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Disquiet Junto Project 0004: “Remixing Marcus Fischer”

The Assignment: Rework a track from a 365-day project that inspired Junto's creation

The fourth Disquiet Junto project returned to the shared sample — or in this case, 10 shared samples.

Marcus Fischer, the accomplished musician based in Portland, Oregon, generously agreed to provide the constituent parts of one of the tracks off his latest album, Collected Dust, which was released this month on the Tench record label. The track, “Nearly There,” was the second-to-last entry in a year-long daily creative project he undertook from January 2009 through 2010.

Fischer’s music is elegant and elegiac, and its gentleness belies its complexity. As the project began, it was clear that it would be interesting to see how people worked with the material. How much would they make it their own, or how much would they attempt to extend what they perceived Fischer had begun. There was, at a psychological level, the additional awareness that individual who was the source of the sounds was active on Soundcloud and would, almost certainly, be checking in. That proved to be the case in one particularly unexpected way — but before we get to that, here are the instructions that were provided to Junto members:

“Nearly There” is a track off Marcus Fischer’s new album, Collected Dust, released this month on the Tench label.

Fischer has provided 10 constituent parts of the track in the following downloadable Zip file:

Each participating Junto member will contribute an individual remix of the track, using as much or as little of the original as they choose.

Title: Your track should be titled “Nearly There (Disquiet0004-mfischer TBD Remix)” where the “TBD” is between one and three words of your choosing. (It could, for example, be your name or a descriptive phrase.)

Tag: Please associate the tag “disquiet0004-mfischer” with the file.

Source Material (i): No, you don’t have to use every file that Fischer has provided, just as many as you would like.

Source Material (ii): Yes, you can add sounds beyond those provided.

Length: The length of your remix is up to you, but under 10 minutes seems wise. For reference, the original track is a little over six minutes long.

Download: As always, you don’t have to set your track for download, but it would be preferable.

License: Per an agreement with Fischer and with Tench, any track submitted for this Junto should be associated with the following Creative Commons license with your track: “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0).”

Information: When you post the track, please include these three links:

Additional Background:

The track “Nearly There” is not just an example of Marcus Fischer’s Collected Dust album. It originally appeared as the penultimate entry in the 365-day creative project he presented online, and material from it was part of the final entry in that same year-long series. That marathon creative experiment of Fischer’s was a big influence on the development of the Disquiet Junto, this idea of setting a significant challenge to oneself as a means to stoke creative output. “Nearly There” was recorded on “lapharp + ebow looped using the monome 128 w/ the wonderful MLRv application,” explains Fischer. The two tracks, for the curious, can be heard here:

And there’s more information on Collected Dust at the Tench website:

As the project’s deadline neared, Fischer himself joined in, remixing his own music:

In addition, there was a pleasant surprise when the accomplished sound artist Stephen Vitiello participated. He has exhibited at MASS MoCA, The High Line, The Project, the Bienale of Sydney, the Whitney Biennial, and PS 1/MoMA, and released music on such labels as 12k, New Albion, and Sub Rosa.

The fourth Junto led to a great conversation, in the project’s Discussion tab, about what exactly a “remix” is. It started off with a query from Brian Biggs, aka dance-robot-dance.

In the process, Ted James posted this audio piece as a response. It opens with him talking about what a remix is, until his talking becomes source material for a beat:

The assignment was made late in the day on Thursday, January 26, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, January 30, as the deadline.

View a search return for all the entries: disquiet0004-mfischer. As of this writing, there are 59 tracks associated with the tag.

Visit, listen to, and consider joining the group at

A full list of Junto projects is housed on

(Image adapted from the photo that accompanied the version of “Nearly There” that appeared on Marcus Fischer’s website as his 365-day project was reaching its end.)

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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