There’s likely no actual guitar on “Glisten,” a track off R Beny’s superb new collection, Full Blossom of the Evening. There are, in the extensive list of equipment, some potential sources for the sharp, high-pitched, tightly plucked, string-like sounds that are the focus of the track. We may be hearing a synthesized string from the Teenage Engineering OP-1, for example, or a sample played from his iPad. The sharpness of those sounds, the brittle, fiercely resistant tautness, brings to mind the artificial guitar heard on Oval’s 2010 album O. Both Oval’s record and this track off Beny’s new one explore the textures of the guitar in a digital space, a seeming simulacra of the familiar, rendered as a kind of sonic fiction, and the Oval reference gets additionally rich when a certain glitchiness is applies to the recording, when it temporarily seems as if the playback is failing. What makes the track distinct from Oval’s work is the core of the music. Oval’s reference was largely rock, pop, and folk. Beny has created a synthesizer chamber music, something that feels like it was plucked from the renaissance. When it glistens, per the title, and it does so quite often, it’s like light hitting stained glass — virtual stained glass, perhaps, but the beauty is real.
5 Most Recent Comments
Robert Gable: "Classical Pulse had slipped my mine. I remember at the time thinking that Robert Levine listened to a..."
Ian Joyce: "Thank you Marc for such a lovely and thoughtful review! "
Debashis Sinha: "Thanks so much for this Marc – spot on analysis. You nailed it exactly. "
Brian Biggs: "Fantastic. There’s a Rube Goldberg analogy hidden there in the electronics. "
djbaroki: "Thanks for ur post ,what is your opinion about this techno pack is it a good choice for minimal techno..."
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• January 2, 2018: This day marks the 6th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto.
• February 7, 2018: Start of the semester for the course I teach on the role of sound in the media landscape at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
• December 13, 2018: This day marked the 22nd anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• Ongoing: 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, published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury, is now in its second printing. It can be purchased at amazon.com, among other places.
The Disquiet Junto is an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making space in which restraints are used as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto. There is an FAQ. ... These are the 5 most recent weekly projects:
• 0328 / Sonic Pentimento / Record a piece of music inspired by a term from painting.
• 0327 / Time Zoned / Create a piece of music that is simultaneously in 3/4, 2/4, and 7/4 time.
• 0326 / Wave Turntable / In collaboration with composer Danny Clay, make music for his exhibit with artist Jon Fischer using only sine waves and turntable surface noise.
• 0325 / Fake Book / Make a forgery of an old jazz song by using samples from three Edison cylinders.
• 0324 / Factory Floor / Make music for newsrooms, design studios, and other collaborative workplaces.
... And there is a complete list of projects at disquiet.com/junto.
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