The track by the Monk by the Sea is lush and peaceful, in a manner both literal and figurative. The literal aspect is the birdsong, heard overhead, at times flying right across the stereo spectrum. What the unseen bird is flying through isn’t merely the listener’s headspace; it’s that figurative peace, a drifting, cloud-like sonic softness. The music has the sense of something stretched to achieve density and texture. “Song from the Forest” is a testament to the Monk by the Sea’s abilities that the explicitly natural element of the bird meshes so well with the more surreal element of the slowly unfurling, sumptuous ether. The title suggests several readings. The birdsong is itself a song from the forest, while the finished track — a mix of recording and impression, artfully conjoined — is also a song from the forest.
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• December 13, 2018: This day marks 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:
• 0355 / Sonic Vivisection / The Assignment: Operate with incisions on a live sound in real time.
• 0354 / Rituals & Canticles / The Assignment: Make music using instruments from a future that doesn't fully remember our present.
• 0353 / Warp & Weft / The Assignment: Read loom-woven fabric as a musical composition.
• 0352 / Layering Permutations / The Assignment: Play something melodic atop two variations.
• 0351 / Selected Insomniac Works Volume II / The Assignment: Rework some very quiet music by making it even more sedate.
... And there is a complete list of past projects.
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