Disquiet Junto Q&A @ NMBx

Molly Sheridan asked me some great questions about the online music community.


The Disquiet Junto by the numbers:

2,533: number of tracks currently live in the Disquiet Junto group page

569: number of subscribers to the tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto email newsletter

372: number of musicians responsible for those 2,533 tracks

87: number of weekly projects

71: number of tracks submitted to the most active weekly project

18: seconds in length of shortest project (a mini-suite based on the Vine app)

4: number of days from project announcement (Thursday) to deadline (Monday)

4: number of live concerts thus far (one each in Chicago, Denver, Manhattan, and San Francisco)

1: number of moderators (that is, it’s just me)

0: number of weeks we’ve taken off

Major thanks to Molly Sheridan for today having directed the attention of the excellent newmusicbox.org audience toward the Disquiet Junto, the weekly series of music projects. The above numbers came in response to her request for me to “quantify” the project. It’s the response to one of seven great questions in the interview she posted today, “Sounds Heard: The Disquiet Junto,” which also includes six tracks from past projects that she elected to highlight. Here’s one more bit of the Q&A:

MS: While I haven’t participated myself, it’s been my impression that the restriction provided by the assignment is key but that discussion of the employed method(s), a sort of “show your work,”is also central. There’s an outsider input and public process to the music making. Even though we often talk about the digital cocooning that new technologies allow, this is a reversal of that in some ways through technology—bringing others into what is often normally a private creative space for just one artist.

MW: Yeah, I agree entirely. I think three key things are essential to the Junto’s success. The restraints and the deadline are big, but so too is the knowledge that not just an audience but an audience of peers is at the ready: to listen, give feedback, befriend, collaborate with. As for the “through technology,”as you put it, absolutely: this project exists specifically as a means of utilizing the SoundCloud interface. I’m not saying it would not have existed otherwise, but it exists as it does to make the best use of that virtual public space as SoundCloud both intentionally and unintentionally happened to have designed it.

Read (and listen to) the complete piece at newmusicbox.org.

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