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

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Monthly Archives: August 2022

Disquiet Junto Project 0554: Cage Chord

The Assignment: Riff on a chord by John Cage.

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 the end of the day Monday, August 15, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0554: Cage Chord
The Assignment: Riff on a chord by John Cage.

This project is the third of three that are being done in collaboration with the 2022 Musikfestival Bern, which will be held in Switzerland from September 7 through 11. The topic this year is “unvermittelt,” which is a little tricky to translate. Literally it’s “unmediated,” but it can also mean “sudden,” “abrupt,” or “immediate.”

We are working at the invitation of Tobias Reber, an early Junto participant, who is in charge of the educational activities of the festival. This is the fourth year in a row that the Junto has collaborated with Musikfestival Bern.

Select recordings resulting from these three Disquiet Junto projects will be played and displayed throughout the festival.

Step 1: Consider this chord:

E5
A#4
E4
D#4
Db3
C3

If MIDI is of use to you, here is a link to the chord in a MIDI file:

https://disquiet.com/0554-midi

Step 2: You might read up a bit about the source of the chord, the piece “Organ²/ASLSP” by John Cage. Cage desired the piece to be played “As Slow As Possible.” Currently it is being performed in Halberstadt, Germany, on a special organ that will play it for a total of 639 years. It’s been going for 21 years so far, and is at this moment playing the above chord. Read up here:

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-02-04/john-cage-organ-slow-as-possible-halberstadt-germany

Step 3: Produce a loopable drone (duration between one and three minutes) of your own based on that chord.

Note: Submitted drones will be sequenced into one large drone piece to be played at the Cage Room, a pop-up workshop and exhibition space of the festival at Progr, Bern, Switzerland.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0554” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0554” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

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

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0554-cage-chord/

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

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #DisquietJunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Step 8: Also join in the discussion on the Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to [email protected] for Slack inclusion.

Note: Please post one track for this weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, August 15, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 11, 2022.

Length: The length should be between one and three minutes.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0554” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, 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 always best to set your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 554th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Cage Chord (The Assignment: Riff on a chord by John Cage) — at: https://disquiet.com/0554/

Thanks to Tobias Reber and Musikfestival Bern for collaboration on this project. More on the festival at:

https://www.musikfestivalbern.ch/
https://www.instagram.com/musikfestival_bern
https://www.facebook.com/musikfestivalbern

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0554-cage-chord/

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Slices of Time

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

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This Week in Sound: Rating the Pronunciation

A lightly annotated clipping service

These sound-studies highlights of the week are lightly adapted from the August 8, 2022, issue of the free Disquiet.com weekly email newsletter This Week in Sound: tinyletter.com/disquiet.

As always, if you find sonic news of interest, please share it with me, and (except with the most widespread of news items) I’ll credit you should I mention it here.

“The call of the corncrake — a small, shy bird related to the coot — is harsh and monotonous, yet for older generations it was a beloved sound of summer in Ireland, evoking wistful memories of warm weather, hay making and romantic nights.” ➔ nytimes.com

“Twitter is developing an updated version of its audio chat rooms product known as Spaces. … [S]creenshots of one of the earlier versions of this test include what appear to be thematic audio stations as well as a personalized audio digest.” ➔ techcrunch.com

Report from Mukono, Uganda: “[A Mukono municipal environment officer] accuses born-again churches of organizing open air night crusades that cause a lot of noise pollution in the area affecting locals but the Officer in Charge (OC) of the Mukono Police Division Environment Unit, Mr Moses Byamukama defends the churches saying ‘they are exercising their fundamental right of freedom of worship.’” ➔ monitor.co.ug

“In one vision of classrooms of the near future, young children will put on headsets and read sentences aloud as they navigate computer programs powered by speech-recognition technology. Behind the scenes, that technology will listen to each student and spit out dozens of lines of code, rating the pronunciation for each individual sound and word in the sentence and tracking the timing of every utterance. By the time each student reads an entire passage aloud, the software will have mapped where they stand on a few hundred finite skills needed to be a fluent reader.” ➔ wsj.com

“People could soon let their ears do the talking when using a virtual assistant thanks to an ear-reading device. When we speak or mouth words, our facial muscles move and our ear canals change shape. The new earphone technology detects those changes, allowing people to issue silent speech commands.” ➔ newscientist.com

John McWhorter, a New York Times opinion writer, connects the rise of the word “satisfying” to another popular phenomenon: “The inception seems to have been a proliferation, starting several years ago, of online videos exploring A.S.M.R. — autonomous sensory meridian response — as a kind of low-grade euphoria one can achieve from various, often mundane experiences such as hearing book pages turned, having one’s hair combed, or listening to repetitive sounds such as finger tapping or whispering.” ➔ nytimes.com (Thanks, Rich Pettus!)

A web browser tool for aspiring synesthetes: “What if you can hear your painting? Turn your paint brush into musical instruments and compose on sensorial canvases!” ➔ getrevue.co (Thanks, Rob Walker!)

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Sound Ledger¹ (Voice Camouflage, Neural Voices)

Audio culture by the numbers

68.9: The percent of increased errors in transcriptions for voices using “Neural Voice Camouflage” privacy technology

20,843: The number of consecutive hours that Lofi Girl broadcast on YouTube before the account was, temporarily (for different reasons), taken down

330: The number of neural voices (in over 110 languages) provided by Microsoft’s Azure platform

________
¹Footnotes

Camouflage: science.org. Lofi: arstechnica.com. Azure: fastcompany.com

Originally published in the August 8, 2022, edition of the This Week in Sound email newsletter. Get it in your inbox via tinyletter.com/disquiet.

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Current Favorites: Tuscany, Los Angeles, Prague

Another round of Instagram favorites

Like last week’s round-up, this post is a reminder of some of the inspiring music housed at Instagram. It’s also the latest in a series of occasional answers to a frequent question: “What have you been listening to lately?” These are annotated, albeit lightly, because I don’t like reposting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them.

▰ Tuscany, Italy-based Federico Chiesa, who goes by Oora (“pronounced like Aura”), at instagram.com/ooramusic, shared a live sequence of tender, lush synthesizer mood music.

Sarah Belle Reid (instagram.com/sarahbellereid), based in Los Angeles, does incredible things with her horn, processed live by racks of synthesizer modules. As she explains, “I am constantly exploring ways to add breath and organic motion into my synth patches, looking for ways to make my oscillators blend with and play off of my trumpet more, and so on.”

▰ Thinking too much about the potential for something akin to a proper “metaverse” can diminish the melding of physical and virtual already in full flower. This video by Prague-based Digiklvb (instagram.com/digiklvb) combines the synthesizer seen in real life with an overlayed image that is produced by the same system. Yes, these don’t appear in the “real world” as such, except through post-production editing, but I think the increasing prominence of such combinations is a glimpse into how musicians like Digiklvb experience such work as they produce it.

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