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.

Junto at Hilobrow.com

In which she decodes the predictions inherent in Benjamin Franklin's original Junto

Peggy Nelson at hilobrow.com has produced a thoughtful and highly appreciated overview of the weekly Disquiet Junto series of music assignments, which are hosted at soundcloud.com.

She intersperses pairs of recordings from various Junto assignments in order to highlight contrasts in response to the same instructions and source material. And in between these pairings, she inserts descriptions of the Junto’s broader concerns. She touches on Benjamin Franklin, whose own Junto loaned its name to our endeavor, and has kind words regarding the open nature of participation in our modern version.

And she drops this excellent insight:

“A social club dedicated to mutual improvement”might be a #TweetsOfOld description of remix culture, if we extend social into media and networking, and aim improvement at the artworks instead of their makers. Exchanging leather aprons for a screen and mouse, Disquiet Junto is a fresh update on an old, but still very much alive and relevant, idea, applying social and improvement to music remixing.
Variations on the phrase “social club dedicated to mutual improvement”are routinely associated with Franklin’s Junto, based on phrasing originating in his autobiography. I’ve been employing it myself when talking about the origins of the term. What Nelson does is great. She unpacks the phrase. She locates within the word “social” a premonition of social media, and matters even broader than social media: the modern, digitally enabled network culture that characterizes creative life on the Internet. From “improvement,” Nelson notes the sense of iterative development inherent in the sequential and recombinant essence of remixing. That is, in brief, some excellent cogitation.

At the end of her piece, Nelson thanks twitter.com/lrjp for “additional music reporting,” so I will as well. Read the full piece at hilobrow.com. Follow Nelson on Twitter at twitter.com/otolythe. And read at theatlantic.com how she got her “otolythe” moniker. It involves hearing and physiology and little fish and the evolution of self-identification on the Internet.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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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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    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
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    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
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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.
    • 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.)

  • 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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