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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Disquiet Junto Project 0338: Imaginary Quartet

In collaboration with Naviar Haiku, make a four-person band from the provided four live solo recordings.

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 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, June 25, 2018. This project was posted around noon, California time, on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0338: Imaginary Quartet
In collaboration with Naviar Haiku, make a four-person band from the provided four live solo recordings.

Step 1: First, major thanks to Neil Stringfellow (aka Audio Obscura) for proposing this collaboration between the Disquiet Junto and the Naviar Haiku series, and for the support of Naviar’s Marco Sebastiano Alessi. We’ll be making music based on segments of recordings by four musicians from the May 25, 2018, Naviar Haiku Fest. Get the four recordings here from the Zip file:

http://bit.ly/juntonaviar

Step 2: Having downloaded the four tracks (by Ikjoyce, Audio Obscura, Subsepai, and sevenism), listen to them. Each is a single minute from longer solo performances. Imagine how they might work together.

Step 3: Create a new track employing material from all four (and no other external sound sources, though processing is OK) that suggests the existence of a quartet performing live.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0338” (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 “disquiet0338” (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-0338-imaginary-quartet/

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 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, June 25, 2018. This project was posted around noon, California time, on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0338” 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 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 online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 337th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Disquiet Junto Project 0338: Imaginary Quartet / In collaboration with Naviar Haiku, make a four-person band from the provided four live solo recordings.) at:

https://disquiet.com/0338/

Major thanks to Neil Stringfellow (aka Audio Obscura) for proposing this collaboration between the Disquiet Junto and the Naviar Haiku series, and for the support of Naviar’s Marco Sebastiano Alessi. The audio employed as raw material in this project is from live recordings by Ikjoyce, Audio Obscura, Subsepai, and sevenism. More on the Naviar Haiku at:

http://www.naviarrecords.com/about/naviar-haiku/

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-0338-imaginary-quartet/

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

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Dronecast

A podcast of drones

There are plenty of podcasts about drones, in the military-industrial-surveillance-state-toy sense of the word, and that certainly isn’t the sort of drone podcast that Dronecast is.

There are also plenty of podcasts that explore drone-music — that is, music that consists of or builds upon or, as is often the case with labels that gain some semblance of cultural traction, has a vague affinity for drones.

And then there’s the brand new Dronecast, which in its singular format is downright dronetastic. Each episode — there are three so far, in barely the first week of the podcast’s existence — plays a single drone for its entire, full-hour length. You hit play and, to borrow Brian Eno’s relevant language, experience repetition as a form of change.

Which isn’t to say the Dronecast episodes each sound the same. Quite the contrary. The debut episode is of a quickly vibrating, low-end drone, as if your ear has been put up close to a high-grade portable fan. The second episode is fiercely angelic, a heavenly choir caught in a harsh loop that locates and accentuates the razor-sharp texture of their high-pitched voices. The third episode seems to welcome a broader audience, providing something more soothingly ambient than the two earlier episodes. (Bonus: while the podscast is available through major podcast syndication services and apps, including iTunes, its webpage lets you play all the episodes simultaneously.)

Each episode is tagged with the equipment utitlized: “One hour drone. Grendel Drone Commander, effects pedals,” “Kilpatrick Phenol, Grendel Dronecommander, FX Pedals,” and “P12, Keydogs” so far. The technology isn’t of the household-name variety, but a simple Google search can reveal wonders, like the existence of this Keydog, pictured below, that simply holds a note forever:

The Dronecast podcast is the work of San Jose musician Todd Elliott, who also goes by Toaster (see: toaster.bandcamp.com). Toaster’s output is quite varied, but often has a drone component, as in this solo live guitar performance from 2016:

Subscribe to Dronecast at dronecast.libsyn.com. Video originally posted at Toaster’s YouTube channel. This is the latest video I’ve added to my YouTube playlist of recommended live performances of ambient music.

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Kent Sparling’s Unnatural Naturalism

A 20-minute visit to another place

This beautiful, nearly 20-minute standalone track was released a couple months back by Kent Sparling. Characteristic for Sparling, it is a seemingly inorganic music — richly and evidently synthesized, but synthesized nonetheless, artificial as it were — that plays out like something intensely organic, with the ebb and flow, the understated elegance and the quiet chaos, of something very much alive. The track, titled “Dark Triad,” is also, again true for so much of Sparling’s ambient music over the years, a kind of score for an unseen film — not just score, but the backing noise as well. It is like a sonic imagining of a midday forest, combining the score that celebrates that space alongside a sound design of that space itself. That is a whole other form of artificiality, the artificiality of narrative, of everyday sound and the drama we project onto it.

Track originally posted at jicamasalad.bandcamp.com. More from Sparling at jicamasalad.net.

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Stasis Report

New tracks added to the ambient Spotify playlist

The first update to my Stasis Report ambient-music playlist on Spotify adds the following five tracks:

“Stepping Over the Edge” by Pinar Toprak, from her score to The Tides of Fate, a sailing documentary, released this month on label Varèse Sarabande. Toprak was just announced at the composer for the upcoming Captain Marvel film. The news makes her the first female composer of a Marvel Studios film. Crossing comic-universe borders, Toprak is currently the composer on the Superman TV prequel, Krypton. She provided additional music to the Justice League film and was a composer on the Fortnite video game.

“Alien Piano” is from Synthikat’s Ambient Works 002 album, released two months ago.

“Keep It Christmasy, Babe” is the closing track on Cliff Martinez’s score to the just-released film Hotel Artemis.

Julie Byrne’s “Interlude,” first released on her 2017 album Not Even Happiness, popped up on the ambient-ish Spotify playlist from the Ghostly record label, Ghostly: At Rest.

“East LA Haze Dream” is from Sam Gendel’s Pass If Music, released last month on Leaving Records.

Some previous Stasis Report tracks were removed to make room for these, keeping the playlist length to roughly an hour and a half. Those tracks are now in the Stasis Archives playlist.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0337: Through-Composted

Create a piece of music that is through-composed, but built entirely from samples.

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 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, June 18, 2018. This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, June 14, 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 0337: Through-Composted
Create a piece of music that is through-composed, but built entirely from samples.

Step 1: This project involves the concept of through-composed music. If the term isn’t familiar, please read up. As a starting point, here is the definition from Collins Dictionary: “having a compositional structure that is not based on repeating sections of music; specif., of a song with stanzas having regular meter and rhyme but different music for each stanza.”

Step 2: Employ the concept of through-composed music in the creation of a short piece — and do so only using sampled material.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0337” (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 “disquiet0337” (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-0337-through-composted/

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 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, June 18, 2018. This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0337” 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 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 online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 337th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Disquiet Junto Project 0337: Through-Composted / Create a piece of music that is through-composed, but built entirely from samples) at:

https://disquiet.com/0337/

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-0337-through-composted/

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

The image associated with this project is by ntr23 and used via Flickr thanks to a Creative Commons license:

https://flic.kr/p/fRKvB

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

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