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Monthly Archives: March 2018

Disquiet Junto Project 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.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, 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. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) 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.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, April 2, 2018. This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

Tracks will be added to the playlist for the project’s duration.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 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.

Step 1: Tracks in this project will be played as part of a free event in San Francisco at the McEvoy Foundation for the Arts (mcevoyarts.org) on Saturday, April 7, 2018, for an exhibit by composer Danny Clay (dclaymusic.com) and artist Jon Fischer (feather2pixels.com). The project was developed in collaboration with Clay. Before proceeding, consider the sort of music that might be conducive as partially-heard, partially-background music for an art event.

Step 2: Compose a short piece of music using only sine waves and the surface sounds of vinyl played on a turntable. Those two sources are inspirations for the Clay/Fischer exhibit. (The cover image to this project shows some of Fischer’s turntable art.)

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0326” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0326” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Please consider posting your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0326-wave-turntable/

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Other Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, April 2, 2018. This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

Length: The length is up to you. Roughly two to four minutes sounds about right.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0326” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, 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.

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 online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 326th weekly Disquiet Junto project (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) at:

https://disquiet.com/0326/

More on Clay and Fischer at:

http://dclaymusic.com
http://feather2pixels.com

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

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

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0326-wave-turntable/

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this project is by artist Jon Fischer from his exhibit with Danny Clay.

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Renditions of Idealized States

The pursuit and avoidance in naturalness of ambient music

Almost all ambient electronic music is environmental. The question is often whether or not that environment feels natural to the listener, and in turn whether, in the case of naturalness, it feels ordinary or extraordinary — or more to the point, how far along those continua it might be situated. “Prelude for Spring” by Araceae, from the new album Lunae Semita, succeeds by keeping the ear guessing at various interstices throughout. It moves from space music to meadow atmospherics to vocal-infused heavenly choirs and back again over the course of just under seven minutes. According to a brief liner note, the actual field recordings were sourced in Upper Michigan, Detroit, Berlin, and Amsterdam. In the ear, they are all hyper-realized into sedate, emotionally rich renditions of idealized states. That is, up until the very end, when the crunch of (what sounds like) leaves underfoot fades in, and puts everything that preceded into further perspective.

Araceae is Ryan Malony, who also records as Uun and is based in Detroit, Michigan. Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/faint-faint-music. Get the full album at faintmusic.bandcamp.com. More at and discogs.com.

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Dusk Til Dawn

Environmental ambient from Groningen, Netherlands

A deep, slow-moving pace marks “Naivete,” a nearly 13-minute track by Sima Kim. It is the sound of peace at first, but that peace gives way slowly to heightened anticipation. The pace divulges underlying momentum, the glacial quality thawing enough to reveal rapid patterning under the icy exterior. Lush haze turns into a hall-of-mirrors string section, gentle pads to sense-tingling vibrations. It is like the move from dusk to dawn, from the quiet hours to daybreak. And to mark the closure there is a hyper-extended fade out, roughly a minute and a half in length, during which the listener’s own environment is welcomed to participate in a similar transition.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/sima-kim. More from Sima Kim, who is based in Groningen, Netherlands, at sima-kim.tumblr.com and simakim.bandcamp.com.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0325: Fake Book

Make a forgery of an old jazz song by using samples from three Edison cylinders.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, 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. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) 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.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, March 26, 2018. This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0325: Fake Book
Make a forgery of an old jazz song by using samples from three Edison cylinders.

Step 1: This project involves using samples of pre-existing recordings to create a new recording. The three pieces of source audio are at these individual Internet Archive webpages:

https://archive.org/details/edbell-735
https://archive.org/details/EDIS-SRP-0194-01
https://archive.org/details/edgm-9107

Step 2: Download the tracks from Step 1 and listen to them. Listen for elements you might employ in your own new recording.

Step 3: Utilizing elements from Step 2, create a new composition that, to the extent you are able, sounds like it is from the same general era. Don’t add any other sound sources, though you can employ effects.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0325” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0325” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Please consider posting your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0325-fake-book/

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Other Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, March 26, 2018. This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

Length: The length is up to you. Roughly two minutes sounds about right.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0325” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, 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.

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 online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 325th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Fake Book: Make a forgery of an old jazz song by using samples from three Edison cylinders) at:

https://disquiet.com/0325/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

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

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0325-fake-book/

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this project is by Matt and is used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/8G8Ce1

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

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Ambience in Quick Succession

An album teaser from Italy-based Sōzu Project

Paolo Mascolini, who is based in Italy, records ambient electronic music as Sōzu Project. There is a new Sōzu album, Garden, due out this coming month, on April 4. In advance of the release, Mascolini posted a teaser track on his SoundCloud account. At six minutes in length, it contains samples of 10 different sources, presumably the 10 tracks of the full forthcoming album.

While “garden_teaser,” as it is titled, is clearly a sample menu of the full release, it is recommended as listening unto itself. Ambient music, especially in its nature-mimicking mode, free of overt beats and given to artful longueur, is something to get lost in, something that through sheer absence of evident footholds like melody and rhythm evades the full grip of attention and memory. Here, however, each track’s peaceful spaciousness is presented as a short snippet. In turn, the ear can not only focus on the individual elements, but compare the ambience in quick succession, each track represented by a roughly 33-second extract.

There is, at the opening, the sort of bird-dense field recording that the album’s title suggests. Later come a variety of materials that might feel overall samey or of a type in full length, but here are are firmly distinct. There are drones with lighter birdsong and glitchy chimes, sea-sawing white noise, backward masked guitar with insectoid vibrations, and other sonic treats, some darker than others as the tracks progress.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/sozu_proj. More from Sōzu Project at sozu-project.com and twitter.com/SOZUproject.

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  • about

  • 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

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    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the 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.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the 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.)

  • 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).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    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.

    Recent Projects

  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

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