To follow up yesterday’s video, more music from the musician who goes by Shipwreck Detective, aka San Francisco-based Devanand Addison Bhat. These four short, “simple tape meditations” were recorded just as the shelter-in-place orders were taking effect in the city (March 23 – 29, 2020), and then released a couple days later (the 31st) under the collective title Rest. They are textures comprised of melodies comprised of textures. Track “i” sets the pensive tone and tempo for the set: a warped tune that melts as it proceeds. Track “ii” introduces the slightest crackle of surface noise, and what would be listened past in most other music here becomes percussive due to the deeply quiet context. Each piece, including the plucked, echoing “iii” and the mix of fast-moving drone and sodden keyboard that comprise “iv,” has the quality of a Buddha Machine set on loop as the batteries slowly run out. There’s more to it than that, but only a little, and the restraint is key to Bhat’s success. In subtle ways, the tracks do progress, like how “iii” introduces static-like rain (or perhaps rain-like static), and how “iv,” in particular, gains substance as it goes. But as Bhat suggests, the motion here is all relative. This is music for our collective pause. The world has grown chaotic at the same moment when so many find their lives on hold. This is music for its title purpose, rest.
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
• July 28, 2021: This day marks the start of the 500th consecutive weekly project in the Disquiet Junto music community.
• December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
• January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th 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.
• 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.)
• 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).
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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.
• 0499 / Out of the Landscape / The Assignment: Record a piece of music in which a sound emerges from a field recording.
• 0498 / Sonic Entomologist / The Assignment: Create a new hybrid insect from the sound of two different insects.
• 0497 / Benjamin's Glass / The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica
• 0496 / Isolation Room / The Assignment: Create new music around one strand of something you made in the past.
• 0495 / Protip Etude / The Assignment: Share a tip for making music or working with sound, and record a track that employs it.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 499 consecutive weeks to date.
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