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.

Synth Learning: “Food and Drone Administration”

Week two of Weekly Beats 2020

This is my second weeklybeats.com/disquiet track of the year. There’s noise in this recording that wasn’t intended, but such is the learning process, especially when you leave the recording to the last minute. Building on last week’s track, I made separate recordings of each of the three notes of two simple chords that shared one note between them. I wanted to have the effect of the piece slowly moving from the first chord to the second and back to the first, where the chords are as much their separate constituent parts as they are functioning chords. The chords are F/D/A and G/D/A#, the D slightly different between the two (I changed with pickup I used). The notes go from my electric guitar into my synth, which captures a grain in the Clouds module (actually the Antumbra Smog), let run for about 20 seconds each. I triggered the granular freeze in Clouds with a foot pedal via my Monome Walk module, which is handy, so to speak, when both hands are on your guitar. Each note is being muffled a bit after it comes out of Clouds. I put it through the Make Noise FXDf (fixed filter) and sent the lowest four bands of the spectrum into my mixer, and one of those is made slightly warbly courtesy of a sine wave from my Xaoc Batumi module that is being squished by my WMD S.P.O. module. I recorded and assembled this in Audacity on my laptop, using noise reduction and volume adjustment as part of the process. Oh, and the guitar goes through a reverb pedal, the Hardwire RV-7, before going into the synth.

Here’s a photo of the patch:

Track originally posted at weeklybeats.com/disquiet and soundcloud.com/disquiet.

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

A Night in the Dark

At the 2020 San Francisco Tape Music Festival

I spent two hours in the dark on Friday night listening to records with a hundred or so strangers. It was the first night of the 2020 installment of the San Francisco Tape Music Festival, held in the Victoria Theater in the Mission District. These weren’t records in the traditional sense of the word. They were multi-channel works (“fixed media,” in the curatorial parlance) taking advantage of the 24-speaker sound system installed for the series’ three evenings. And while the recordings were fixed, they weren’t entirely predetermined. For each, either its composer or a festival staff member handled the mixing board, and some of the installments involved more manipulation than others.

Highlights included Maggi Payne’s “Heat Shield” (white noise pushed to the breaking point in the pursuit of interstellar sounds), which she had performed live at the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival at the end of last year, as well as Matthew Barnard’s “Wache,” built from field recordings made around London.

Not all the works were contemporary. Reaching back to the origins of the consideration of the recording studio as an instrument unto itself, we heard Pierre Schaeffer’s “Étude aux casseroles [Pathétique],” composed on turntables back in 1948, and “Poem of Change” (1992) by Pauline Oliveros. Oliveros, active in the city’s experimental music scene starting in the late 1950s, co-founded the original San Francisco Tape Music Center in 1962. She died a little over three years ago, and it was quite moving to hear her voice, always larger than life, and all the more so after death, fill the hall.

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

Basinksi in Blue Light

Recorded at the Empty Bottle in Chicago

Close the work week out with a short segment of William Basinksi performing live at the Empty Bottle, the Chicago venue. Presumably this is from January 3 of this still very new year. Washed in bright blue light that manages to nonetheless get consumed by the club’s natural darkness (a metaphor not inappropriate for Basinski’s brand of quietly foreboding ambient soundscapes), he nudges his tools just out of view. The sound is all arching tones and rumbling crosscurrents and whistle-like flourishes that travel in slow motion, so intimate in combination that the set seems to reshape the whole concept of a concert venue.

Video originally posted at the YouTube channel of Seijin Lee.

Tags: , , / Leave a comment ]

Disquiet Junto Project 0419: Dischoir

The Assignment: Make music from 100+ vocal samples of held syllables by members of the Disquiet Junto.

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, January 13, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

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 0419: Dischoir
The Assignment: Make music from 100+ vocal samples of held syllables by members of the Disquiet Junto.

Step 1: Welcome to a large, asynchronous, distributed choir. The Dischoir consists of 113 samples of held syllables by over 50 participants in the Disquiet Junto. You can access the files at the following URL. Note that a few of them deviate from the initial instructions:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pkuvmzwcdz6dx27/AACUsNclLLqToLp-OJWVkaQXa?dl=0

Step 2: Create a piece of choral music from the provided samples. You are encouraged to make music that feels “human,” that feels like it is simply a lot of people singing at once. However, of course, the end result is up to you; you can and should mix, mash, and create as you please.

Background: This all came about as a result of something Alan Bland mentioned on the Junto Slack. He pointed out that my having misspelled Disquiet as “Disquier” in the December 19, 2019, project title made him think of “Dischoir,” a possible Junto project. Thanks to Alan and to Jason Wehmhoener for helping me think this project through, and to everyone (over 50 contributors) who sent in samples.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0419” (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 “disquiet0419” (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 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-0419-dischoir/

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.

Additional Details: Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, January 13, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you. Shorter is often better.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0419” 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: Consider setting 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 419th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Dischoir / The Assignment: Make music from 100+ vocal samples of held syllables by members of the Disquiet Junto — at:

https://disquiet.com/0419/

This all came about as a result of something Alan Bland mentioned on the Junto Slack. He pointed out that my having misspelled Disquiet as “Disquier” in the December 19, 2019, project title made him think of “Dischoir,” a possible Junto project. Thanks to Alan and to Jason Wehmhoener for helping me think this project through, and to everyone (over 50 contributors) who sent in samples.

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-0419-dischoir/

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

The image associated with this track is by Joe Lencioni, and is used (image cropped, text added) via Flickr thanks to a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/8Bk9Rx

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

Tags: , , , / Leave a comment ]

Listen Closely to Cory Ryan

But not too closely

If the sheer, highly detailed sound-design particulate and effortlessly modulated quietude of “states [excerpt]” lure you into the track’s warm embrace, do pay attention to its less comforting undercurrents. Heed the ghostly intonations about 30 seconds in, in addition to the muffled voices later on. Do this in part because by focusing on the discrete elements of Cory Ryan’s recording you’ll gain access to just how much is going on in what, by most objective measurements, is deep, subtle hush. Do so as well because just as the piece is coming to a close its less savory aspects rise to the surface in a burst of possessed-ham-radio noise that will knock your headphones off.

Like the track I wrote about yesterday, Midori Hirano’s “Remembrance,” Ryan’s takes common aspects of experimental sound, namely a stately silence and an attention to minute variations, and puts them in service of a larger, narrative-driven purpose.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/coryryancomposer. More from Ryan, who is based in New York City, at coryryancomposer.com.

Tag: / Leave a comment ]