At the tail end of last year, the Praemedia record label spun off its own netlabel, focused on freely downloadable music. Named Lucescit, the netlabel (located at lucescit.praemedia.com) had as its first release a various-artists set titled Shimmering Green Bird: A Tribute to Ingmar Bergman, 11 tracks dedicated to the dour and introspective Swedish director (The Seventh Seal, Fanny and Alexander, Persona). Among the highlights of Shimming Green is “Mute Echo (In Honor of Persona)” by Agnes Szelag and Caroline Penwarden. It features overlapping vocals, like something the Roaches might have attempted during one of their least pop-minded phases. The moans, all vowelly glossolalia, are set to echo, per the title, into the background, occasionally achieving a tension in beading tones (MP3). Two “Sarabande” tracks by Lance Grabmiller, the proprietor of both Lucesit and Praemedia, take one of JS Bach‘s solo cello suites as its point of origin. “Sarabande 1” (MP3) opens with crackling old vinyl, the melody — the original was the pinnacle of hummable math — played out a la Wendy Carlos, the tones rudimentally synthesized, the pace as slow as a lullaby. Eventually there’s an intrusion of rambling percussion, something that’s played up even more in “Sarabande 2” (MP3). Robert Scott Thompson’s “Passagio” is the set’s most ethereal, structured as a series of ghostly reverberations (MP3). Other participants in Shimmering Green include A Million Billion, Phillip Greenlief, Encomiast, George Cremaschi, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, Nathan Hubbard, and Nina Deering. Get the full batch at lucescit.praemedia.com, available both as MP3s and “lossless” FLAC files.
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 29, 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 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.
• 0500 / Humming to Your Selves / The Assignment: Play a tune by yourself and as if by two people whom you invent.
• 0499 / Out of the Landscape / The Assignment: Record a piece of music in which a sound emerges from a field recording.
• 0498 / Sonic Entomologist / The Assignment: Create a new hybrid insect from the sound of two different insects.
• 0497 / Benjamin's Glass / The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica
• 0496 / Isolation Room / The Assignment: Create new music around one strand of something you made in the past.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 500 consecutive weeks to date.
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