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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Toward the 200th Anniversary of the Metronome

A July 2013 art project by Paolo Salvagione

Note: The special metronome music-making project mentioned below is now live. It began late in the day on July 11 and will end at 11:59pm on Monday, July 15 (that’s 11:59pm wherever you are). The instructions are here: “Disquiet Junto Project 0080: Interior Metronome.”


More on this as the date nears, but on July 6, 2013, in and near Regensburg, Germany, a series of works will be debuted by artist, and frequent collaborator, Paolo Salvagione. (Boon Design is handling the graphics aspect of the effort.) Three Salvagione projects will take place, and I’ve written an essay for each of them — the essays will appear here on in the near future:

(1) There will be the start of a campaign to have Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, who perfected the metronome in 1815, inducted into the Walhalla, the Parthenon-like memorial to Germanic accomplishment.

(2) There will be a performance of György Ligeti’s 1965 “Poème Symphonique”for 100 metronomes.

(3) There will be an installation in the Walhalla that acknowledges the wives, husbands, and other significant others of the tinkerers, warriors, artists, and royalty who posthumously populate the building. (List of Walhalla residents at

Details, in German, at More on Salvagione and Boon Design at and

There will also be a metronome-themed Disquiet Junto project the Thursday following the Regensburg event. Here is the teaser for the Junto project that appears in the newspaper that will be distributed at the July 6 event:


Machen Sie Musik?

Würden Sie gerne das akustische Innenleben eines Metronoms erkunden?

Diesen Donnerstag, 11. Juli 2013 startet ein viertägiges, kommunales Musizier-Experiment.

Um mitmachen zu können, benötigen Sie nur ein Metronom und ein Kontaktmikrofon.

Schließen Sie sich hunderten von Musikern aus der ganzen Welt an.

Dieses Projekt ist Teil der ”žsubversiven Clique“-Serie von Musikerforschungen, die selbst gewählte Einschränkungen als Quelle für Kreativität nutzen.

Mehr Infos unter:

It translates as follows:


Do you make music?

Would you like to explore the interior sonic life of the metronome?

This Thursday, July 11, will begin a four-day communal music-making experiment.

All you need is a metronome and a contact microphone to participate.

Join hundreds of musicians from around the world.

The project is part of the Disquiet Junto series of music explorations that employ restraints as a springboard for creativity.

Learn more at

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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