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.

Classical Rashomon (MP3s)

Listening to wild Up's Shostakovich source material for the 13th Disquiet Junto

When considering the 13th Disquiet Junto project, it’s helpful to remember that the subject material is itself a remix. The Disquiet Junto is a group in which musicians respond each week to a proposed compositional project. The 13th such project involves reworking a recording of the first movement of the Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a, by Dimitri Shostakovich. The source audio was recorded live by the ensemble wild Up. The project was announced on Thursday, March 29, and is due by 11:59pm on Monday, April 2.

I usually wait until the end of a Junto project to comment on it, but this one is special, so I want to get some thinking out while it is still in progress. It is is worth thinking of the Chamber Symphony as a remix unto itself, because the symphony is an arrangement by another man, Rudolph Barshai. With Shostakovich’s blessing, Barshai took the contours of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 and expanded them into something orchestral. Likeiwse, with the full permission of the Los Angeles chamber ensemble wild Up, the Junto participants are extrapolating from the wild Up recording of the Barshai’s symphonic version of Shostakovich’s quartet. If that sounds meta, then I am accomplishing at least part of my goal.

This 13th Junto project is a particularly special one, because it’s only the second time we are working from not only a commercial release, but from constituent parts of a track on that release. (The previous time was when Marcus Fischer, for the fourth Junto, provided stems — that is the music-production terms for individual subparts — of a song off his Collected Dust recording.) This is an essential distinction. Much “remixing” these days means working with the commercially released version of a piece of music, a single track: cutting it up, moving pieces around, transforming it, adding to it, subtracting from it. But in the case of both the Fischer project and, now, the Shostakovich project, the Junto participants were provided the pieces from which the commercial track was constructed. The wild Up recording of Shostakovich was done live, so the “parts” are in fact 10 simultaneous recordings of the symphony, recorded on variously placed microphones. The folder containing these parts looks like this:

For the time being, those recordings are freely available for download, and even if you are not participating in the project as a musician, I highly recommend giving them a listen. They’re available at each of the following URLs:

To hear the performance 10 times from different vantages is to get a Rashomon version of the piece. In part, it is simply an opportunity to hear it akin to how the performers hear it: if you listen to the woodwinds, then you’re hearing it sort of how a member of the woodwind portion of the ensemble heard it while it was being performed. But more importantly, to listen to it is to hear different parts of it come to the fore. Because it was recorded live, there is no clear “isolation” between parts. In each of the tracks you hear the entire work, just with different sections given different relative prominence.

Listen to the original recording, also streaming below, at:

And for comparison’s sake, here is a performance of the String Quartet No. 8 by the Kopelman Quartet, via

The remixes are unfolding at this very moment at

More on wild Up at and

(Stencil of Dimitri Shostakovich up top generously provided by Chris Hutson, of He is based in Peoria, Illinois.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , , , / Leave a comment ]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • 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

  • 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, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of
    • 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 ( at Gray Area (
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of 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

  • 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

  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 544 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts