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: July 2009

Maximalist Latvian DNA Synaesthesia MP3

Because so many of the releases via the touchradio.org.uk website are raw field recordings, it’s difficult to tell with Nacre, its most recent offering, where the performance ends and where the setting begins.

It is a performance, a composed piece for two organs, one played by its composer, Hildur Guðnadóttir, and the other by Charles Matthews. Nacre is a heavy, maxmimalist drone of a work — a thick undulating cloud of held chords, like some Olivier Messiaen sketch writ extra-large (MP3). The score, viewable below, is in the form of DNA, and Guðnadóttir’s notes at the touchradio.org.uk site go into detail about its structure. Synaesthesia fetishists in particular will be intrigued by the color references in the description.

The version of the track via the iTunes podcast directory (itunes.apple.com) is a 200mb video of the performance, recorded in Riga, Latvia, on May 23, 2009, at St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, as part of an installation by Elín Hansdóttir and Hildur Guðnadóttir.

[audio:http://www.touchmusic.org.uk/touchradio/Radio42/Radio42.mp3|titles=”Nacre”|artists=Charles Matthews and Hildur Gudnadottir]

More on Guðnadóttir at hildurness.com. More on Matthews at charlesmatthews.co.uk.

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]

Image of the Week: Cardiff’s Android Army

Photo of Janet Cardiff‘s 40-Part Motet, reportedly taken at Fontevraud Abbey in France, where it is currently installed:

The more times this work is presented, the more the individual speakers stop looking like speakers and start looking like android choristers.

Panorama shot and constructed by Jean-Etienne Poirrier (of poirrier.be, found via flickr.com).

Tags: , , / Leave a comment ]

Past Week at Twitter.com/Disquiet

  • Reformatting old hard drives from FAT 32 to NTFS, which every time I look at it seems to read "NSFW." #
  • Love Brian Eno/Peter Schmidt's Oblique Strategies, @Oblique_Chirps on Twitter, but "What would make this really successful?" seems unhelpful #
  • Morning sounds, far to near: traffic (whoosh), typing (percussive), fridge (hum), hard drive (whir), ice cubes (crackling). #
  • Make that: Steely Dan the Automatori Amos Deftones on Tail L Cool Jay ZZ Top #improbablebandcollaborations #
  • Pan Sonic Youth Brigade #improbablebandcollaborations #
  • Tori Amos Def #improbablebandcollaborations #
  • Ramen two nights in a row — not so shabby. Katana-ya's is, I think, the very best in San Francisco. #
  • Re-reading novel Down and Out by @doctorow in advance of Monday's artsjournal.com/gap discussion of Whuffie book by @missrogue #
  • if you're really lucky, while you walk down the street with @rjdj running on your iPod Touch, you'll come upon a trumpet-playing busker. #
  • There should be a movie whose score is simply a creative employment of @rjdj processing other sounds (dialog, foley) in the film. #
  • Of the 16 music-related apps on my iPod Touch, the one I use most is @rjdj, a set of realtime processes that turn the world into sound art. #
  • If you Twitter it's #followfriday: field-recordist Aaron @quiet Ximm & experimental collective @thecentrifuge & cartoonist @dylanhorrocks #
  • Just experimented with @hootsuite — allows scheduled Twitter posts. Neat, but I think I'll maintain the illusion this is all "realtime." #
  • Streaming-only new-classical music: Daniel Bernard Roumain (violin), DJ Scientific (laptop/CDs), Del Sol String Quartet: http://is.gd/1JwO6 #
  • Former head of one of my favorite classical labels (CRI) wrote about state of record labels, & asked me about netlabels: http://is.gd/1JtDF #
  • RIP, Yellow Submarine illustrator Heinz Edelmann (b. 1934). I didn't know he'd taught one of my heroes, Christoph Niemann http://is.gd/1IWsq #
  • Really wishing there were Mac freeware like YamiPod that worked smoothly with the iPod Touch. Perhaps there is and I'm just not aware of it. #
  • Check out http://ghostly.com/discovery for free iPhone/Touch app from the label Ghostly. Full catalog streams, sorted by mood, tempo, etc. #
  • Afternoon sounds: old-style phone ring initiates moment, then voices below, typing ahead and behind, and the attenuated whir of the printer. #
  • Just noticed the Venetian Snares banner on the cubicle wall of the character McGee on the TV show NCIS. #
  • Sudden urge to get my TRS-80 out of my parents' attic. Not sure why. Wonder if it would still turn on. #
  • Just purchased my first Kindle book ($9.99 seemed high, but convenient) for my iPod Touch, and loaded free epubs into the Touch app Stanza. #
  • Local college radio just played lengthy set of Buddy Holly. On our rattly "earthquake-kit" radio, it seemed broadcast from the past. #
  • Watching blockbusters on a small television. #
  • Got a little microphone for my iPod Touch, meaning I can now fiddle with Curtis (the granular-synth tool) and RjDj, among other audio-games. #
  • The Joy of Cron: Watching the #lastfm weekly faves pop up simultaneously for numerous people I follow via Twitter. #
/ Leave a comment ]

Quote of the Week: Laswell on/off Fusion, Dubstep

From a July 15 interview with Bill Laswell:

    [Q:] Do you look to the titans of 70s fusion when you’re trying to improvise in a rhythmical electronic format like this?

    BL: No, I didn’t really relate to that kind of music. I mean fusion had a great beginning with Tony Williams’ ”˜Lifetime’ when he John McLaughlin and Larry Young and later with Jack Bruce. That is a really good example of a band who play with structure but who also improvise within that structure. That was important and some of the electric Miles Davis things, which were again based round repetitive rhythm. There was a lot of room for people to incorporate sounds and rhythms and structures on top and I think that was important. But then I think fusion got to analytical; too structured; to virtuoso over art or over feeling and I didn’t follow for much after that. The only fusion I became interested in then was through following African music, Indian music and music from parts of central Asia, Japan etc. Looking back I thought Cream was a good improvising band even though it was only in a couple of time signatures and mainly based on the blues I thought that was more inspiring than what fusion became.

    [Q:] Speaking as someone that we regard as quite a radical figure working with the weight and depth of bass culture, what do you think of dubstep?

    BL: Well dubstep to me is a style that we’ve been hinting at the whole time. I don’t see it as being anything totally new but I like it and relate to it because I think from time to time we’ve been doing stuff like that already and now there’s a name for it. It’s not so different to things that have gone before. I think there’s a lot you can incorporate into it and I like it.

Full interview, conducted by John Doran, at thequietus.com.

/ Leave a comment ]

Funked Up MP3 Mash by Y?Arcka

Ace out-hop Philly producer Y?Arcka has launched a little base of operations at arckatron.bandcamp.com. Currently it features his late-2008 The Appreciation SP (more on that tasty bit of revisionist mixes previously on disquiet.com, including a fine reworking of an early Michael Jackson effort with the Jackson 5), and a brand new mixing he’s titled “Jungle Jammin’ (Hugh & Stevie).”

True to Y?Arcka’s mode, on the new “Jungle Jammin'” he takes tiny little segments of existing tracks and loops and stutters them until they take on new compositional properties. Skips become percussion, repetition comes to feel planned, snippets of vocals gain coded intensity, and the funk is all the more trenchant, a brittle, fragile funk that’s all about misdirection (MP3). It’s a tremendous track.

[audio:http://bandcamp.com/files/40/43/4043213092-2.mp3|titles=”Jungle Jammin’ (Hugh & Stevie)”|artists=Y?Arcka]

If the above stream or download link doesn’t work, check it out at arckatron.bandcamp.com.

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]
  • 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

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe



  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    December 28, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    July 28, 2021: This day marked the 500th consecutive weekly project in 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.)

  • Ongoing
    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).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    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.

    Recent Projects

  • 0511 / Freeze Tag / The Assignment: Consider freezing (and thawing) as a metaphor for music production.
    0510 / Cold Turkey / The Assignment: Record one last track with a piece of music equipment before passing it on.
    0509 / The Long Detail / The Assignment: Create a piece of music with moments from a preexisting track.
    0508 / Germane Shepard / The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.
    0507 / In DD's Key of C / The Assignment: Make music with 10 acoustic instrument samples all in a shared key.

    Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 511 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts