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: installation

Disquiet.com 25th Anniversary Countdown (1 of 13): Pauline Oliveros

An archival ambient advent calendar from December 1st – 13th, 2021

A week from this coming Monday — which is to say, December 13, 2021 — will mark the 25th anniversary of Disquiet.com. I’ll post one article highlight per day between now and then. The collection will serve as an archival ambient advent calendar. First up: a 1996 interview I did with the great musician, thinker, and teacher Pauline Oliveros:

I interviewed Oliveros several times and we corresponded a bit, as well. Shortly before she died in 2016, the two of us chatted via Facebook Messenger about her proposing a project for the Disquiet Junto music community. Clearly it never got to happen. Nonetheless, many Junto projects evidence her guiding influence: her curiosity, her interest in procedure, her humor, her emphasis on collaboration, and her trademark attention to deep listening.

After the first time I interviewed her, I sent her a gift of ECM CDs recorded by Dino Saluzzi, the Argentinian bandoneon player, with whom she wasn’t yet familiar. She later told me she enjoyed them. I always dreamed of a collaboration between the two musicians. That would have been something.

I’ve initiated this Disquiet.com 25th anniversary countdown with the Oliveros piece because she was responsible for rewiring my brain, and because the interview occurred in 1996, the same year I founded this website. The interview was for Tower Records’ Pulse! magazine, where I worked full-time as an editor from 1989 to 1996, and for which I later wrote freelance. I founded the website shortly after leaving Tower employment. Just a few months passed before I realized that I missed having a music publication that I felt was part of who I was. In the absence of one, I created one.

Image of Pauline Oliveros by Canticle via Wikipedia.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0426: Cellular Chorale

The Assignment: Make music with the source audio from (and inspired by) a Patricia Wolf project.

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, March 2, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, February 27, 2020.

Tracks 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 0426: Cellular Chorale
The Assignment: Make music with the source audio from (and inspired by) a Patricia Wolf project.

Step 1: This is a collaboration with Patricia Wolf, based on her Cellular Chorus. Check it out at:

http://cellularchorus.com

Step 2: Download the 64 source tracks of the Cellular Chorus at:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/v0w2kl69ys9bzvx/AAC4Ydqg7KeGCuICxO6gIipEa?dl=0

Step 3: Create a new piece of music using only the source audio. Use as many of the samples as you’d like, but don’t add other sounds, or process the samples to any extent more than slightly altering the individual material.

Background. Patricia Wolf has said of her original piece: “Cellular Chorus is a work of spatialized aleatoric music using smartphones to bring people physically closer to have an interactive and collective experience with light and sound. The piece is played by each user visiting Cellular Chorus on their smartphones. … The sounds I made are meant to harmonize. There is no right or wrong way to play them. The intention of this piece is to repurpose your smartphone for deep listening, creative experimentation, and to immerse groups of people in a sound and light environment with face to face interactions.”

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0426” (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 “disquiet0426” (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-0426-cellular-chorale/

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, March 2, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, February 27, 2020.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0426” 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 426th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Cellular Chorale / The Assignment: Make music with the source audio from (and inspired by) a Patricia Wolf project — at:

https://disquiet.com/0426/

Thanks to Patricia Wolf for collaborating on this project.

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

More on Wolf’s Cellular Chorus at:

https://www.cellularchorus.com/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

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

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0426-cellular-chorale/

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

The image associated with this project is a still from a video, provided by Patricia Wolf, of a Cellular Chorus event.

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Join a Cellular Chorus

At the invitation of Patricia Wolf

Chances are you have more than one internet-accessible device in your home. Gather them together, and pull up the following webpage on each: cellularchorus.com.

Every time you invoke the Cellular Chorus page, a random audio file will be set as the browser’s default. (There are currently 64 different audio files in all.) Then let them play, all of them at once. Move the devices around the room. Don’t let any single device take prominence. Adjust the volume accordingly. Use the pulldown menu or the forward/back buttons to alternate between tracks. Note how the same file will sound different on your rattly old tablet than it does on your brand new laptop, how your humble kitchen speaker can’t hold a candle to your bleeding-edge smartphone.

Now dim the lights. Each instance of sound comes with its own shade of gradated color, like a little handheld Olafur Eliasson installation. Let them illuminate the room. Also note how the sounds work together. This is due to the planning and intent of Patricia Wolf, the Portland, Oregon-based musician who came up with Cellular Chorus, which she describes as “a work of spatialized aleatoric music using smartphones to bring people physically closer to have an interactive and collective experience with light and sound.” (The website was designed and developed by Jaron Heard.)

“The sounds I made are meant to harmonize,” she notes on the site’s info page. “There is no right or wrong way to play them.” Many of the tracks are drones, some electronic in origin (like number 5), others employing the human voice (12). Some (like number 9 and 34) are percussive.

In an email to me, Wolf explained a bit more about the project’s origin, about how the cold Northwest winter inspired her to employ a tool of online social activity, the smartphone (hence the name of the piece), to bring people together in person.

So now use one of your devices to get in touch with some friends. Have them over, and get them all to use cellularchorus.com at once, together.

More from Patricia Wolf at instagram.com/patriciawolf_music, where recent videos have highlighted footage of the Cellular Chorus in action, and at soundcloud.com/patriciawolf_music. More from Jaron Heard at jaronheard.com.

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Singing Bowls

From an installation by Jason Charney

20150803-charney

The singing bowls of Jason Charney’s recent sound installation can challenge your speakers, and your ears. They can draw you in with their textured, sinuous waves, only to suddenly veer north into a piercing high register. Use headphones with caution, and start at a low volume. But all those caveats aside, the work is a must listen.

The track is a document of his half-dozen-plus steel bowls, set to trigger themselves. The result is a quasi-random series of overlaid signals, which on occasion take on a focused sequence akin to considered composition.

Writes Charney of his procedure:

A contact microphone and transducer attached to the bottom of each bowl creates a feedback loop, turning these bowls into resonant objects that play themselves. A computer listens and adjusts the signal flow to create a variety of sonic results. The sounds of visitors walking around the room or ambient noise from the space adds slight variation to the signal chain, magnified by the exponential nature of a feedback loop.

The work was exhibited at Eastern Bloc in Montréal, Canada, as part of Montréal Contemporary Music Lab 2015. Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/jasoncharney. More from Charney at twitter.com/jcharney and jasoncharney.com.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0160: One Minute Past Midnight

The Assignment: Make a one-minute field recording starting right at midnight (wherever you are).

20150122-oneminute

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at Disquiet.com, 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.

Tracks will be added to this set for the duration of the project:

This assignment was made in the early evening, California time, on Thursday, January 22, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 26, 2015. (This week there is a little wiggle room. See below.)

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0160: One Minute Past Midnight
The Assignment: Make a one-minute field recording starting right at midnight (wherever you are).

This week’s project is very simple. It asks that you make a field recording of sound, just one single minute, starting at a specific time: midnight.

From simple things complex things sometimes grow, and this project is a hopeful initial step toward a variety of related projects that may spring up over the course of 2015, perhaps even culminating in some sort of collection, maybe even in a physical space along the lines of the “Sonic Frame” installation at the San Jose Museum of Art (that piece largely drew its sonic material from an earlier Junto project). No one’s work will be repurposed without their permission, and it’s appreciated if you post your track with a Creative Commons license that allows for non-commercial reuse and sharing.

The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Record audio, outdoors or indoors, at midnight wherever you are.

Step 2: You can post the audio as is, or create a slight fade in of volume at the start and fade out at the end.

Step 3: Upload the finished track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud. Please consider posting photography, even video, associated with your efforts.

Step 4: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: Projects are usually due at 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 26, 2015. This time, if you need to do the recording the final night of the project, it’s OK to upload early on January 27.

Length: The length of your finished work should be one minute.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and 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.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0160-oneminutepastmidnight”in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

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, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 160th Disquiet Junto project — “Make a one-minute field recording starting right at midnight (wherever you are)”— at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0160: One Minute Past Midnight

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

https://disquiet.com/forums/

Photo associated with this project adapted from one by Manuel Delgado Tenorio and used via Creative Commons license:

The Enchanted Backyard

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