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: sound-art

Disquiet Junto Project 0292: Eclipse Music

In coordination with St. Louis Art Hack Day, make some solar-inspired tunes.

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 wherever you are on Monday, August 7, 2017. This project was posted in morning, California time, on Thursday, August 3, 2017.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0292: Eclipse Music
In coordination with St. Louis Art Hack Day, make some solar-inspired tunes.

Step 1: There’s a solar eclipse coming to the United States on August 21. This is the first full solar eclipse in the U.S. in a long time, since June 8, 1918. The next such eclipse in the U.S. won’t be until August 12, 2045. Ponder the eclipse, and that time frame. Take note that this project is being done in coordination with the upcoming Art Hack Day in St. Louis. If you’re in the area, consider joining in in person. If you’re not (true for the vast majority of Junto participants), your resulting Junto music from this project will be played as part of the St. Louis art showing on August 19. (And certainly you can opt out of that last bit, if you’d like.) Major thanks to Tyler Mathews and Jon Phillips for encouraging this project. Details here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-hack-day-st-louis-eclipse-tickets-35500853007

Step 2: Think about the constituent elements in (the various facets of) an eclipse, what it means in terms of sensory experience — in cultures ancient and contemporary.

Step 3: Record a piece of music that that is inspired by the sense of the eclipse that came out of Steps 1 and 2.

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 “disquiet0292” (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. (If you don’t want your music played at the Art Hack Day event, please note so in the public field associated with your track, or email me at [email protected] to let me know.)

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

https://llllllll.co/t/make-music-for-a-solar-eclipse-disquiet-junto-0292/

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, August 7, 2017. This project was posted in morning, California time, on Thursday, August 3, 2017.

Length: The length is entirely up to the participant, though three to five minutes is suggested.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0292” 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, along with details of your source audio, including links to it:

More on this 292nd weekly Disquiet Junto project — Eclipse Music: In coordination with St. Louis Art Hack Day, make some solar-inspired tunes — at:

https://disquiet.com/0292/

Major thanks to Tyler Mathews and Jon Phillips for encouraging this project. Details on the related August events here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/art-hack-day-st-louis-eclipse-tickets-35500853007

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/make-music-for-a-solar-eclipse-disquiet-junto-0292/

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

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An Installation for Oliveros

This document of a sound installation created in memory of the late Pauline Oliveros delivers the opposite of closure. As it proceeds, the lulling ambience is overtaken by the harsh slashes of what might be a violin, or a knife against rough leather for that matter. In retrospect — that is, upon subsequent listens — those string-like noises toward the end help reveal the source of the held tones at the track’s opening, the higher-pitch notes amid the general fog-horn drones. The violin is a constant presence, as it turns out, even though some time must pass before its presence becomes clear. The installation was created by the Vienna-born Mia Zabelka at the behest of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York (acfny.org). Pauline Oliveros, a maverick composer and sound theorist, was a practitioner of Deep Listening. So listen deep, put yourself inside Zabelka’s installation, and observe as her violin gains substance.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/miazabelkamusic. More from Zabelka at miazabelka.com and twitter.com/miazabelka.

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Pursuing the Omniscient Ear

How does a VR album compare with a live concert recording?

Live concert albums are formal documents of a given night. At their best they represent a platonic ideal of the evening in question, not presenting the experience of any single individual, but providing an optimal representation. Sometimes they don’t even reproduce a specific evening, but instead draw from multiple nights along a tour, and in any case may be tweaked and clarified in post-production.

But what of virtual reality, the long-fledgling medium in which the matter of the individual’s perspective is even more central than at a concert? VR is closer to a video game, theoretically with an even greater implicit emphasis on the user’s co-authorship of the experience. Forget for a moment how the full run of a VR environment might be documented in fixed media — how about just its score? The question surfaces during a listen to Machinefabriek’s music for FIGHT a VR artwork by Memo Akten. As Machinefabriek explains in a brief accompanying liner note:

Wearing an Oculus Rift headset, the viewer experiences an exceedingly psychedelic, 3D trip. The video shows different patterns and colours to each eye, causing ‘binocular rivalry’, an effect in which the brain makes its own fluctuating mix of the images. 

In the virtual reality version, the music was spatialized, reactive to the movements of the viewer. This soundtrack EP presents the music as a mixed stereo version. 

The soundtrack to FIGHT is track one (“FIGHT score”) of this two-track EP. Track two (“FIGHT ambient”) is “the soundscape that played in the room in which the installation was exhibited.” One listen to the VR’s music, with its rich, spacious display of stereoscopic noises and episodic environmental scenes, and the original context is clear. Even if we can’t nudge the score this way and that through our own digitally induced wayfinding, the sense of a non-linear narrative is self-evident. There are textured drones and dank industrial flourishes, suffocating synthesized white noise and lovely aquatic set pieces. It’s sound to get lost in.

FIGHT is, in fact, an experience not only to get lost in, but to lose your sense of self in. It’s an intense work of op-art, in which different images are fed to your two individual eyes, leaving your brain to make sense of it all. FIGHT had its premiere at STRP Biënnale, which commissioned it, in the Netherlands, where Machinefabriek lives, and was also presented at Sónar in Barcelona. The second track on the EP, the installation score, is a womb embrace of long ambient tones. Chances are, after you take off that VR headset it’s exactly what the body needs.

Album originally posted at machinefabriek.bandcamp.com. More from Machinefabriek, aka Rutger Zuydervelt, at machinefabriek.nu. More on Memo Akten’s FIGHT at memo.tv/fight.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0278: MacConnel’s Jingle

Interpret a work of contemporary art as a graphically notated score.

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, May 1, 2017. This project was posted in the mid-afternoon, California time, on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0278: MacConnel’s Jingle
The Assignment: Interpret a work of contemporary art as a graphically notated score.

Step 1: The image at the following URL is a photograph of Jingle, a 1980 work by the artist Kim MacConnel (b. 1946). The piece, which is approximately 8 feet wide and is made of acrylic on cotton, hangs at the Parrish Art Museum in the town of Watermill, New York, on the east end of Long Island.

https://disquiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/kimmacconneljingle.jpg

Step 2: Compose a short piece of music that interprets MacConnel’s Jingle as a graphically notated score.

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 “disquiet0278” (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/disquiet-junto-project-0278-macconnels-jingle/

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, May 1, 2017. This project was posted in the mid-afternoon, California time, on Thursday, April 27, 2017.

Length: The length is entirely up to the participant.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0278” 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 278th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “MacConnel’s Jingle: Interpret a work of contemporary art as a graphically notated score”— at:

https://disquiet.com/0278/

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/disquiet-junto-project-0278-macconnels-jingle/

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

Image associated with this project is a photo of Kim MacConnel’s Jingle, a 1980 work for acrylic on cotton, shot at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, on the east end of Long Island.

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This Week in Sound: CES + Technics +

+ Brian Eno's pricey return to ambient music

A lightly annotated clipping service:

Consumer Products: CES is happening in Las Vegas, where battle lines are being drawn and allegiances formed amid various platforms, with Amazon’s Alexa in a prominent position (zdnet.com).

Godfather Returns: Brian Eno has released a great new ambient album, Reflection, and a quizzically expensive iOS app (brian-eno.net).

DJ Revisionism: And as Jonathan Soble writes in the New York Times, a relaunched Technics turntable is peculiarly detached from its hip-hop legacy (nytimes.com).

This first appeared, in slightly different form, in the January 3, 2017, edition of the free Disquiet “This Week in Sound”email newsletter: tinyletter.com/disquiet.

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