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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Disquiet Junto Project 0099: In the Key of X

The project: Compose an 8-bit melody based on the "E G D" startup sound of the Xbox One.

20131122-xbox

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, November 21, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, November 25, 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 0099: In the Key of X

This project investigates video game sound — not the sound of video games, but the sound of game consoles themselves. The newly released Xbox One has its own distinct startup melody of just three notes: first an E, then a G, then a D. The project this week is to imagine those notes being the core of an original piece of music: What if the theme of the Xbox One were a song, and a lo-fi one at that?

The project instruction is as follows: Record a piece of music with an 8-bit flavor. It should begin with a replication of that same three-note Xbox One pattern (E G D), repeated several times, and then veer off into whatever direction you desire. As the track goes along, feel free to add common video game sounds like explosions, karate chops, crowd noises, engines revving and so forth. Try to keep the whole thing under 90 seconds.

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

Length: Your track’s length should be between 30 seconds and 90 seconds.

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 “disquiet0099-EthenGthenD”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 99th Disquiet Junto project (Compose an 8-bit melody based on the “E G D” startup sound of the Xbox One) at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0099: In the Key of X

Background: This project was informed by a post on Kotaku.com by Kirk Hamilton:

http://goo.gl/OpjWSg

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

Associated image found via:

http://goo.gl/OpjWSg

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Music from Airports

A sonic portrait by Monolake

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Writes Monolake: “This is a stereo mix down of a ‘sonic postcard’ of the Airport in Rennes, France, created for an eight channel multichannel diffusion at that airport on October 8 2012 as a commissioned work for Electroni(k) Festival. All sounds captured at that (quite small) airport, with some layering and processing applied and real time mixing and filtering during the concert.” The track, uploaded to Monolake’s SoundCloud account, begins with everyday travel noises, from multilingual spoken announcements to the ringing of alerts to the tense buzz of baggage checks, and slowly navigates the airport. As time progresses, source audio gives way to transformation: the sound of a carousel stretched like a rubber band, an electronic signal tweaked by a light glitch, a pre-recorded voice forced into a slight stutter.

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While the work lacks the trenchant rhythmic grid of Monolake’s minimal techno, it has a familiar flavor. The sounds become both ominous in a claustrophobic sense, and yet enticing in the level of ingenious detail brought to bear on them.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/monolake. More on the Elektroni[k] undertaking at electroni-k.org. More from Henke/Monolake at monolake.de.

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Drone Chorus in Search of a Verse

A work-in-progress from Austin, Texas' Darius Greene

Darius Greene recognizes the brevity and simplicity of “Dreamskin,” his recently uploaded track on SoundCloud. After a short burst of crowd noise, a gently plinking keyboard and drone combination proceed. In their tandem shimmer, those elements never quite veer from their steady pace. It’s like a chorus in search of a song, set on repeat in the hopes that someone might swoop in and provides a verse. The crowd noise never quite goes away, either. It lingers in the background, lightly nudged toward white noise. Greene describes it as being “meant as a short passing freebie. Also free as kind of a stem for anyone to remix or use in some other creative way.”

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/dariusgreene. More from Greene, who is based in Austin, Texas, at dariusgreene.com.

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A Premix Quartet

Reworkings in advance of work by Chris Herbert

20131118-chrisherbert

If the rampant release schedule of contemporary electronic musicians leaves you overwhelmed and befuddled, buried in an embarrassment of riches, then add Chris Herbert to your favorites list. Because for better and worse, Herbert has a modest discography in his wake, dating back to the album Mezzotint on Kranky in 2006. He leaves you wanting, not overwhelmed. Still, a forthcoming album, titled Constants, due out in February 2014, is being led into by an unusal premix, a quartet of reworkings of source material that will be heard again when the full-length comes out. The premix set is titled Wintex-Cimex ’83, and it’s being made available for free download throughout December by Lawrence English’s fine Room 40 label. Here, below, is one of the four tracks, the rough tinsel of “Soft Quasars.” Herbert has been quoted as saying that the collective work takes as its theme “radar, dying stars, aeronautics, ailing short waves flickering in the troposphere, the ghost of JG Ballard.”

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/room40. Get the full set of four tracks at room40.org. More from Herbert at chrisherbert.net and twitter.com/cjherbert.

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Past Week at Twitter.com/Disquiet

  • Junto member posted code in Supercollider, Processing, and Ruby to assist in this week's text->notes transformations: http://t.co/eHWDQChVaa ->
  • Detail of projection of one of today's Oulipo sound projects. #oumupo #sfai http://t.co/DP3EfwnKkT ->
  • Realizing the typography on slides I use in teaching looks exactly like the photocopied typography on concert posters I made in college. ->
  • Did 4 pieces in Oulipo sound workshop: listening, woven audiobiography, subtractive composition, song form (name/room tone as source audio). ->
  • Oulipian parents: my wife & I relay-read Little House to our 3-year-old, never experiencing it in full ourselves, mentally filling in gaps. ->
  • So good. MT @EdieBushwick: @disquiet Do you m an H ad d to Gr n Appl books shortly for th v ning's r ading of work by th lat G org s P r c? ->
  • Yow, already 37 tracks in the week's Disquiet Junto project: http://t.co/LTj2ivvc92. Proof that I'm a poor judge of what will/won't work. ->
  • When Dave Eggers, in The Circle, describes the weather as cloudless I briefly think it's a comment about the Internet being down. ->
  • "Email that enhances your tech lifestyle." Email taglines that encourage you to unsubscribe. ->
  • Read more »
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