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.

tag: recommended stream

Current Listens: London Beats, Robot Piano

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them.

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NEW: Recent(ish) arrivals and pre-releases

London-based Vigi Beats delivers five brief instrumental hip-hop tracks, the loops expertly balancing a downtempo pace with a frenzy of sped-up samples. The set is titled Just Some Chops.

Hard to imagine the new Thys / Amon Tobin collaboration wasn’t initially conceived as the score to an unidentified video game or film project, so thick is Ithaca with scene-setting, rhythmically amorphous sonic experimentation.

John Schaefer’s New Sounds hosts two piano performances by Icelandic musician Olafur Arnalds. Arnald’s new album, some kind of peace, involves his algorithmic Stratus software (“intelligent custom software that could trigger self-playing, semi-generative ‘ghost’ pianos — his ‘robot writing partners'” per the software company, Spitfire Audio, that released it). Listen to the interview at newsounds.org.

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Ease into the Slow

Of "Beacon" from Jeannine Schulz

Close out the week, and ease into the slow (and, one hopes, uneventful) denouement of the annus horribilis that has been 2020, with a new Jeannine Schulz piece, “Beacon.” It is ebb and flow ambient, with a steady throb setting the pace, to which thick, soft tones attach themselves, the whole thing vibrating with a peaceful, sing-song quality. At times a field recording of waves can be heard, and the ease with which those natural sounds coordinate with the synthesized material is a tribute to the keen, patient ear that Schulz brings to the music.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/jeannineschulz. More of Schulz’s work at jeannineschulz.bandcamp.com. Schulz is based in Hamburg, Germany.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0464: Blanket Song

The Assignment: Play over a song, and then remove the original.

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 the end of the day Monday, November 23, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, November 19, 2020.

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 0464: Blanket Song
The Assignment: Play over a song, and then remove the original.

Step 1: The point of this project is to cover a song in the literal sense of the word. To “cover” a song usually means to play your own version of it. Here, you will blanket the original: you will play atop a song you like, and then remove the original so only your accompaniment is heard. The original will not be recognizable in what remains. First, choose the song you want to blanket.

Step 2: Record yourself playing along with the song you selected in Step 1.

Step 3: Remove the song from Step 1 so that only the original recording from Step 2 remains.

Step 4: You needn’t identify the song from Step 1 when posting your track, but certainly feel free to do so.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0464” (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 “disquiet0464” (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 tracks in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0464-blanket-song/

Step 5: Annotate your tracks 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 the end of the day Monday, November 23, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, November 19, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you. Presumably it will be around the same length as the source audio on which you based it.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0464” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

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 464th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Blanket Song (The Assignment: Play over a song, and then remove the original), at:

https://disquiet.com/0464/

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-0464-blanket-song/

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

Image associated with this project is by Paul Morriss, and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (flipped and cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:

https://flic.kr/p/37ASMT

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

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Out of Service

Though one hopes not

Corruption, the equal parts prolific and mysterious Japanese noisemaker, has returned to SoundCloud after an unexplained six-month absence. That absence hasn’t been complete, in that the Corruption Bandcamp account has been collecting numerous albums (most of them archival, suggesting a possible pandemic stasis) in the interim. Two tracks, though, have appeared on SoundCloud in the past few days, one titled “out of service,” which may be intended as a marker for an account on hiatus (we’ll see). It’s peak Corruption, just over a minute of noise for its own wonderful sake, a rhythmic procedural that transforms widely and, yet, somehow slowly during its course, brief runtime.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/corrption.

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Akin to Harmony

New music from Kent Sparling

Kent Sparling has a way with atmospheric ambient music that is entirely his own. His work has a naturalist quality and a fantastic quality in equal amounts, and they coexist in something akin to harmony. He achieves a balance that is as much sound design as it is composition. Those, too, exist in a balance akin to harmony. The extended hushed chord that is “Tinted Bilaval,” which is up there with Sparling’s best work, contains oceanic depth, orchestral depth, deep forest depth. This isn’t merely the depth of cavernous echo, or the end result of sonic smoke and mirrors. It is a depth of numerous, carefully considered layers. Each time through (I had it on repeat this evening), one can listen to (and focus on) foreground and background separately, and to various junctures in between, and as elements from each zone exchange places with the grace of a waltz, or perhaps the grace of a falling leaf. Or more to the point: both. The track takes its title from Indian music, and you can hear in “Tinted Bilaval” a droning presence like the swelling of a tanpura, one presence among myriad.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/purling. More from Sparling at kentsparling.com. I’ve been a fan of Sparling’s music for the longest time. According to a search of this website, I first mentioned him here 15 years ago. That might have been the first time, but I feel like it was earlier still.

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