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.

Instagr/am/bient: 25 Sonic Postcards

25 ambient musicians respond to one another’s evocative Instagram photos.

25 ambient musicians created original sonic postcards in response to one another’s evocative Instagram photos.

An Introduction to Instagr/am/bient:

Photos shared with the popular software Instagram are usually square in format, not unlike the cover to a record album. The format leads inevitably to a question: if a given image were the cover to a record album, what would the album’s music sound like?

Instagr/am/bient is a response to that question. The project involves 25 musicians with ambient inclinations. Each of the musicians contributed an Instagram photo, and in turn each of the musicians recorded an original track in response to one of the photos contributed by another of the project’s participants. The tracks are sonic postcards. They are pieces of music whose relative brevity—all are between one and three minutes in length—is designed to correlate with the economical, ephemeral nature of an Instagram photo.

The result of the 25 musicians’ collective efforts is an investigation into the intersection of technology, aesthetics, and artistic process. What parallels exist, for example, between the visual filters that Instagram provides users to transform their photos and the sound-processing tools employed by electronic musicians?

In many cases here, the musicians employ sonic field recordings as source material for their music. In the case of both their photos and their compositions (photography in one case, phonography in the other), documents are altered to emphasize their atmospheric qualities: to eke a modest art out of the everyday.

Thumbnails of the 25 Images:

The full collection is also streaming at soundcloud.com/disquiet.

The 25 MP3s are downloadable for free individually and as a Zip file at archive.org.

Download a 58-page PDF with full-page reproductions of the images and additional information on all the participating musicians: PDF.

A Disquiet.com Project Commissioned by Marc Weidenbaum

Design/Boondesign.com Cover Photo/Brian Scott

This project in no way intends to imply any formal association with Instagram.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , / Comments: 13 ]

13 Comments

  1. kr3st0
    [ Posted December 30, 2011, at 2:21 am ]

    Great project!

  2. oluwatosin
    [ Posted January 1, 2012, at 12:36 pm ]

    congratulations! Disquiet these wonderful.

  3. Reu
    [ Posted January 2, 2012, at 2:06 pm ]

    Inspiring! Amazing project. Congrats!

  4. Lunchmeat
    [ Posted January 2, 2012, at 6:13 pm ]

    Can I donate images? I have, what I think, are great images for this (ongoing?) project.

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted January 2, 2012, at 8:08 pm ]

      Thanks — no plans at the current for a second edition, but who knows?

  5. Jon
    [ Posted January 3, 2012, at 2:25 am ]

    Hi, this is a really interesting project, thanks! However, I was a bit disappointed that the embedded album art in each track was the cover picture, not the inspirational picture for that track. This was done right by NIN’s ghosts release, see http://ghosts.nin.com/. I hope this could be fixed.

    • Jon
      [ Posted January 3, 2012, at 2:28 am ]

      Oh, media player fail. Turns out banshee 1.6.1 (version in Debian stable) caches one cover art per album; it’s just whatever the first one it saw was. Apologies. Well done on getting this right :-) Slightly higher-res pics in the embed would have been nice. But I’ll stop wingeing.

      • Jon
        [ Posted January 3, 2012, at 6:15 am ]

        Being creative is better than critical; so I’ve gone and fixed my only gripe. See http://www.archive.org/details/InstagrambienthdImages for the exact same MP3s but with the HD pictures (from the PDF) as the embedded artwork.

      • aidan
        [ Posted January 4, 2012, at 10:38 am ]

        hi jon, a lot of the metadata seems to be wrong in your version, so a lot of images get screwed up. for me at least – osx itunes. the original comp metadata seems to be off too mind…

      • Jon
        [ Posted January 31, 2012, at 4:18 am ]

        Hi aidan, thanks for letting me know. I reckon it might be because I put in ID4 v2.4 tags, and I’m not sure how well supported that version is in things like iTunes. I’ll put aside some time to do some digging.

  6. lostinspace
    [ Posted January 5, 2012, at 1:32 am ]

    brilliant concept nicely executed!! thanks!!

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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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  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • 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.
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    • 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.
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  • 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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