The group Diatribes mixes percussion, piano, and software in the interest of sonic exploration. As heard on their recent Insubordinations netlabel release, they take an approach firmly rooted in the clanky, fluid, theoretically rigorous yet sonically elastic techniques of European free improvisation. Witness Cyril Bondi (drums, percussions) and D’Incise (laptop, objects) mixing it up with a pianist (Jacques Demierre on three of the album’s five tracks, Johann Bourquenez on the other two): “Chants Ã‰vadés” (MP3) is all fragmented pianism and round-the-outside drumming, but shot through with wavering synthesized sound, a groggy drone that holds the whole thing together. “Et Puis Partir,” in contrast, is more willfully haphazard, less about anything closely approximating song, and more a matter of noise for its own intrinsic sake, each instrumentalist locating small sounds, from hazy upper-register playing by Demierre, to tribal taunts from Bondi (MP3). The introduction of D’Incise’s laptop into the sound world of free improv makes perfect sense, given free improvisation’s ever-present focus on using familiar instruments to make all manner of unfamiliar noises. The laptop expands that palette considerably, and at no point in these sets stands out as inappropriate or jarring. All five tracks were recorded live, the Demierre ones in Geneva in May 2008, the Bourquenez in Lausanne in September 2008. Get the full set at insubordinations.net. More on D’Incise at dincise.net.
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.
• 0488 / Reverse Delay / Assignment: Do something you've been putting off.
• 0487 / Carillon Quotidian / Assignment: Turn a recurring sound from your life into music.
• 0486 / Earths Days / The Assignment: Celebrate Earth Day on or for another planet.
• 0485 / Strange Weather / The Assignment: Remix the pure sounds of Chris Kallmyer's traveling wind chimes to your own musical purposes.
• 0484 / A Movable Heart / The Assignment: Transplant the sounds of Chris Kallmyer's wind chimes to a new location.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 488 consecutive weeks to date.
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