New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

Monthly Archives: March 2016

Disquiet Junto Project 0221: Morning Music

The Assignment: Compose something – quiet, peaceful, refreshing – you'd want to wake up to.

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Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at disquiet.com/junto, 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. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Tracks will be added to this playlist for the four-day duration of the 0221 project:

This project was posted at noon, California time, on Thursday, March 24, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 28, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0221: Morning Music
The Assignment: Compose something — quiet, peaceful, refreshing — you’d want to wake up to.

Step 1: You’ll be making music that you’d want to wake up to — music you’d like to imagine other people would want to wake up to. This isn’t “shock alert” music. It’s quiet, peaceful, refreshing.

Step 2: Compose and record something that accomplishes the goal set by Step 1.

Step 3: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted at noon, California time, on Thursday, March 24, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 28, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you, though between two and five minutes seems about right.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this project, and be sure to 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 in the title to your track include the term “disquiet0221-morningmusic.”Also use “disquiet0221-morningmusic”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 221st weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Compose something — quiet, peaceful, refreshing — you’d want to wake up to”) at:

https://disquiet.com/0221/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

https://disquiet.com/forums/

The photo associated with this project is by Alf Eaton, used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

Morning

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Lesley Flanigan Sings to the Machine

A preview of her forthcoming album, Hedera

Lesley Flanigan - Hedera - Crane Arts 01 - 560px

In advance of the album’s release, Lesley Flanigan has posted one track off Hedera for streaming. “Can Barely Feel My Feet” is a layering of her voice, the soft, insistent, prayer-like vowels starting off as a handful of parallel processes but then gathering in denser and denser substructures. At times the intonations bead against each other, the slight variations creating hushed, genteel moiré patterns.

By the end, all that remains is the moiré, a buzzing electronic field where once there was were human voices. The album is due out April 8. The main track on the album, the title piece, has yet to be provided for streaming, but there’s a segment of it in this video, in which Flanigan’s electronically processed vocals are heard against a rhythm provided, apparently, by a malfunctioning tape deck.

Track originally posted at lesleyflanigan.bandcamp.com. More on Hedera at physicaleditions.com. More from Flanigan, who is based in New York, at lesleyflanigan.com.

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Why We Listen

I talk with Marc Kate about surface noise, classical motifs, and the reversal of Aphex Twin

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Major thanks to Marc Kate of the Why We Listen podcast for having included me in its ever growing catalog of conversations. My entry, released a few days ago, is the 35th in Kate’s Why We Listen series. Previous participants include many folks I admire, including Morgan Packard, Richard Chartier, Cara Rose DeFabio, Erik Davis, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Holly Herndon, Leyland Kirby, Bob Ostertag, Geeta Dayal, and Keith Hennessy.

For each episode of Why We Listen, Kate asks the guest to bring three pieces of music, and then you sit in his studio and listen to them together and talk about them. I selected a piece of turntablism sound art by Maria Chavez, “Kids- TRIAL 18 (Unfinished),” a work of classical minimalism by Madeleine Cocolas, “I Can See You Whisper,” and an Aphex Twin rarity “Avril 14th reversed music not audio.”

A direct link to the MP3 file is here: whywelisten.marckate.com. The iTunes link is here: itunes.apple.com. More on the episode at whywelisten.wordpress.com.

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I’m Talking About Sound + Film at the Disposable Film Festival

That's April 8 in San Francisco at the Bay Area Video Coalition

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“Eyes are forgiving, ears less so. Eyes want to be seduced. Ears are sensitive to incongruity, discontinuity, artifice. How can sound reinforce narrative? How can sound be narrative? How can sound design serve as score? We’ll explore the past and the technologically enabled promise of film sound.”

That’s the opening of — and abstract for — a talk I’ve been invited to give at the Disposable Film Festival this coming April 8 in San Francisco from 4pm to 5:30pm. The title of the talk is “Sound + Vision: A Master Class with Marc Weidenbaum.” It’ll be at Bay Area Video Coalition, whose address is 2727 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94110.

I’ll be talking about usefully adventurous examples of creative employment of sound in film and about new technologically mediated opportunities. The audience is likely to include a higher than average percentage of people interested in making films, so I’ll also be outlining a variety of creative prompts to spur original sonic experimentation in the service of narrative.

As examples I’ll be drawing on work I’ve done in music supervision and sound design on the new science fiction film Youth, directed by Brett Marty, and on the documentary The Children Next Door, directed by Doug Block.

You can register to attend the talk here: attendease.com.

The full festival lineup is here: disposablefilm.com.

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What the Creators of the Monome Sound Like as Live Performers

Kelli Cain and Brian Crabtree recorded live in San Francisco (February 2016)

Update (April 3, 2016): The SoundCloud account of half of the Monome duo mentioned below, Kelli Cain, today uploaded a higher-quality recording of the same concert:

The original post appears below.

The developers of the Monome have shepherded not just a series of refined devices, including their namesake grid and a growing number of synthesizer modules, but a community that makes music with them and software for them.

That Monome community largely gathers at llllllll.co, a discussion site, but occasionally there are opportunities to meet up in person. About a month back, on February 19, Monome’s Kelli Cain and Brian Crabtree, who are based in upstate New York, performed as a duo at a tiny shop in San Francisco’s Outer Richmond neighborhood. The audio for that set is now available as a free download from shop’s SoundCloud account (soundcloud.com/betterforliving).

I was at the show, and can confirm the audio captures the songs well. It’s a series of gentle, folktronic pieces, each with a trance-like quality. Certainly there in the mix are the soft looping synthesizer sounds often associated with the Monome, but there’s also a sweet vocal thread, the pair harmonizing like adjunct members of Low or of Iron and Wine. The acoustic shaker heard early on in this half-hour set is one of several that come out of Cain’s work in ceramics (see: kellicain.com).

At the show Crabtree had several of the shakers on the table. He’d shake one for awhile, and then pass it to someone in the audience to continue the pattern. Each person became an extension of what Crabtree had started, but then altered it a little, whether through the conscious decision to contribute a musical idea, or simply because their sense of rhythm differed from his. Either way, the passing around of the shakers was a masterful example of the real (that is, physical) world reflecting something intrinsic to electronic culture (looping), all occurring in the context of a makeshift community (in this case the few dozen attendees).

Here are two shots I took at the time and that I posted the day after the show at llllllll.co:

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Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/betterforliving. More on the Monome, Cain, and Crabtree at monome.org.

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