There have been multiple generations of the Buddha Machine from the duo FM3 (comprised of Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian). The 2017 version was a collaboration between FM3 and composer Philip Glass on the occasion of the maverick minimalist’s 80th birthday. That device had various samples of Glass’ music, including organ and, heard here, voice. The Buddha Machines all consist of short prerecorded loops that play on repeat. The choral loop on the Glass Buddha, as it were, has a dramatic gap between the repeats. Here I use twin delays to fill the choral void. I tried granular processing first, but the result was too artificial for what I was after. Instead, I here combine the unaltered audio with two versions, both delayed via the ER-301 (the large module on the bottom left). There are three strands coming through the mixer to the final output. The second strand, following the unaltered one, is the audio of the main strand set to delay by about 10 seconds, and from that delay only a narrow band, toward the high end of the spectrum (let’s call it the alto line), actually makes it to the mixer. The third strand takes another narrow band of the spectrum (let’s call it the baritone line), and sends that back to the ER-301, where it is delayed even further, about another 6 seconds, roughly. In addition, some slow-ish and flat-ish LFOs (from the Batumi, via the SPO) are continuously (and out of sync) modulating the volume of the alto and baritone lines, giving it an ebb and flow, a sense of call and response, that wasn’t in the original source material.
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
• February 5, 2020: The first session of the 15-week course I teach at the Academy of Art about the role of sound in the media landscape.
• April 15, 2020: A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the forthcoming 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.)
• December 13, 2020: This day marks the 24th anniversary of Disquiet.com.
• January 7, 2021: This day marks the 9th 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.
• At least two live group concerts by Disquiet Junto members in the San Francisco Bay Area are in the works for 2020.
• I have liner notes for a musician's solo album and an essay in a book about an art event due out. I'll announce as the release dates come into focus.
• 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.
• 0472 / Jam Time (1 of 3) / The Assignment: Record the first third of a trio that others will complete.
• 0471 / Phase Transition / The Assignment: The Assignment: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something with it.
• 0470 / Calendar View / The Assignment: Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen (or more) super-brief segments.
• 0469 / [Missing in Caption] / The Assignment: Make music that pushes the constraints of descriptive television captions.
• 0468 / Mirror Rorrim / The Assignment: Create a new persona for yourself, and record a duet together.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 472 consecutive weeks to date.
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