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Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Disquiet.com 25th Anniversary Countdown (1 of 13): Pauline Oliveros

An archival ambient advent calendar from December 1st – 13th, 2021

A week from this coming Monday — which is to say, December 13, 2021 — will mark the 25th anniversary of Disquiet.com. I’ll post one article highlight per day between now and then. The collection will serve as an archival ambient advent calendar. First up: a 1996 interview I did with the great musician, thinker, and teacher Pauline Oliveros:

I interviewed Oliveros several times and we corresponded a bit, as well. Shortly before she died in 2016, the two of us chatted via Facebook Messenger about her proposing a project for the Disquiet Junto music community. Clearly it never got to happen. Nonetheless, many Junto projects evidence her guiding influence: her curiosity, her interest in procedure, her humor, her emphasis on collaboration, and her trademark attention to deep listening.

After the first time I interviewed her, I sent her a gift of ECM CDs recorded by Dino Saluzzi, the Argentinian bandoneon player, with whom she wasn’t yet familiar. She later told me she enjoyed them. I always dreamed of a collaboration between the two musicians. That would have been something.

I’ve initiated this Disquiet.com 25th anniversary countdown with the Oliveros piece because she was responsible for rewiring my brain, and because the interview occurred in 1996, the same year I founded this website. The interview was for Tower Records’ Pulse! magazine, where I worked full-time as an editor from 1989 to 1996, and for which I later wrote freelance. I founded the website shortly after leaving Tower employment. Just a few months passed before I realized that I missed having a music publication that I felt was part of who I was. In the absence of one, I created one.

Image of Pauline Oliveros by Canticle via Wikipedia.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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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.

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    • 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.
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    • 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.
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  • 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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