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: science-fiction

Disquiet Junto Project 0302: Gronkytonk

Record a single in the genre introduced in Malka Older's novel Infomacracy.

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.

This project’s deadline is 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, October 16, 2017. This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

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 0302: Gronkytonk
Record a single in the genre introduced in Malka Older’s novel Infomacracy.

Step 1: There’s a genre of music called “gronkytonk” in Malka Older’s novel Infomacracy. You can see the word in context on this page:

https://goo.gl/JmfSxN

Step 2: Consider what gronkytonk might sound like.

Step 3: Record a gronkytonk single.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If your hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0302” (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In the following discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0302-gronkytonk/

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, October 16, 2017. This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

Length: The finished track’s length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0302” 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 302nd weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Gronkytonk: Record a single in the genre introduced in Malka Older’s novel Infomacracy) at:

https://disquiet.com/0302/

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-0302-gronkytonk/

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

Photo associated with this project is by Michael Banabila. It’s used via Flickr thanks to a Creative Commons license:

flic.kr/p/EqsRd5

creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

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Music for Aging

The Marcus Fischer score to the film Youth, on which I was the music supervisor

Last year I completed work on the score to Youth, a science fiction film directed by Brett Marty and produced by Josh Izenberg. I served as music supervisior and collaborated on sound design with the film’s composer, Marcus Fischer. Fischer has edited the score for release as an album, and it was published this week, first to supporters of the film, and then as a general release on Bandcamp. It’s titled Film Variations and features Ted Laderas on cello. I wrote the liner notes for the album, which appear below:

“Sounding Out Time”

It’s a love story. Like many love stories it has a quality of being timeless. Unlike most love stories it deals centrally with matters of time — and because it’s a science fiction film, time is a quite tactile element, something that humans can, for both better and worse, warp to their own desires.

The film in question, Youth, tells a dark tale of growing old in an era of eternal youth. Not to give too much away, the couple at the heart of Youth have been together for a very long time, and thanks to futuristic technology they get a glimpse of an opportunity to extend that romance.

When I was approached to assist on the film as music supervisor, I found a lot of material in it that I was excited to explore. A key notion, to me, was how much the future within the film looks like aspects of our present day, and how elegant and enticing that sleek normality is for the viewer. The attractive homes, like the attractive physiques of the protagonists’ circle of friends, mask the repercussions of what technology has wrought. My suggestion was that the score could be quiet and calm, itself as refined and tasteful as the scenery, and similarly let slip echoes of darker truths.

After discussing numerous potential composers whom I proposed to the film’s director, Brett Marty, and producer, Josh Izenberg, we commissioned our resulting unanimous first choice: Marcus Fischer. The plan was for Marcus to develop lovely music with an undercurrent of dread. Aspects like clocks ticking and chimes glimmering would connect to the story and to the sun-dappled setting of near-future San Francisco.

Sealing the deal was Marcus’ long-running collaborative relationship with Ted Laderas, a master of the electronically enhanced cello. Ted’s job, as featured soloist, was to inject just a bit of old-school sentimentality into the score, to serve as the sonic representation of the main characters’ mutual affection and personal history.

This album collects themes from the Youth score, lightly edited and reworked with standalone listening in mind. It was initially produced as a reward for the generous supporters whose pledges helped fund the film. Now it’s available for a general audience. It makes a great soundtrack for everyday life, albeit with occasional reminders of our collective mortality.

More on the film at brettmarty.com, the director’s website.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0272: Exoplanetary Intervals

The Assignment: Use music to express the relationships between planets.


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.

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

This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 20, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, March 16, 2017.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0272: Exoplanetary Intervals
The Assignment: Use music to express the relationships between planets.

Recently, scientists announced the discovery of a nearby star system, TRAPPIST-1. Orbiting its ultra-cool dwarf star are seven planets, three in the habitable zone. Remarkably, six of the planets form the longest known chain where each orbits at a resonant frequency of it’s neighbor. From the slowest, the planets orbit at: 1x, 4/3x 2x, 3x, 5x, 8x. If you think of those as vibrating strings, they form a chord or scale: the slowest planet is the root, then fourth, octave, octave and fifth, two octaves and major third, three octaves. Major thanks to Junto participant Mark Lentczner for having taken the lead in proposing and developing this project.

Step 1: You’re going to record a composition employing these ratios, as a scale or chord — or a polyrhythm for that matter — as a means to express a sense of these newly discovered planets. Keep this in mind.

Step 2: Consider those intervals, play with them a bit, and think about how they can be employed to represent independent yet interdependent bodies in motion.

Step 3: Review the information on the relative orbits of the TRAPPIST-1 planets here:

http://www.ozonehouse.com/mark/dj/trappist.html

Step 4: Create an original musical composition that explores the exoplanets’ relationships based on Steps 1, 2, and 3.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If you hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0272” (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In the following discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track:

http://llllllll.co/t/exoplanetary-interv-disquiet-junto-project-0272/

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 20, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, March 16, 2017.

Length: The length of the finished piece is up to you. Three to five minutes feels about right.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0272” 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, as well as the identity of the source track that yours accompanies:

More on this 272nd weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Exoplanetary Intervals: Use music to express the relationships between planets” — at:

https://disquiet.com/0272/

Major thanks to Junto participant Mark Lentczner for having taken the lead in proposing and developing this project.

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:

http://llllllll.co/t/exoplanetary-interv-disquiet-junto-project-0272/

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

Image associated with this project is from NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt, T. Pyle (IPAC):

http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/6266-ssc2017-01a-TRAPPIST-1-Planet-Lineup

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Disquiet Junto Project 0264: Time Travel

Record a piece of music that plays with the perception of time.

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.

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

This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 23, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, January 19, 2017.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0264: Time Travel
Record a piece of music that plays with the perception of time.

Step 1: Recorded music is, generally speaking, a fixed object. It’s a document. It proceeds linearly, over time. It is, in the terminology of fine art, “time-based.” That said, music has the power to change one’s perception of time. Slowing and speeding tempo alone can alter a listener’s understanding of what is happening. Backward masking, sublimated hints of themes yet to come, the sound of a tape in fast forward mode — those are just a few ways that a composer can suggest that time is not moving linearly. Now, consider for a moment the tools available to give an impression of time doing things other than proceeding in a steady forward motion.

Step 2: Record a short piece of music that takes time travel as its theme, using ideas that resulted from the consideration in Step 1.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If you hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0264” (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In the following discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track:

http://llllllll.co/t/music-for-time-travelers-disquiet-junto-project-0264/6157/

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, January 23, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, January 19, 2017.

Length: The length is up to you, but two to three minutes sounds about right.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0264″ 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 264th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Time Travel: Record a piece of music that plays with the perception of time”:

https://disquiet.com/0264/

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:

llllllll.co/t/music-for-time-travelers-disquiet-junto-project-0264/6157/

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

Image associated with this track is by Heather and used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

flic.kr/p/4fD1HJ

creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

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Disquiet Junto Project 0248: Galactic Tick

Celebrate the new celestial holiday in music.

galactictickdotcom

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.

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

This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, September 29, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, October 3, 2016.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0248: Galactic Tick
Celebrate the new celestial holiday in music.

Project Steps:

Step 1: Read up on the Galactic Tick, a new proposed holiday exploring, as described by Popular Mechanics, “how people’s perceptions would change if they really realized the one fixed point in their celestial understanding, the mighty sun, was also in flux.”

http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/deep-space/news/a22492/galactic-tick-day-september-29/

http://galactictick.com/

Step 2: Devise a short piece of music in celebration of the Galactic Tick. Perhaps you’ll explore the distance of 225 million years, which is how often the Earth fully circles the center of the Milky Way. Perhaps you’ll find cosmic meaning in 1/129,600,000, which is the “centi-arcsecond” employed by the Galactic Tick planners to make the period of time more human-comprehensible. Perhaps you’ll find meaning in 633.7, which is the number of days between celebrations of the Galactic Tick here on Earth, or 1.74, which is the number of years.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Per the instructions below, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0248”(no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In the following discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track. (Assuming you post it on SoundCloud, a search for the tag will help me construct the playlist.)

http://llllllll.co/t/music-for-the-galactic-tick-disquiet-junto-project-0248/4744

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, September 29, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, October 3, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you. One minute and 44 seconds seems like a good length (that’s roughly 1.74 minutes).

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0248”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 248th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Celebrate the new celestial holiday in music”— at:

https://disquiet.com/0248/

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:

http://llllllll.co/t/music-for-the-galactic-tick-disquiet-junto-project-0248/4744

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

The image associated with this project is borrowed from the website galactictick.com

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