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.

Monthly Archives: December 2008

Have a Very 8-Bit Christmas (MP3s)

Tis the season for blippy, retro fun. The 8-bit mode has infected everything from toys to fashion, so why not seasonal favorites? Enter Doctor Octoroc‘s 8-Bit Jesus: Classic Christmas Songs in the Style of Classic NES Games, a compilation of 18 Christmas songs rendered like something likely to emanate from an arcade game in which Santa has to deliver presents via ever more complicated chimneys. The song titles hint at the provenance of the sounds: “Have Yourself a Final Little Fantasy” (MP3), “Joy to Commando” (MP3), “Silent Knight Man” (MP3), etc. There’s also beautiful cover art, in the colorful pixel mode, by Jude Buffum (judebuffum.wordpress.com). Get the full release at doctoroctoroc.com, and, due to the set’s popularity, various mirror sites (located via twitter.com/ario).

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Free Jonathan Coleclough Performance MP3

The musician and “sound organizer” Jonathan Coleclough takes small sounds and amplifies them. As a result of his careful, artful alchemy, it isn’t just the sounds that are expanded, but the spaces within the sounds. The Rare Frequency podcast (rarefrequency.com/radio) recently posted a live performance by Coleclough, recorded November 20, 2008, for WZBC (wzbc.org) while he was in Boston, Massachusetts, for the Brainwaves Festival. His instrumentation is reported to have consisted of laptop, fishing twine, and an oud (MP3). The work is a plaintive, spectral journey, marked by watery waves of sound, string resonances, and casual percussive elements. The strings undergo the most striking transformation over the course of the piece, moving from rough textures to a chiming presence. It’s a bit hard to imagine in advance that something as common and utilitarian as twine might have sonic complexities as rich as those evidenced here, but such is the wonder of Coleclough’s exploratory art.

More on Coleclough at his website, coleclough.plus.com.

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Tag Clouds: Ambient, Noise, Plurality

Finally got around to cleaning up the tags that are attributed to this site’s posts. The “tags” are terms such as “turntablism,” “classical,” “gadget,” and the ever popular “free,” which help categorize the coverage.

There had been a lot of redundancy, due to sloppiness over the years. Several categories were listed in both the singular and the plural (gadget, gadgets; field recording, field recordings; score, scores; etc.). Those now all have been reduced to the singular.

I removed the “electro-acoustic” tag, as it seems in retrospect like it could refer to just about anything on this site. That’s the reason, by the way, there’s no post tagged “ambient” here: everything should, by definition, fit that descriptor. I may do the same with “noise” down the road. It’s intended to refer to outright noise, but noise arguably is in the ear of the beholder, and I’m not sure relative volume/amplitude should be a requisite when employing the term.

As a result of this effort, the “tag cloud” on this site’s archive page (disquiet.com/disquiet-archives) is now more useful.

Oh, and for the record, as of today, the tags for the site are as follows, in alphabetical order: classical, comics, copyleft, field-recording, film, forum-digger, free, gadget, i-hop, installation, live-performance, netlabel, noise, remix, science-fiction, score, site-maintenance, software, sound-art, turntablism, TV, video, video-game, voice.

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Image of the Week: Sky Eavesdropper

From artist Steve Roden‘s deep bag of sound-related esoterica:

Writes Roden, “a detail from a 1940’s ‘linen’ postcard (so called because of the texture of the paper), of some military men with an incredible listening device to hear approaching airplanes. i suppose it is the equivalent of a telescope for ears.” More at inbetweennoise.blogspot.com.

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Quote of the Week: Cage Space Tokyo

This is Roger McDonald, co-founder and deputy director of Arts Initiative Tokyo, describing the city:

    This sense of physical impermanence makes Tokyo something like a huge, ever-evolving John Cage composition, whirling itself through chance procedures and the interventions of its inhabitants/users.

That’s from McDonald’s essay “A Huge, Ever-Growing, Pulsating Brain that Rules from the Empty Center of a City Called Tokyo,” from the recently published book Art Space Tokyo: An Intimate Guide to the Tokyo Art World, an excellent window on the city’s art scenes as expressed through interviews with curators, artists, and other cultural figures, as well as essays and neighborhood maps.

More information at chinmusicpress.com and artspacetokyo.com. Visit McDonald’s Arts Initiative Tokyo at a-i-t.net.

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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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    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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  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

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