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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Live Cello-Tronic MP3

The same evening that Kranky Records solo laptop artist Chris Herbert opened for the duo Stars of the Lid in Birmingham, England, Ted Laderas was doing his electronified solo cello stuff in Portland Oregon, playing with the duo Unrecognizable Now. And 24 hours later, as with Herbert (see the Memorial Day disquiet.com entry from earlier this week), the Laderas set was available for free download.

From David Darling to Hank Roberts to Zoe Keating, the cello has suggested itself as a focus of electronic manipulation, no doubt due to its rich, deep sonorousness. Laderas uses electronics not simply to enhance the cello’s sound, but to obscure it. (He has christened this technique he’s developed as the Oo-ray.) If you dive midway into the May 21 performance, recorded at the space Holocene, you may take it to be one of those multi-guitar Glenn Brance symphonies. There is a searing noise, as if the bow’s edge were serrated. It’s hard to tell when the texture of that bow ends and the saw waves of whatever electronic processing is involved kick in (MP3). The performance is not just about generating cacophony, though; it veers from layered plucking of strings to orchestral might, from sour melodic activity to gently bowed divination. In a post on his 15people.net site, Laderas describes his mode succinctly: “As always, this set is pretty much completely improvised on the fly. No prerendered loops, no nothing. Just me and my looper.”

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • 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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