Nils Frahm’s 2012 Screws EP is the gift that keeps on giving, not just because it was made available for free download, and continues to be available for free (at screws.nilsfrahm.com), but because variations on his intimate themes, all recorded on piano when one of his fingers was inactive due to an injury, continue to pop up at unexpected intervals. Such asynchronous serendipity is one of the underlying pleasures of music produced amid a culture informed by the Creative Commons, in which non-commercial reworkings of existing material is encouraged, even rewarded. Back in January 2013, shortly after the year anniversary of the Disquiet Junto weekly music project series, we did a group take on the Screws audio, and 51 of those tracks are still online. More recently, as an example of the album’s continued existence as a source of inspiration, Fred Yaddaden of Lyon, France, committed an elegantly rhythmic reworking of the Screws track “Fa.” It opens with some scratchy sounds, resembling the surface noise often employed as a signifier of authenticity in hip-hop, but here quite likely lifted from the noises that result from Frahm’s penchant for using close microphones to capture the gestural intimacy of performance. From there he curtails much of the willfully meandering original and structures from it a simple, patient new track.
Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com 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
• February 5, 2020: The first session of the 15-week course I teach at the Academy of Art about the role of sound in the media landscape.
• April 15, 2020: A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the forthcoming book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)
• December 13, 2020: This day marks the 24th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 7, 2021: This day marks the 9th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
• There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the forthcoming book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
• At least two live group concerts by Disquiet Junto members in the San Francisco Bay Area are in the works for 2020.
• I have liner notes for a musician's solo album and an essay in a book about an art event due out. I'll announce as the release dates come into focus.
• The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).
Most Recent Posts
Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.
• 0430 / Solitary Ensembles x 2 / The Assignment: Record the second third of a trio that others will complete.
• 0429 / Solitary Ensembles / The Assignment: Record the first third of a trio that others will complete.
• 0428 / Urban Moss / The Assignment: What echoes of past concerts are retained within this pole?
• 0427 / Music 4 Airplanes / The Assignment: Make music that blends in with the industrial drone of modern air flight.
• 0426 / Cellular Chorus / The Assignment: Make music with the source audio from (and inspired by) a Patricia Wolf project.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 430 consecutive weeks to date.
Tags8-bit app audio-games brands of sounds chiptune classical comics copyleft field-recording film free free download gadget generative i-hop IFTTTgram installation ios ipad iphone ipod ipod touch junto live-performance live performance modular netlabel noise recommended stream remix rock saw2for33third science-fiction score site-maintenance software sound-art sounds-of-brands studio journal this week in sound turntablism TV video video-games voice
Most Recent Comments
J: "In lower right corner, in “Explicit/Implicit Sounds”: the Harley pair–has..."
Nat: "In that article, you mentioned that Martin was “another white man,” but his father is black. "
Mahlen Morris: "Other punch lines I’ve personally said: * Huh, totally blue sky here. Ohhh, yeah, it’s..."
David Neale-Lorello: "So much wonderful about this. Thank you both. "
haptiK: "Fahmi is one of the most interesting and productive artists in the genre. "