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Sketch for 99¢ Xylophone

Another economical work-in-progress from Analogu01

When this website’s Downstream section expanded from five days a week to seven, one of the main reasons was to allow for more frequent repeat appearances by individual musicians. And part of that inspiration was the recognition that much online music is of the “sketch” variety — not “sketch” in the slang sense of “dubious character” but in the more general sense of a draft that proceeds what might be considered even a rough draft. This is the case, for example, with the website of Analogue01, whose music for abacus got some attention here back in mid-July, and who has now committed an elegant and noteworthy miniature for muted xylophone. In his brief post at analogue01.com he describes the source material for “Sketch for 99¢ Xylophone” as “Maybe the worst sounding instrument I’ll ever play” and then adds a clarification: “But for 99 cents it sounds great, especially if I forget about playing notes.” The result is a piece that ekes out modest variations between what were intended to be notes, and in the process pays close attention to — and often transforms digitally for further inspection and enjoyment — unintended percussive possibilities.

Track originally posted for download at analogue01.com (where the above image first appeared) and soundcloud.com/analogue01.

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comments: 2 ]

2 Comments

  1. nebulotinklstab
    [ Posted August 8, 2012, at 9:12 am ]

    Love the idea of posting sketches. It’s something the Internet can bring to music – sharing things in progress, little ideas that may go nowhere but have some amount of interest on their own, that may or may not lead somewhere else. Sometimes it’s hard for non-music creators to know “how to listen” to such things, what kind of ears to put on, appropriate expectations, but with more of it going on this can change. I’m making separate bandcamp & soundcloud accounts just to store and share sketches.

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted August 8, 2012, at 9:18 am ]

      Very much in line with my thinking. This is an area I very much enjoy exploring, and I’m glad to see it gain prevalence online.

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  • 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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