Synth/World Hybrid (MP3)

A new track from Specta Ciera

“Sweetened Air,” by Specta Ciera, is an appropriate title for a piece that appears to mix field recordings and synthesized sound in near equal amounts. One can hear the artificial tonal material as an additive to the raw, everyday sounds. Glistening, shimmering tones mix in with the rattle and whir of what seem to be passing cars and the light rustle of life. One can consider the “artificial” material just that, an artificial sweetener, as it were — or perhaps as something else entirely: the less natural-sounding material could be field recordings of a more fantastic sort, not immediately identifiable, and thus all the more evocative.

Track originally posted for free download at More from Specta Ciera, aka Devin Underwood, at

Remains of the Data (MP3)

A track of leftovers by Minneapolis' Mike 88

When in doubt, simply take stock of available resources. That, in essence, was the modus operandi that Mike 88 undertook when compiling “Leftovers,” a moody, downtempo set of plumbing clanks, ambiguous voices, and a drone-like melodic element. He describes the material as “all from random leftover samples from the recent tracks,” those being other pieces posted to his account. This means the piece works both as its own standalone listening experience, and as an anecdotal complement to other Mike 88 tracks of late. The sharing of raw and willfully undercooked materials on SoundCloud remains one of its distinctions, evidence of the in-progress intimacy that sets the communal tone for communication between musicians and their listeners.

Track originally posted for free download at More from Mike 88, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, at

Past Week at

  • NaturalReader (iOS) and FBReader with TTS Plugin (Android) are my new jams. ->
  • By far the top search term on Disquiet (.com) this week has been "cello" — followed, distantly, by "improvising" and, then, by "Xenakis." ->
  • All Tomorrow's Partitions #velvetcyborg ->
  • I'm Sticking With USB #velvetcyborg ->
  • I'll Be Your Mirror Site #velvetcyborg ->
  • Creative Suite Jane #velvetcyborg ->
  • Peel Slowly and C++ #velvetcyborg ->
  • Oh! Sweet Null Set #velvetcyborg ->
  • I thought "All Tomorrow's Partitions" was a kinda obvious joke but Google brings up just two other references since 1999, both about Windows ->
  • Hmm, come to think of it, I've been talking with a publication about a column. Maybe "All Tomorrow's Partitions" is its name. Hmm. ->
  • Continue reading “Past Week at”

Cello + Raspberry Pi (MP3)

A 25-minute live performance by Ted Laderas

With the bow pulled slowly enough to be mistaken for a tai chi posture, and enough overtones to fill the rafters of a small barn, Ooray embarked on a solo performance earlier this month at Valentine’s in Portland, Oregon. He’s posted the resulting audio, and it’s highly recommended. It’s less a piece than a suite, a series of semi-independent approaches to the electronically mediated cello that is the core of his musical practice. The opening portion is more echo than transformation, layers of drones aiding and abetting each other. The second introduces a pulsing piano figure. Then comes a more feedback-laden drone, amid which he plays a maudlin solo that slowly takes on an orchestral aura. And finally, there’s a portion with a broken beat and a glitchy feel to it, the bow pouncing on the strings like a playful cat, and the whole thing glistening to something at times almost rave-like in its exuberance. In a brief note accompanying the track, Laderas mentions that this was his first outing with his attempt to include Raspberry Pi, a tiny computer that is fast gaining popularity for its modular opportunities.

Track originally posted for free download at More on/from Ooray, aka Ted Laderas, at

Disquiet Junto Project 0060: Audiobio(graphy)

The Assignment: Record something about yourself and your music/sound in your own words and voice


Each Thursday at the Disquiet Junto group on a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate.

If you have ever participated, or ever thought of participating, in a Disquiet Junto project, I highly encourage you to consider doing this one. Thanks.

This assignment was made in the mid-afternoon, California time, on Thursday, February 21, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, February 25, 2013, as the deadline.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0060: Audiobio(graphy)

This week’s project is primarily a spoken-word one, which makes it a first for the Disquiet Junto. Here is a short description of how to do the project, and below that is some additional background:

SoundCloud, the service that provides much of the infrastructure for the Disquiet Junto, has begun a new community-organized project titled “Audiobiography.” I was part of the group of SoundCloud users who were invited to help develop this “audiobio” concept.

Here are the steps:

1: Record an audio track in which you describe — in your own words and voice — who you are and what you explore in your music/sound. Feel free to simply describe this work, or to go a step further and, in addition to your words, to include samples of your recordings. Please keep the track to approximately 90 seconds in length.

2: Name the track “Audiobiography” with your name, as such “Audiobiography: Jane Doe.”Add a description.

3: Tag the track “audiobio”and “disquiet0060-audiobio” and upload.

4: If you have the Spotlight feature in SoundCloud, pin the sound to the top of your profile. You can also add the sound to your profile’s description under your Advanced Settings.

. . .

Background: Those above instructions are a slight revision of the official documented plans for the Audiobiography project, but this lightly revised project still fits within the restraints of the official project. The official project’s home page is here, where there are translations into numerous languages:

Hello Heroes: Audiobiography

It didn’t take long after the Disquiet Junto got going for individual members to feel a sense of camaraderie with each other. Partially this is because various participants knew other participants, if only through their music, in advance of joining up. As time has gone on, members of the Junto have collaborated online and met up offline in person. Anyone who has had an extended email correspondence with an individual whom they later met, finally, in person for the first time knows how much that in-person meeting can transform and deepen subsequent communication. A lot of this has to do with simply witnessing what someone is like beyond how they present themselves online — and a lot of that has to do with what they say, not just the words but how they speak, how they communicate, what their voice sounds like. This SoundCloud “Audiobiography” project is an opportunity for Junto members to hear each others’ voices, often for the first time. My hope is that it will further deepen the sense of community among Disquiet Junto members and, more broadly, SoundCloud users.

Deadline: Monday, February 25, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your finished work should be approximately 90 seconds in length.

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on, please include the term “disquiet0060-audiobio”in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track (also be sure to tag the track “audiobio”).

Download: Consider setting your track in a manner that allows for attributed, commerce-free remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, be sure to include this information:

More on this #60th Disquiet Junto project at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0060: Audiobio(graphy)

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

More details on the SoundCloud “audiobiography” project at:

Hello Heroes: Audiobiography

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