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.

Shuttlecock/ver10

An ersatz AFX sighting

When your very cheap badminton racket looks like Aphex Twin merchandise.

And because the internet can be a confusingly small place, none other than Paul Nicholson, the graphic designer of Aphex Twin’s famed logo, joked on my Facebook post of this same photo: “When my wife hears me playing Aphex Twin, she always says, ‘What a racket!'”

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Carl Stone & the Sound of Japan

From an interview by Katherine Whatley in today's Japan Times

“I love the soundscape here. First of all, the fact that it’s changing all the time,” Stone says of his desire to remain in Tokyo. “There’s an ecology of sound here. A sound that exists now might be gone in five, 10 years. Just as the sounds I recorded when I was here in the beginning of the Heisei Era (1989-2019) don’t exist anymore. For example, there was a time when there weren’t automatic ticket gates. There was a line of men punching your little ticket. A big station had 20 people lined up in a row. It was a great sound.”

That’s from a great profile of the composer-performer Carl Stone in today’s Japan Times. Titled “Carl Stone: Plugging into the sounds of the changing city” and conducted by Katherine Whatley, it provides a thorough overview of his life and work, written with a local audience in mind, “local” meaning Japanese, because the Los Angeles native has lived in the country for roughly two decades.

I’ve admired his work at least since I first saw him perform in New Orleans many years ago, likely earlier, and I wrote liner notes for a 2016 album of his archival works (Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties on the Unseen Worlds label). I’ve shared meals with him (a meaningful statement where he’s concerned, since he often titles his compositions after restaurants he favors; the late, legendary food critic Jonathan Gold, an old friend of Stone’s, wrote liner notes for the same album I did), and I have a review coming out in The Wire of the recent San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, which Stone headlined.

And yet still, I found his comments about the sound of place to provide a new fresh vantage on a composer whose work is so multifaceted. Here’s another tasty snippet, one with which the Whatley article closes:

“People talk about Tokyo or Ueno Station in the Meiji Era (1868-1912) with everyone wearing geta or zori (traditional Japanese sandals). Think of the reverberations. I kind of regret that I never got a chance to hear that.”

Read the full piece at japantimes.co.jp.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0403: Filter Box

The Assignment: Record music a piece of music in which a sequence of sounds is treated by the same filter or process.

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, September 23, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 19, 2019.

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 0403: Filter Box
The Assignment: Record music a piece of music in which a sequence of sounds is treated by the same filter or process.

Step 1: Come up with a filter or process that might be applied to a wide variety of sounds. It could be a preset in a piece of equipment, or a matter of recording something through a closed door. It’s up to you and your ears and your imagination.

Step 2: Select a sequence of sounds that are unrelated. The number is up to you, but between a half dozen and a dozen is recommended.

Step 3: Create a recording that consists of the sounds from Step 2 being played in sequence, with little to no overlap, with each sound being treated by the filter or process from Step 1.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0403” (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 “disquiet0403” (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-0403-filter-box/

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, September 23, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 19, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0403” 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 403rd weekly Disquiet Junto project — Filter Box / The Assignment: Record music a piece of music in which a sequence of sounds is treated by the same filter or process — at:

https://disquiet.com/0403/

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-0403-filter-box/

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

Photo used (cropped, text added) thanks to a Creative Commons license. Photo by Thorsten Sideb0ard:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sideb0ard/7360670580/

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

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Disquiet Junto Project 0402: Music for Tasks

The Assignment: Record music intended as the backdrop/soundtrack to a chore.

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, September 16, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 12, 2019.

Tracks will be add 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 0402: Music for Tasks
The Assignment: Record music intended as the backdrop/soundtrack to a chore.

Step 1: Think of chores or tasks you are responsible for regularly that don’t take a huge amount of time, like doing the dishes, or weeding the garden, or walking the dog.

Step 2: Select out of the list resulting from Step 1 a single chore or task, for which you will, in this project, create a score or sonic backdrop.

Step 3: Take a sonic inventory of the experience of doing the chore or task from Step 2. This means making a list of the various sounds inherent in the activity, and thinking about how they work together collectively.

Step 4: Record an original piece of music/sound that serves as a backdrop/soundtrack to the activity you selected in Step 2 informed by the theorizing you accomplished in Step 3. (The length is up to you. It should be the length of however long the task generally takes.)

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0402” (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 “disquiet0402” (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-0402-music-for-tasks/

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, September 16, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 12, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you. It should be the length of however long the task generally takes.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0402” 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 402nd weekly Disquiet Junto project — Music for Tasks / The Assignment: Record music intended as the backdrop/soundtrack to a chore — at:

https://disquiet.com/0402/

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-0402-music-for-tasks/

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

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Duet with Washing Machine

A Junto video from Jason Richardson

We live with our machines. These machines are small and large, ranging from light switches to refrigerators, from doorbells to dishwashers, from laptops to digital assistants. We know these machines. We know them even if we don’t pay attention to them. We know them through lived experience, which is the deepest form of learning. And among other things, we know their sonic natures, that which constitutes their unique characteristics, how they participate in, contribute to, the ever-shifting suite of noises that is the domestic soundscape, and how their contributions change as a result of the hour, the season, the humidity, the context. This week in the Disquiet Junto, the weekly music community based on shared compositional prompts, musicians are using such sounds, such noises, by exploring them for their rhythmic potential (disquiet.com/0401). In many cases, no doubt, these will not be happenstance sounds but familiar ones. The Junto projects are brief, barely four days between when the prompt is emailed out and the final deadline occurs. Given the creative constraints, participants will generally call upon familiar resources. Take Jason Richarson, the prolific and longtime Junto participant, who elected to use his washing machine as his backing track. He plays against it like he has its rhythms in his blood. He can anticipate its rough tumble, and meets it as an equal partner.

Track originally posted at Jason Richardson’s YouTube channel. He has some additional notes about the recording on his website, bassling.blogspot.com. Ironically, it was raining the day he wanted to do the project, so he had to use a recording of the machine he made several years ago.

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