My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

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Magenta Haze

Dave Seidel channels La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela

If you’re familiar with the work of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, then the color alone of Dave Seidel’s video is a dead giveaway right from the start. The dreamy magenta is the duo’s signature color, a common theme in their wardrobe and installations alike. Here the magenta is a pale shadow cast on Seidel’s equipment as he unveils ream after ream of raga-like drones. The performance is titled “For LMY and MZ” (note the initials), and he explains in an accompanying text that it draws inspiration from some central works of theirs. This is both deeply beautiful and deep work, the beading, undulating patterns shifting and cycling in slow motion.

This is the latest video I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live performance of ambient music. Video originally posted to Seidel’s YouTube page. More from Seidel (aka Mysterybear) at mysterybear.net.

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Disquietude Podcast Episode 0004

Ambient music by Belly Full of Stars, Christian Carrière, Femi Shonug​a-Flem​ing, Jeff Rona, Jostijn Ligtvoet, and Patricia Wolf, plus interviews and commentary

This is the fourth episode of the Disquietude podcast of ambient electronic music.

The goal of the Disquietude podcast is to collect adventurous work in the field of ambient electronic music. What follows is all music that captured my imagination, and I hope that it appeals to your imagination as well.

All six tracks of music are featured with the permission of the individual artists. Below is the structure of the episode with time codes for the tracks, the spoken annotation of the tracks, interviews with two of the musicians (Jeff Rona and Patricia Wolf), and a brief essay about voice assistants.

02:07 Belly Full of Stars’ “Pattern 5”

06:20 Christian Carrière’s “Sacred Acoustics T004”

08:02 Femi Shonuga-Fleming’s “Ambient Live Looping Drone with Eurorack and Elektron Octatrack”

15:50 Jeff Rona’s “Vapor 6”

23:37 Jostijn Ligtvoet’s “Twilight and Fire”

32:02 Patricia Wolf’s “Snow Falling on Rough Horsetail and Dead Oak Leaves”

33:28 Annotation Begins

35:25 Patricia Wolf Interview

43:23 Jeff Rona Interview

46:11 “OK, Giggle”

48:11 Credits

49:10 Closing Music

49:36 End

All the music here happens to be by solo musicians. These consist of Belly Full of Stars (aka Kim Rueger), of Nashville, Tennessee; Christian Carrière, based in Montréal, Québec; Femi Shonuga-Fleming, a RISD student based in New York; Jeff Rona, a favorite film composer of mine, who is based in Los Angeles; Jostijn Ligtvoet, a cellist based in the Netherlands; and Patricia Wolf, who provided a wintry field recording from near where she lives in Portland, Oregon.

All the music heard here is instrumental, which is to say there is no prominent vocal part – or at least there’s no intelligible vocal part – and thus it’s suitable for background listening. It’s all ambient, which is to say it’s also suitable for close, concentrated listening. That dual sense of potential uses, both inattentive and attentive, both background and foreground, is the hallmark of fine ambient music.

Belly Full of Stars’ “Pattern 5” is off the album Aura: triplicaterecords.bandcamp.com.

Christian Carrière’s “Sacred Acoustics T004” first appeared on his SoundCloud account, soundcloud.com/christiancarriere/.

Femi Shonuga-Fleming’s “Ambient Live Looping Drone with Eurorack and Elektron Octatrack” first appeared on YouTube.

Jeff Rona’s “Vapor 6” is from his forthcoming album, Vapor, due out March 5, 2021.

Jostijn Ligtvoet’s “Twilight and Fire” first appeared, at roughly twice the length heard here, on YouTube.

Patricia Wolf’s “Snow Falling on Rough Horsetail and Dead Oak Leaves” first appeared on her SoundCloud account, soundcloud.com/patriciawolf_music

Thanks for listening.

Produced and hosted by Marc Weidenbaum. Disquietude theme music by Jimmy Kipple, with vocal by Paula Daunt. Logo by Boon Design.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0478: Collage of Collages

The Assignment: Make a collage that will become part of a larger collage.

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, March 1, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

Tracks will be added to the playlist for the duration of the project.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0478: Collage of Collages
The Assignment: Make a collage that will become part of a larger collage.

Step 1: Create a “musical collage,” however you might define it, likely using the equivalent of cut and paste. When doing so, consider the sense in which your collage might itself become part of a subsequent collage.

Step 2: If you’d like your piece excerpted for a broadcast on the Austrian community radio show Kopfkino (translated: “cinema in the head,” and also available as a podcast) by Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka, make sure your track is set for download when you post it.

Background: Margarethe has offered to produce an online segment in collaboration with the Disquiet Junto. The theme of the Kopfkino episode will be “collage.” The episode will itself be a collage of tracks produced in this week’s Junto project.

More on Kopfkino at: https://cba.fro.at/series/kopfkino

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0478” (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 “disquiet0478” (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 tracks in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0478-collage-of-collages/

Step 5: Annotate your tracks 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.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, March 1, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

Length: The length is up to you. (With collages, relative density is arguably as important as length.)

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0478” 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 478th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Collage of Collages (The Assignment: Make a collage that will become part of a larger collage.) — at:

https://disquiet.com/0478/

The project is a collaboration with the radio show Kopfkino, initiated by Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka. More on Kopfkino at:

https://cba.fro.at/series/kopfkino

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-0478-collage-of-collages/

There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

Image associated with this project is by the late Jeffrey Melton (a very early Junto participant), and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:

https://flic.kr/p/4zoz46

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

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Current Favorites: Synth, Cello, Code

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them.

▰ Jostijn Ligtvoet’s “Twilight and Fire” combines live cello with synthesizer accompaniment, the blinking lights matching his four strings drone for drone.

▰ I caught Chiho Oka’s set during the recent No Bounds Festival event (a livestream), hosted by algorave figure Alex McLean, and several of the pieces she performed then are on her forthcoming album, Manipulating Automated Manipulated Automation. The record isn’t due out until February 28, but four tracks are already streaming, and they evidence the combination of rigor, humor, and pathos she brings to her work.

▰ Omri Cohen’s Meditation Spores is deep-synthesis ambient, brimming with digital artifice, and vibrant in its doleful melodic lines and tonal processing.

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Fleming’s Automated Fantasia

Illuminated by a cathode-ray tube

Femi Fleming’s is a YouTube channel to keep track of. It’s regularly updated with electronic music that pushes at different areas, some noise, some beat-oriented, a lot of atmospheres. In another era something like this, which falls in the atmosphere zone, might have been titled “Minuet for Cello and Piano,” but the year is 2021 and the available instrumental colors have broadened considerably. So instead, this is “Ambient Live Looping Drone with Eurorack and Elektron Octatrack.” Illuminated by a cathode-ray tube TV set to glitchily stun, the devices do all the work while Fleming remains off camera, having set it up, pressed go, and removed himself from the mise en scène. Dense tones collide like nothing so much as a fantasia of big city traffic, all muted honking and the echo of tall boulevards. It begins and ends suddenly, suggesting both it’s part of a bigger work, and also that the segment is of something automated that Fleming determined showed the overall setup in its best light.

This is the latest video I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live performance of ambient music. Video originally posted at YouTube. More from Fleming, a student at RISD, at instagram.com/femifleming.

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