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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Synth Learning: Distant Train Vapor Trail Fragments

Reworking a Wyoming field recording

This is a single field recording of a train horn (source below) being warped simultaneously in various ways by my modular synthesizer. One strand is going through a reverb, another through granular synthesis, another through a lo-fi looper, and another through a spectral filter, and then there’s the unadulterated line, and all of those are being warped or tweaked themselves. The shape of the overall sound, for example, is affecting the density of the granular synthesis. Various LFOs are adjusting the relative prominence of different elements, and other aspects such as the size of the reverb.

The source audio is from freesound.org. It is a distant train horn recorded by Andy Brannan in Wyoming.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0383: Interstellar Ambience

The Assignment: Record the sound of an apartment on a large interstellar ship.

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, May 6, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, May 2, 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 0383: Interstellar Ambience
The Assignment: Record the sound of an apartment on a large interstellar ship.

Step 1: The goal is to record an artificial rendering of background ambient sound. The inspiration is, if you’re familiar with them, those YouTube videos in which people have stitched together loops of ambience extracted from movies like Blade Runner, anime like Ghost in a Shell, and TV shows like Star Trek. The issue to consider is that many (though not all) of those YouTube future-ambience videos consist of short tight loops that repeat for hours, which isn’t how actual ambient sound generally proceeds. There are elements to a given place’s soundscape that ebb and flow, shift and morph, as time proceeds, and many of the YouTube sci-fi film-ambience videos lack that quality.

Step 2: Create and record the sound of a future interior space, specifically an apartment on a large interstellar ship. Make the recording fairly long, half an hour if possible. Imagine it will be played on loop for a longer period of time. (The word “apartment” is being used instead of “compartment” to make it clear this is a personal space.)

Bonus Option: You needn’t create your work as a fixed recording. If you have the means to code a generative system, that is certainly an option.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0383” (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 “disquiet0383” (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-0383-interstellar-ambience/

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, May 6, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you. The longer the better, in this case (a rarity for a Junto project).

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0383” 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 383rd weekly Disquiet Junto project — Interstellar Ambience / The Assignment: Record the sound of an apartment in a large interstellar ship — at:

https://disquiet.com/0383/

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-0383-interstellar-ambience/

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

Image associated with this project adapted (cropped, colors changed, text added, cut’n’paste) thanks to a Creative Commons license from a photo credited to Pedro Moura Pinheiro:

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

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

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Disquiet Junto Project 0382: Understanding McLuhan

The Assignment: Remix samples of an interview with Eric McLuhan on his father and media theory.

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, April 29, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 25, 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 0382: Understanding McLuhan
The Assignment: Remix samples of an interview with Eric McLuhan on his father and media theory.

This project is being done in coordination with Fabricatorz Foundation and ONG Record’s O.N.G.2 experiential club night on Saturday, April 27, in Saint Louis. Many thanks to Jon Phillips for having made this project happen.

Step 1: Download and listen to the provided samples of Eric McLuhan, son of media theorist Marshall McLuhan, at this URL. The following samples are made from a radio interview of Eric McLuhan about his father and media theory. The McLuhan Institute authorized use (for this one-time artistic, non-commercial purpose). Have fun!

https://ong.gg/saintmcluhan/junto

Step 2: Create an original piece of music employing one or more of those samples. Consider the theme of “media ecology” as you do so.

Background: Marshall McLuhan developed the concepts of media theory and media ecology in his seminal work Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964). Media ecology is the study of media, technology, and communication and how they affect human environments. Media ecology refers to the context and the environment in which a medium is used. Marshall McLuhan’s work on media began in St. Louis while he taught at Saint Louis University from 1937-1944.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0382” (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 “disquiet0382” (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-0382-understanding-mcluhan/

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, April 29, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0382” 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: When applying a license, such as a copyright or Creative Commons license, keep in mind that these tracks are for non-commercial purposes only, and only for this project.

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 382nd weekly Disquiet Junto project — Understanding McLuhan / The Assignment: Remix samples of an interview with Eric McLuhan on his father and media theory — at:

https://disquiet.com/0382/

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-0382-understanding-mcluhan/

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

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Disquiet Junto Project 0381: Shared System

The Assignment: make music using a free software synth assembled by Scanner.

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, April 22, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 18, 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 0381: Shared System
The Assignment: make music using a free software synth assembled by Scanner.

Step 1: This week’s project involves all participants working with the same instrument. The instrument is a specific set of modules in a free software synthesizer. The software is Reaktor Blocks Base. It comes as part of the free Reaktor Komplete Start, which is available here:

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/bundles/komplete-start/

(Certainly if you’d prefer to emulate this week’s “shared system” using VCV Rack, or another piece of software, or your own hardware modules, that is totally fine.)

Step 2: The musician Scanner (aka Robin Rimbaud) graciously agreed to create a shared system based on Reaktor Blocks Base. It consists of these modules:

Bento Box Osc
Bento Box SVF
Bento Box VCA
Bento Box Mix
Bento Box Env
Bento Box LFO
Bento Box S&H
Bento Box 4 Mods

Here is some background on Scanner’s thought process in the development of this system: I think it would be interesting to present a limited package of blocks they can use, and to not use a traditional sequencer. Instead, people would consider how an LFO or modulation can move a sound or series of sounds around. (In some sense, this is a more West Coast than East Coast approach.) I’m concerned if we include the sequencer then it would suggest lots of decent pattern-oriented music wrapped around a similar theme or approach. This idea of such reductionism is basically about avoiding the obvious in these encounters and leaving the creator to think a little more than they might have to otherwise. It could perhaps be reduced further, but it’s enough to get people shaping sounds and creating shapes. Any less and it could potentially be too limiting and uninspiring. It’s truly a Bento Box Delight. I presume there’s a modest learning curve for some users, but there’s a guide that seems very clear on the NI website.

Step 3: Create a piece of music using only the modules (one of each) as described in Step 2 above.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0381” (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 “disquiet0381” (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-0381-shared-system/

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, April 22, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 18, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0381” 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 381st weekly Disquiet Junto project — Shared System / The Assignment: make music using a free software synth assembled by Scanner — at:

https://disquiet.com/0381/

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-0381-shared-system/

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

Image associated with this project adapted (cropped, colors changed, text added, cut’n’paste) thanks to a Creative Commons license from a photo credited to Ananabanana:

https://flic.kr/p/7KW67U

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

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Disquiet Junto Project 0380: Ears Only

The Assignment: Record a piece of music for an audience of one.

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, April 15, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0380: Ears Only
The Assignment: Record a piece of music for an audience of one.

Just one step this week:

Step 1: Record a piece of music for someone in particular. (You don’t need to identify who the person is. You alone need to know the person for whom you are composing.)

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0380” (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 “disquiet0380” (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-0380-ears-only/

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, April 15, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0380” 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 380th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Ears Only / The Assignment: Record a piece of music for an audience of one — at:

https://disquiet.com/0380/

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-0380-ears-only/

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

Image associated with this project adapted (cropped, colors changed, text added, cut’n’paste) thanks to a Creative Commons license from a photo credited to Andrew West:

https://flic.kr/p/2bg8zN

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

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