My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

Monthly Archives: September 2013

ASCII Twin

Digital ephemera from the early days of the World Wide Web

20130927-aphexascii

With the Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works Volume II book’s writing behind me, the book’s release as part of the great 33 1/3 series is now itself a project. I’m sleuthing about for interested parties who might appreciate an advance galley — I think “influential readers” is the term the publicist employed — as well as for speaking opportunities. When I first started the writing of the manuscript, I thought I would be posting updates on Disquiet.com regularly about the process, but it turned out to be a far more insular exercise than I had expected — not that the book contains only my voice. No, I interviewed a heap of people for the book, and I also drew from interviews I did way back in the mid-1990s with Richard D. James and his fellow Cornwall native, Luke Vibert. In any case, a lot of ephemera surfaced during the research, and I’ll probably share bits of it as the February 13, 2014, date nears. Here are two ASCII depictions of the Aphex Twin logo, which appears on the cover of Selected Ambient Works Volume II, among numerous other Aphex endeavors. Up top is one that accompanied a long-running Aphex Twin FAQ, and here below is the signature file for Alan Parry, as it appeared on the IDM email list that was housed at hyperreal.org. Parry maintained both an Aphex Twin FAQ and a detailed discography. The IDM list began just a year before the Aphex Twin album was released. Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Selected Ambient Works Volume II, and this year, 2013, marks the 20th anniversary of the Mosaic browser, which for all intents and purposes made the World Wide Web easily and publicly accessible, although at the time only a small percentage of the public was taking advantage of it, among them university students with a keen interest not just in computers but in music made with computers and other electronics.

20130927-aphexascii2

The book is pre-order-able at amazon.com, which seems like a kind of science fiction since it’s still in early stages of copyediting.

More on the 33 1/3 series at 333sound.com.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0091: Walking Music

The Project: Explore the musical qualities of footsteps.

20130926-footsteps

Each Thursday at the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com 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.

This assignment was made in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, September 26, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, September 30, 2013, as the deadline.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0091: Walking Music

This week’s project takes as its source material that most natural and quotidian of rhythms: the sound of walking.

The instructions are simple. You will make four recordings of yourself walking. You will then combine those recordings as you see fit into a single original piece of music. You will add nothing to the four recordings. You can cut up and otherwise transform the source audio as you see fit, but it should always be recognizable as the sound of walking. The resulting track will explore various themes, including texture, rhythm, percussion, momentum, and the inherent musical qualities of field recordings.

Deadline: Monday, September 30, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your track should have a duration of between one and five minutes.

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: Include the term “disquiet0091-walkingmusic”in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: Please consider employing a license 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 91st Disquiet Junto project, which explores the musical qualities of footsteps, at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0091: Walking Music

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

Associated image found via Flickr:

http://goo.gl/YFzVzA

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Aphex Twin Book Status

Final draft done, copyediting ahoy, galley snapshot

20130925-333galley

It’s been a little quiet around here at Disquiet.com because on September 16 I submitted the final (pre-copyedit) draft of my book on Aphex Twin’s album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. The book will be published on February 13, 2014, as part of the 33 1/3 series, which is part of the Bloomsbury family. That book’s completion — again, with several rounds of copyediting to go — means I was wiped out, but I am now pretty much back at it. Above is an image from a tweet made from my publisher’s Twitter account earlier today of what appears to be an advance galley sampler promoting the six forthcoming titles in the 33 1/3 series. You can see the Aphex Twin book cover in the lower lefthand corner. If you tweet back at them — that is, at @333books — the title of which of the six books you are most interested in, this makes you eligible to win a copy of the sampler. Or as the tweet read: “Look what just came in: our new sampler galley. To win a copy, tweet us which title you are most excited about!”

And, er, the book is available for pre-order on Amazon, among other places.

In related news, I am @disquiet on Twitter.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0090: Between Stations

The Project: Explore the sound of a radio caught between stations.

20130919-dsqtjunto

Each Thursday at the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com 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.

This assignment was made late in the evening, California time, on Thursday, September 19, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, September 23, 2013, as the deadline.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0090: Between Stations

This week’s project is about the place on the FM radio dial between stations. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Choose two pieces of your own music that are fairly different from each nother. Label them track A and track B.

Step 2: Play five seconds of track A and then fade into track B, simulating the sound that occurs when a radio dial moves from one station to the next. Linger for a moment at the space between the stations, which should be a kind of white noise.

Step 3: Once you have transitioned fully to track B, play it for five full seconds.

Step 4: Once track B has played for five full seconds, simulate the radio dial being moved back in the opposite direction, toward track A. Stop in the middle of the white noise, in a space where the white noise along with some of track A and some of track B are still evident, simultaneously.

Step 5: For the remainder of your track, track A and track B will continue to play along with the white noise that simulates the sound of a radio dial caught between stations. As the piece proceeds, begin to transform the white noise, so that it becomes, in its own way, an active part of the music. Do not manipulate either track A or track B, just the white noise.

Deadline: Monday, September 23, 2013, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your track should have a duration of of between one and three minutes.

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: Include the term “disquiet0090-betweenstations”in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: Please consider employing a license 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 90th Disquiet Junto project, which explores the sound of a radio caught between stations, at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0090: Between Stations

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

Associated image found via http://goo.gl/nM4pOz

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A Solo on a Trio of iPad Apps (MP3)

By Birmingham's noimspartacus

Described by the musician as “noodling,” what it is is the sound of an iPad in the service of sonic exploration, from ominous footsteps through pulsating synthesis to dispersed beats. It was apparently recorded on a trio of apps: the multitrack tool Auria, the synthesizer Alchemy, and one named Sequence. Here’s to more noodling.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/noimspartacus. It is by noimspartacus, who is from Birmingham, Great Britain, more from whom at noimspartacus.wordpress.com.

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