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.

The Echoing Guitar of Clara Engel

Exploring the variations on Eleven Passages

The full Eleven Passages album from Clara Engel arrived on July 27th, but in the buildup to its release there were two excellent tracks freely available via the Bandcamp page of the releasing record label, Polar Seas Recordings. I spent a lot of time with both tracks, “You’re Not Wrong” and “All Kinds of Rain,” which showcase Engel’s penchant for heavily echoing electric guitar. Simple melodies played with deep attention emerge from thick bogs of their own lush overtones. The music is widescreen cinematic and, at the same time, closely felt. Fans of the country-infused movie scores of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis will appreciate the music. The former track is an elegantly stated single-note lead performed with every ounce of its phrasing emphasized, even as ghostly echoes shudder around it. The latter track explores a more complex approach to composition, the background tonalities given space to reveal their own intricacies.

Upon its release, the album’s other nine tracks came into focus. They range from a semi-abstract re-arrangement of “Hush, Little Baby” to an instrumental setting for a Paul Celan poem to plaintive efforts on the acoustic banjolele. A key track is “Walking in a Blizzard,” which has a reverberating guitar line that does David Lynch and Roy Orbison proud. In it, storm clouds circle while the melody holds the threat at bay.

Get the full release at polarseasrecordings.bandcamp.com. Engel is based in Toronto, Canada, as is Polar Seas. More from Engel at claraengel.bandcamp.com and twitter.com/clara_engel.

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

Stasis Report: Pariah ✚ Orquesta De Las Nubes ✚ More

Five new tracks added to the ambient Spotify playlist as of August 5, 2018

The latest update to my Stasis Report ambient-music playlist on Spotify, on Sunday, August 5, added the following five tracks.

✚ “Before” from Occasus by Goldmund, on Western Vinyl: goldmund.bandcamp.com.

✚ “Pith” from Here from Where We Are by Pariah, on Houndstooth: pariahuk.bandcamp.com.

✚ “Para Que Pasen Las Termitas” The Order of Change by Orquesta De Las Nubes, on Music from Memory: www.musicfrommemory.com.

✚ “The Third Stone” from Song Lines by Simon McCorry, on Naviar Records: naviarrecords.bandcamp.com.

✚ “Missing” from Expanses (Teenage Synthstrumentals) by Ethan Gold, on Electrik Gold.

Some previous Stasis Report tracks were removed to make room for these, keeping the playlist length to roughly an hour and a half. Those tracks are now in the Stasis Archives playlist.

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

Disquiet Junto Project 0344: Careful Symmetries

The Assignment: Explore palindromes in musical form.

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 Monday, August 6, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, August 2, 2018.

Tracks added to the above 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 0344: Careful Symmetries
The Assignment: Explore palindromes in musical form.

Step 1: Consider how palindromes might be expressed in sound.

Step 2: Compose a piece of music employing multiple palindromes.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0344” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0344” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation a project playlist.

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

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

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0344-careful-symmetries/

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

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Other Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, August 6, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, August 2, 2018.

Length: The length of your track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0344” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and 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 preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 344th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Careful Symmetries: The Assignment: Explore palindromes in musical form) at:

https://disquiet.com/0344/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0344-careful-symmetries/

There’s also a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet to join in.

Image associated with this project is by Sheldon Wood and used via Flickr thanks to a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/ct4BG

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

Tags: , , / Leave a comment ]

Stasis Report: Éliane Radigue ✚ Daniel Aged ✚ More

Six new tracks added to the ambient Spotify playlist as of July 29, 2018

The latest update to my Stasis Report ambient-music playlist on Spotify, on Sunday, July 29, added the following six tracks. I’m really doing my best to keep this as restrained as possible. In recent years, the word “ambient” has come to mean very little in many contexts — in some cases it virtually just means “no voice,” or “quieter than regular pop music.” Sometimes it feels like a tag that someone has applied, whether lazily or cynically, out of a perception that it lends commercial or cultural viability. In any cast, this music in this ongoing playlist is intended as material that aspires to a state of stasis. Still, from the more overt melodic aspects of the Masayoshi Fujita track here to the harsher peaks of the Éliane Radigue, even that aspiration is being tested.

✚ “Occam River I” is the opening track of the album Occam Ocean Vol. 1, compositions by Éliane Radigue, featuring Rhodri Davies (harp), Carol Robinson (reeds), and Julia Eckhardt (viola): soundohm.com. Released last year on the Shiiin label. It was released last year.

✚ “Bass.int” and “Breath2” are both off the self-titled new album from Daniel Aged.

✚ “Clouds” is from Music for Nine Postcards, a 1982 album by Hiroshi Yoshimura reissued last year on Empire of Signs: empireofsigns.com.

✚ “Fog” is off Book of Life, the new album from Masayoshi Fujita on Erased Tapes: erasedtapes.com.

✚ “Rebreather” is from Semblance, the new record from Forma, on Kranky Records: brainwashed.com.

Some previous Stasis Report tracks were removed to make room for these, keeping the playlist length to roughly an hour and a half. Those tracks are now in the Stasis Archives playlist.

Tags: , , / Leave a comment ]

Disquiet Junto Project 0343: Big Pun

The Assignment: What does a musical pun sound like?

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 Monday, July 30, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, July 26, 2018.

Tracks added to the above 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 0343: Big Pun
The Assignment: What does a musical pun sound like?

Major (and minor) thanks to Ian Joyce for proposing this project.

Step 1: Record a piece of music that is a musical pun.

Step 2: Explain your joke for those of us who didn’t get it.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0343” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0343” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation a project playlist.

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

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

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0343-big-pun/

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

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Other Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, July 30, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, July 26, 2018.

Length: The length of your track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0343” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and 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 preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 343rd weekly Disquiet Junto project (Disquiet Junto Project 0343 / Big Pun: The Assignment: What does a musical pun sound like?) at:

https://disquiet.com/0343/

Major (and minor) thanks to Ian Joyce for proposing this project.

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0343-big-pun/

There’s also a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet to join in.

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]