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

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

tag: copyleft

The Music Beneath Music for Airports

The hidden sonic curriculum of a modern classic

Be prepared to turn the volume up loud, very loud, because the sound is quiet, very quiet. The sound is surface noise from a vinyl record, and nothing else beyond that. Specifically, it is the surface noise — in the recording artist’s words, the “isolated crackle and surface noise” — of one of the classics in ambient music: the first track, “1/1,” off Brian Eno’s 1978 album Ambient 1: Music for Airports (“the original vinyl release,” we’re told).

What this is is the ambient beneath the ambient, the hidden sonic curriculum of a modern classic, all almost 17 minutes of it. It’s a piece titled “Vestigial Ambient 1” by the musician Ben Ponton. Listening to the sounds of the album provides not even a just-hovering-above-subaural hint of the source. There are simply clicks, tiny little pops, bits of aural dust, the sonic signature of vinyl, as the needle makes its circular course.

Filling the near void are thoughts about ambient music, its origins in the mid-1970s, and what “silence” meant then, both literally and metaphorically, versus what it does now, more than four full decades hence. I’ve long been of the mind that the arrival of the CD contributed greatly to the rise of ambient music, because the technology provided ready access to a silence that other formats, such as tape and vinyl, couldn’t dependably provide. Eno noted this himself, from a different angle, opting to put Thursday Afternoon out only on CD, so as not to interrupt its 61-minute runtime.

There is ambient music today that is sonically of a piece with the detritus that Ponton has unearthed. Music by Steve Roden and Alva Noto, among others, has aspired to this atmospsheric, pointillist mix of rhythmic precision and ambiguity, generally under the label of “microsound” or “lowercase” music. It’s helpful to remember, however, that when ambient was young, these sounds Ponton has shared were the backdrop. Ambient music eventually brought these sounds to the foreground, as subsequent generations of music explored the artistic potential, but first these sounds had to be relegated to the background.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/ben_ponton. Track found via a repost by Jimmy Kpple.

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Alvin & Garfunkel

Alvin Lucier's "I Am Sitting in a Room" x Simon and Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound"

I’m sitting in a railway station different from the one you are in now.

I’ve got a ticket to the resonant frequencies of the room.

On a tour of the room articulated by speech.

And every stop is neatly planned as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.

Tag: / Comment: 1 ]

Disquiet Junto Project 0351: Selected Insomniac Works Volume II

The Assignment: Rework some very quiet music by making it even more sedate.

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 24, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted just before noon, California time, on Thursday, September 20, 2018.

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 0351: Selected Insomniac Works Volume II
The Assignment: Rework some very quiet music by making it even more sedate.

Step 1: Last week, about 60 members of the Disquiet Junto recorded ambient music for the middle of the night. The specific request was to “Make very quiet music for very late at night for very fragile psyches.” This week, we’ll each select a track from last week and proceed to dial it down even further.

Step 2: Listen through the tracks from last week’s project, and choose the one whose ambience you want to employ in your track:

https://soundcloud.com/disquiet/sets/disquiet-junto-project-0350

In addition, there may be some other tracks from the project in the Lines discussions, here:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0350-selected-insomniac-works/

Step 3: Having chosen a track in Step 2 above, confirm that your chosen track is downloadable. If it isn’t, either get in touch with the musician who made it, or choose another track.

Step 4: Listen closely to the track you selected in Step 3. Consider what edges it has that might be smoothed out, what drama it has that might be subsumed. Consider how you might do such things while retaining something that is inherently listenable, should someone choose to turn up the volume and focus on it.

Step 5: Rework the track you selected in Steps 2 and 3 to achieve the goals that arose from Step 4.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0351” (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 “disquiet0351” (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-0351-selected-insomniac-works-volume-ii/

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, September 24, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted just before noon, California time, on Thursday, September 20, 2018.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0351” 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: Please 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).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information — as well as the name of the individual whose original track you’re reworking, and a link to that source track:

More on this 351st weekly Disquiet Junto project (Selected Insomniac Works Volume II / The Assignment: Rework some very quiet music by making it even more sedate) at:

https://disquiet.com/0351/

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-0351-selected-insomniac-works-volume-ii/

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

Image associated with this project is by Chris, used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/yfhgm

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

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Disquiet Junto Project 0347: Remix Remodel

The Assignment: Update a track by one Junto participant by adding beats from another Junto participant's imaginary drum machine.

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 27, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, August 23, 2018.

Tracks are 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 0347: Remix Remodel
The Assignment: Update a track by one Junto participant by adding beats from another Junto participant’s imaginary drum machine.

Major thanks to Matt Nish-Lapidus and Jason Wehmhoener for having helped put together this project.

Step 1: Two weeks ago in the Disquiet Junto, people made beats for their own imaginary drum machines. Last week in the Junto, people used other people’s beats from the prior project to make their own tracks. This week, the third week of this multi-part project, you’ll remix a track from the second week using beats from the first week.

Step 2: Listen through the tracks from last week, and choose the one you want to remix:

https://soundcloud.com/disquiet/sets/disquiet-junto-project-0346

In addition, there may be some other tracks from the project in the Lines discussions, here:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0346-drum-machinations/

Step 3: Listen through the tracks from the first week’s project, and choose the one whose beats you want to use in your remix of the track you selected in Step 2. The beats appear at the start of each of the participating tracks in the week’s SoundCloud playlist, here:

https://soundcloud.com/disquiet/sets/disquiet-junto-project-0345

In addition, there may be some other tracks from the project in the Lines discussions, here:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0345-sample-time/

Step 4: Having chosen tracks in Steps 2 and 3 above, confirm the tracks are downloadable. If one isn’t, either get in touch with the musician who made it, or choose another track.

Step 5: Remix/rework/remodel the track you selected in Step 2 with beats you selected in Step 3.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0347” (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 “disquiet0347” (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-0347-remix-remodel/

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 27, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, August 23, 2018.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0347” 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’s important for this project 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 following information — as well as the name of the individual whose beats you’re using, and a link to that source track:

More on this 347th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Remix Remodel / The Assignment: Update a track by one Junto participant by adding beats from another Junto participant’s imaginary drum machine) at:

https://disquiet.com/0347/

Major thanks to Matt Nish-Lapidus and Jason Wehmhoener for having helped put together this and the preceding two projects.

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-0347-remix-remodel/

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

Image associated with this project is by Bradjward, used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/9FEusR

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

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Disquiet Junto Project 0346: Drum Machinations

The Assignment: Make a beat with new drum machine sounds provided by other Junto musicians.

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 20, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, August 16, 2018.

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 0346: Drum Machinations
The Assignment: Make a beat with new drum machine sounds provided by other Junto musicians.

Major thanks to Matt Nish-Lapidus and Jason Wehmhoener for having helped put together this project.

Step 1: Last week in the Disquiet Junto, musicians made beats for their own imaginary drum machines. The beats appear at the start of each of the participating tracks in the week’s SoundCloud playlist, here:

https://soundcloud.com/disquiet/sets/disquiet-junto-project-0345

In addition, there may be some other tracks with beats in the Lines discussion, here:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0345-sample-time/

Step 2: Check out the tracks in Step 1. Choose one track whose opening drum machine sounds hold the most appeal for you. Then confirm the track is downloadable. If it isn’t, either get in touch with the musician who made it, or choose another track.

Step 3: Make an original piece of music employing the sounds from Step 2.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0346” (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 “disquiet0346” (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-0346-drum-machinations/

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 20, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, August 16, 2018.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0346” 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’s important for this project 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 following information — as well as the name of the individual whose beats you’re using, and a link to that source track:

More on this 346th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Drum Machinations / The Assignment: Make a beat with new drum machine sounds provided by other Junto musicians) at:

https://disquiet.com/0346/

Major thanks to Matt Nish-Lapidus and Jason Wehmhoener for having helped put together this and the preceding 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-0346-drum-machinations/

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

Image associated with this project is by Jeff Howard, used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/bCCEZi

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

Also tagged , , / / Leave a comment ]
  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

  • Field Notes

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  • Interviews

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  • Studio Journal

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  • Projects

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  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

    Recent Projects

  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 544 consecutive weeks to date.

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  • [email protected]

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    Recommended listening each weekday

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