On Repeat: Glassbirds, Schulz, Santaolalla, Westerkamp

From the past week

Brief mentions each Sunday of my favorite listening from the week prior:

▰ There are concept albums, and there is Me and the Glassbirds, forthcoming from Heejin Jang, who imagines “a laboratory in which she hatches birds from a bricolage of painted sounds.” These are the title “glassbirds,” and this is a collection of their activities: “These glassbirds are constructed with parts that are fragile, transparent, and frequently malfunctioning. As some break and others are disassembled, new glassbirds emerge on their own, eventually combining and forming a mirror image of their creator.” The result is a clanging industrial noise of the highest caliber. Three tracks are already online, in advance of the March 3 release.

https://heejinjang.bandcamp.com/album/me-and-the-glassbirds

▰ Jeannine Schulz’s first release of the year is out. She’s prolific, so presumambly there’s more to come. According to the calendar, we’re still in January. The three tracks, one of which is refered to as a “bonus,” are collected under the title Clicks and Tones, which properly sums up the material: rough drones, full of their own quiet drama, play host the the simplest of crackling beats on track “A” and the bonus entry, whereas “B” largely dispenses with plosives in favor of what could be a dusty vibraphone turned into a windchime.

https://jeannineschulz.bandcamp.com/album/clicks-and-tones

▰ Watching The Last of Us on HBO has sent me back to the score of the originating video game, by the great Gustavo Santaolalla (Brokeback Mountain, The Motorcycle Diaries). This slow collection of gentle yet eerie tones is one of my favorite cues:

▰ An interview by Mack Hagood with composer, field recording figure, and acoustic ecologist Hildegard Westerkamp, veteran of the World Soundscape Project, recorded in 2021 shortly after the death of R. Murray Schafer, and featuring excerpts of some of her music. (OK, this one I only listened to once, but it did lead me to revisit of her albums on repeat.)

https://phantompod.org/hildegard-westerkamp-life-in-soundscape-composition/

Disquiet Junto Project 0578: Rabbit Spirit Ally

The Assignment: Make music for Lunar New Year.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto music community, 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 the end of the day Monday, January 30, 2023, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 26, 2023.

Tracks are added to the SoundCloud playlist for the duration of the project. Additional (non-SoundCloud) tracks appear in the llllllll.co discussion thread.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0578: Rabbit Spirit Ally

The Assignment: Make music for Lunar New Year.

Step 1: Note that this year’s Chinese zodiac animal is the rabbit. 

Step 2: Take the rabbit as your temporary musical spirit ally, and make music inspired by it. (Alternately, choose the Chinese zodiac animal of your birth year.)

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0578” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0578” (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 tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co: 

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0578-rabbit-spirit-ally/

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.

Step 8: Also join in the discussion on the Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to [email protected] for Slack inclusion.

Note: Please post one track for this weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Length: The length is up to you. No animals should be harmed in the making inspired by this project.

Deadline: Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, January 30, 2023, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 26, 2023.

Upload: When participating in this project, 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 always best to set 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 578th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Rabbit Spirit Ally (The Assignment: Make music for Lunar New Year), at: https://disquiet.com/0578/

Associated public-domain cover image by Johann Daniel Meyer (1748).

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0578-rabbit-spirit-ally/

Lia Kohl’s Weather Report

That the cello at the start of “Sit on the Floor and Wait for Storms” might be mistaken for processed voice says something about musician Lia Kohl’s modus operandi. “Sit on the Floor and Wait for Storms” is the first track to be made available from Kohl’s forthcoming album, The Ceiling Reposes, due out in late March. The music initially layers sawed strings and buzzing kazoo, the various waves like threads in a thick fabric that’s being woven in real time, right before the listener’s ears. When a voice arrives, a snippet of a weather report, our senses have been primed: the man’s tone fits in with the soft coarseness of what’s come before. The storm does appear, in that the music gets more and more erratic, the processed sounds fragmenting and frazzling, while also congealing — all until the man’s voice is lost in the enveloping, consuming mix — perhaps disappearing entirely. Perhaps becoming one with the other sound sources.

https://liakohl.bandcamp.com/album/the-ceiling-reposes/

More from Kohl, who is based in Chicago, at liairenekohl.com. The album comes out on the American Dreams label (american-dreams.zone) March 10, 2023.

On Repeat: Sakamoto; Kasten-Krause + Pavone; Longobardi

Recent favorite listens

I’m getting back in the habit of posting brief mentions each Sunday of my favorite listening from the week prior:

▰ It’s hard not to think about death when listening to the new Ryuichi Sakamoto album, 12, since the Japanese legend has been fighting Stage 4 cancer, and his recent livestream has been described as potentially his last concert. In addition, earlier this month his fellow co-founder of Yellow Magic Orchestra, Yukihiro Takahashi, died at age 70 (Sakamoto is a year older). It’s a gorgeous album, and a somber one, as well, with echoes of Erik Satie, Angelo Badalamenti, and even William Basinski, thanks to frequent elements of glacial soundscapes, notably on the opening cut. Sakamoto has at least one more release due out this year, his score for the film Monster, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda (whose Shoplifters was scored by the third co-founder of YMO, Haruomi Hosono).

https://sakamoto.bandcamp.com/album/12

▰ The first track to appear from the upcoming collaborative album, Images of One, by Tristan Kasten-Krause (double bass) and Jessica Pavone (viola) is the record’s final of four, “On Axis.” Despite the instrumentation’s broad range in timbre and audio spectrum, it becomes admirably difficult to tell where one part ends and the next begins, so simpatico is their exploration of such contemporary classical modes as stillness, atonality, and silence.

https://relativepitchrecords.bandcamp.com/album/images-of-one

▰ Luca Longobardi, based in Italy, mixes widely spaced tones with crackly sound design in this understated live performance. I recommend his Instagram for glimpses into his creative process, including work that went into his forthcoming album, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik – Recomposed.

Disquiet Junto Project 0577: Make That Money Shaker

The Assignment: Make a simple instrument and put it to use.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto music community, 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 the end of the day Monday, January 23, 2023, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 19, 2023.

Tracks are added to the SoundCloud playlist for the duration of the project. Additional (non-SoundCloud) tracks appear in the llllllll.co discussion thread.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0577: Make That Money Shaker

The Assignment: Make a simple instrument and put it to use.

Major thanks to Jason Wehmhoener for having proposed this project.

Step 1: Improvise a shaker — that is, make a simple instrument that emits sound due to shaking.

Step 2: Improvise with the shaker you made in Step 1. Use lots of syncopation

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0577” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0577” (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 tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co: 

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0577-make-that-money-shaker/

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.

Step 8: Also join in the discussion on the Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to [email protected] for Slack inclusion.

Note: Please post one track for this weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Length: The length is up to you. No wrists should be harmed in the making inspired by this project.

Deadline: Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, January 23, 2023, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 19, 2023.

Upload: When participating in this project, 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 always best to set 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 577th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Make That Money Shaker (The Assignment: Make a simple instrument and put it to use), at: https://disquiet.com/0577/

Major thanks to Jason Wehmhoener for having proposed this project.

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0577-make-that-money-shaker/