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.
• 0461 / Goldilocks Zone / The Assignment: Navigate a sonic space between the hospitable and the inhospitable.
• 0460 / Creative Destruction / The Assignment: Show how you got to a tortured sound.
• 0459 / From a Distance / The Assignment: Make music intended to be heard from afar.
• 0458 / Phrase Shift / The Assignment: Make music in a sequence of parts with shared elements.
• 0457 / System Alert / The Assignment: Compose sounds for an OS.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 461 consecutive weeks to date.
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Monthly Archives: March 2015
Make a track using only an HTML5 drum machine.
Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at Disquiet.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.
Tracks will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:
This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, March 26, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 30, 2015.
These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):
Disquiet Junto Project 0169: HTML505 Make a track using only an HTML5 drum machine.
Every Junto project is about, to some degree or another, exploring the freedom to be found within constraints. This week’s project takes a piece of software as its constraint.
Step 1: Go to the following webpage in a browser that supports HTML5:
Step 2: Create an original track using only this tool.
Step 3: Upload your track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.
Step 4: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.
Deadline: This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, March 26, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 30, 2015.
Length: The length of your finished work should be roughly between one and four minutes.
Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and 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. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.
Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0169-html505”in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.
Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).
Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:
More on this 169th Disquiet Junto project — “Make a track using only an HTML5 drum machine”— at:
More on the drum machine at:
More on the Disquiet Junto at:
Join the Disquiet Junto at:
Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:
An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt
Plus: Adaptive vs. interactive audio, the late David Wessel
A lightly annotated clipping service:
— Ableton, Bookmaker: Recently the former lead singer of Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke, announced a line of synthesizer modules. In turn, the module synthesizer manufacturer Tiptop announced it had formed a record label. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Ableton, the developer of the widely used software Live, has become a book publisher. This week it announced Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers, a collection of “solutions to common roadblocks in the creative process” by Dennis DeSantis. Warp Records trainspotters will recognize DeSantis as the person who arranged an Autechre track for the ensemble Alarm Will Sound, and who produced remixes for the group’s collection of acoustic renditions of Aphex Twin tracks. More on DeSantis’ book at: https://makingmusic.ableton.com/
— Aural Hearing: For Bloomberg, David Gauvey Herbert wrote a solid overview of the state of assisted hearing devices, with an emphasis on how cost, new technology, and Bluetooth are changing the landscape. One useful term is “PSAP,” which stands for “personal sound amplification products. That term encompasses the range of hearing assistance tools not, in the United States, classified by the FDA as medical devices: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-05/hearing-aid-alternatives-get-cheaper-more-powerful
— Game On: At Gamasutra, game developer Rob Bridgett wrote in detail about the challenges of employing “adaptive audio” in mobile video games. In the course of doing so, he made a useful distinction between “adaptive” and “interactive”: “By adaptive, I’m describing a system that is aware of the activity of the user through collection of data, which then makes changes of certain factors to either fit that behavior, or to adjust certain parameters and responses to best cater for that behavior. It is a system that doesn’t ask for a user-input, but makes changes on their behalf based on data collected. By interactive, I simply mean that a user has access to, and control over, certain elements of the experience.”: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RobBridgett/
— CNMAT Man: The “musical scientist/scientific musician” David Wessel passed away last October at age 72. Wessel founded the University of Berkeley Center for New Music and Audio Technologies, aka CNMAT, and this month Andrew Gilbert wrote an overview of Wessel’s life and career: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/03/20/david-wessel-musical-scientistscientific-musician/
This first appeared in the March 24, 2015, edition of the free Disquiet “This Week in Sound”email newsletter: tinyletter.com/disquiet.