New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • Disquiet.com F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

#Jamuary Is Happening

Join in

It’s Jamuary, which, if you take note of the switch from “n” to “m” in the month, helps explain why YouTube is even more jam-packed with uploaded music tracks than usual. Like National Novel Writing Month (which takes place each November) or the somewhat lesser-known February Album Writing Month (which helpfully follows on the creative sparks of Jamuary’s heels), but more performative, more in-the-moment, Jamuary is a celebration of musical activity to kick off each new year. Jamuary is, in many ways, what is best about hashtag culture — about the way a communal rallying cry can provide an asynchronous-but-coherent sense of dispersed collaborative experience.

By way of example, there’s this reworking of various samples by the musician who goes by Keurslager Kurt. Piano and other sounds are layered, filtered, looped, and otherwise tweaked on the Digitakt (from the Gothenburg, Sweden, company Elektron) over the course of six minutes. Kurt credits another musician, Oscillator Sink, for having introduced the technique employed. (Also credited is the source of the piano sample: the Leo Svirsky album River Without Banks.) Oscillator Sink explains in his own tutorial that what he’s doing is using the Digitakt for — rather than the standard triggering of beat samples on a clock — “manipulating an ongoing sonic event.” That approach lends both the Oscillator Sink and Keurslager Kurt pieces an ambient quality, one that emphasizes stasis and texture rather than rhythm and percussion.

Jamuary is by no means a YouTube-exclusive pastime. It’s flourishing on Instagram, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Twitter, and elsewhere.

This is the first video I’ve added this year to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live ambient performances. Video originally published at YouTube. More from Keurslager Kurt, who is based in Belgium, at keurslagerkurt.bandcamp.com and at tindie.com, which has a collection of synthesizer kits for the AE Modular system, including a take on the excellent Sloth, originally created by Non-Linear Circuits.

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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  • 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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