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. • 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.

Village Orchestra Mix MP3

There is an underlying challenge in Remix, Lawrence Lessig’s recent book about copyright reform in the age of fluid and rapid technological change, regarding how the market adjusts to perceived abuses. The “MP3 blog” phenomenon is good example of this. While the MP3s linked to daily from the Downstream section of this website,, are all posted by musicians with the intent that they are downloaded for free, many bloggers post MP3s as sample tracks of commercial full-lengths, EPs, and singles. Whether or not such an activity qualifies as “fair use” is a subject of discussion, as is whether the activity is all that different from a radio station broadcasting a song, in that it’s largely promotional.

Many of these blogs, with that very legal issue in mind, post a note saying that any copyright holder can request a given song be taken down. What is indisputable, though, is that when the music is made freely available, it goes a long way to helping present the subject — it means a lot more to hear a song, than to only read a review of the song. (I’m currently participating, this week, in a group discussion of Lessig’s Remix at

Over at the blog, the site took an interesting spin on the “MP3 blog” mode when interviewing the Scotland-based Village Orchestra (aka Ruaridh Law). The site commissioned an exclusive mix from Law (his surname, yes, is somewhat ironic in this context), who DJs in addition to making his own, original music. He put together a genre-spanning mix with micro-techno from .SND and the experimental electronica of Boards of Canada, as well as unreleased tracks by Warp Records cornerstone Squarepusher, Oscar-winning rappers Three 6 Mafia, and others. The mix is a clever means to give a listen inside the head of the interview’s subject, not just because of the range of the material, but because it’s a proper mix; rather than a series of individual tracks, they’re all melded together with expert transitions that shed light on the relationships between the various songs.

The mix (titled “Diverted Mail”) is available as a Zip file (54MB, 40 minutes) at More info on Law at

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website 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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