: Record a time capsule for yourself in the future.
• 0480 / Ongsay Aftcray / The Assignment: Record a piece of music by employing Pig Latin as a technique.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 484 consecutive weeks to date.
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