Tag Archives: marc weidenbaum


[track] sterling fades [disquiet0260-tonefade]

PROCESS
Thank you so much, Marc (@disquiet) for thinking of Sterling in this project. As I told Marc in an email exchange where he told me of the dedication in this week’s prompt, my thinking about how the sound waves we produce may somehow go on forever began with the Junto’s week dedicated to the death of Jefferey Melton (@Nofi). This week brings much of that exploration full circle.

Nick Drake’s ‘Northern Sky’ open tuning resolves to a Dsus4 chord (with the suspended G as the center note and F# up high)
D-A-D-G-D-F#

I was gifted knowledge of Drake while working at Rolling Stone as an intern in 1992, and ever since, ‘Northern Sky’ is the song I turn to when skies darken. Felt right to invoke it here by striking its open chord for a few minutes. (Note: Soundcloud’s auto-compression revealed my perceived silences to be not so silent. Hi ho.)

Sterling passed in our home at the hand of kind veterinarians, on a soft rug, with easy, knowing caresses on 22 December 2016 ~6:20 EST. I trust he’s suspended somewhere now between space & time in painless parallel peace. Fwiw, we had David Bowie on random shuffle and ‘Absolute Beginners’ came on as the process began. Perfect is a strange word in this context, but life works in curious ways sometimes to deliver solace.

All the love.

:^D

RELEVANT EXTERNAL LINKS:
My reflections on Sterling:
https://medium.com/westyreflector/sterling-at-the-gates-dcff944b76df

Alan Watts on how the universe is made of vibrations:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhHfKqLR6NI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmkwqn0mSQs

My prior piece “Riding Waves” to honor the passing of Nofi:
https://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/riding-waves

RIG
Guitar:
Jolie (2000 Gibson ES-335 DOT reissue, modded 100% with custom http://peekamoose.com electronics)

Pedal Board:
EQ Devices The Warden optical compressor -> Lotus Pedals SnowJob Underdrive -> tc electronic Flashback delay -> Diamond Tremolo -> EQ Devices Grand Orbiter -> EQ Devices Afterneath -> Strymon blueSky Reverb

Recording:
Line6 POD-XT (Blackface Lux emulator) -> MOTU 828mk2 firewire interface -> AcidPro 7.0 -> Harrison Consoles Mixbus (Mastering)

META
More on this 260th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Tone Fade: An exercise in when a sound ends

(This project is for Sterling.)

More on the Disquiet Junto

Subscribe to project announcements.

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:
http://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0260-tone-fade/5809

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 Michel Banabila, used thanks to a Creative Commons license:
flic.kr/p/5GB7bn


Truth Is A Lonely Place In Ephemeral

Lee Rosevere and I wrote and remixed | two | versions | of “Truth Is A Lonely Place” in August 2014 for a Disquiet Junto challenge to compose a soundtrack to an endlessly-looped silent film by Josh Azzarella. Lee’s remix track eventually found its way into Disquiet.com Mark Weidenbaum’s Fall 2015 installation of the video at the San Jose Museum Of Art.

I released both tracks in November on my record, Particle Theory, as stand-alone audio pieces bookending my track Roadside Justice. I wrote Roadside Justice the same week as the challenge last August and the title “truth is a lonely place” was taken from its lyrics.

Randomly, both our tracks were picked up from the freemusicarchive by Malta video game designers Alan Duca, Mark Magro, Jean-Pierre Brincat, Moira Zahra and Mark Scicluna, and looped continuously through their experimental game called Ephemeral, developed for the 2015 Global Game Jam in January. They won a couple awards (including “Most Unusual Game”) and high praise from Calum Fraser at AlphaBetaGamer. Animated by Zahra and written by Brincat, the game is described as thus:

Two beings plummet simultaneously towards their death. Letters and faint lights tumble along in the background. How will they deal with this predicament?

Eerie and wonderful all at once, given the source material that Lee & I composed to. Azzarella’s silent video is a “never-ending-loop” of a man falling from the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001:

Untitled #8, 2004 from Josh Azzarella

It’s a loop come full circle…

Read more about the original track and disquiet junto challenge.

Read more about Marc Weidenbaum’s installation of Azzarella’s video at the museum’s Momentum Exhibit, which runs through 22 February 2015.


San Jose Museum Momentum Follow-Up

Disquiet.com’s Marc Weidenbaum and the other participants in the San Jose Museum Momentum Installation talk about their respective interventions.

Weidenbaum’s description:

The San Jose Museum of Art has uploaded this eight-minute video featuring the various folks who, like me, contributed works as “interveners” for its current Momentum exhibit, which celebrates the museum’s 45th anniversary. I talk in the video at 2:52 and 3:59.

My piece is “Sonic Frame,” a response in three screens to a video by Josh Azzarella. Each screen contains a unique set of seven different audio tracks composed to complement it, so each time the video plays anew it is accompanied by different sounds. Among the participating musicians are Taylor Deupree, Natalia Kamia, Julia Mazawa, Steve Roden, Naoyuki Sasanami, Christina Vantzou, Stephen Vitiello, and Scanner.

The Momentum exhibit runs from October 2, 2014, through February 22, 2015. More on the exhibit here (“How Sound Frames Vision”) and at sjmusart.org. Video hosted at youtube.com.

From the Museum’s YouTube description:

Published on Dec 23, 2014
What happens when a museum invites a ballet dancer, a bicycle designer, a bodypainter, a calligrapher, a cartoonist, a comedian, an inventor, a poet, a sound artist, and a yarn-bomber to “intervene” in an exhibition? Learn about the ten super creative people behind the exhibition “Momentum: an experiment in the unexpected.” The exhibition is on view through February 22, 2015.

The exhibit runs through 22 February 2015.

My original post on the exhibit, including a list and links to all the artists involved.


San Jose Museum Momentum Installation

The Momentum exhibit runs through February at the San Jose Museum Of Art. Sound artist, writer and Junto founder Marc Weidenbaum curated the sound (as an “intervention”) for one of the installations, the video Untitled #8 (2004) by Josh Azzarella. Back in August, Marc sent out the silent video as project Disquiet0138-videosonicvoid, and challenged us to create a looping piece:

Compose a 2.5-minute soundtrack to complement the silent video “Untitled #8, 2004″ by the artist Josh Azzarella. The video is intended by the artist as a “Never Ending Loop,” as is this audio accompaniment.

Untitled #8, 2004 from Josh Azzarella

Marc “intervened” the video for Momentum with 21 sound pieces, including 14 that were created for disquiet0138-videosonicvoid, to loop over 3 different screens.

For Marc Weidenbaum, Josh Azzarella’s video Untitled #8, in which a form slowly shifts, suggests a visual parallel to the ethereal nature of sound: perceptible yet intangible. Through his online collaborative project Disquiet Junto, Weidenbaum collected and curated original works of music and sound from an international community of colleagues, which he then added to unsynced iterations of Azzarella’s silent video. Intended to explore transformation and stasis, the sound elements create auras, halos, and contextual sonic frameworks that gently alter the viewer’s experience and perception of Azzarella’s video art.

Screen #2 incorporated a remix of my track done by Lee Rosevere, who had asked me to create something for him to use that week:

This is my original:

I am ecstatic that my work is in a contemporary museum. It’s even sweeter that the tracks were the result of spontaneous collaborative processes that echo and fractal much of what’s good about our current technological environment.

The other artists Marc used put me in esteemed company, to say the least:

Screen.01
Taylor Deupree
Van Stiefel
Natalia Kamia
Naoyuki Sasanami
Carlos Russell
Mark Rushton
Paolo Mascolini (Sozu)

Screen.02
Stephen Vitiello
Steve Roden
ævol
Marcus Fischer
Julia Mazawa
Westy Reflector + Lee Rosevere
Ezekiel Kigbo (The Atlas Room)

Screen.03
Steiner (Stijn Hüwels)
Christina Vantzou
Scanner
Inlet (Cory K.)
Jean Reiki
Marco Raaphorst
bad trails

Finally, here is what the exhibit looks like:


Truth Is A Lonely Place (Lee Rosevere Remix) [disquiet0138]

Collaboration with Lee Rosevere, wonderful (and prolific) Canadian producer and musician.
leerosevere.bandcamp.com
happypuppyrecords.ca

Lee’s liner notes:

When this project was launched, I emailed my online buddy Westy Reflector @thereflectors to see if he’d be up for a collaboration and I was thrilled he agreed. I’ve wanted to do a big huge ambient landscape with his glorious guitar tracks and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.

He wrote an original song and sent me the stems (guitar, drone, drums) and you can hear his original version here:
Thereflectors – Truth-is-a-lonely-place

I added lots of reverb (as I love reverb) and piano pads and bass in Ableton Live to his original unedited guitar tracks.

I then mixed a second version, using only an excerpt from his original guitar track and looped it over the newly-created background – this is the version here, which seems to work best when sync’d to the video (vimeo.com/21678371)

It also fits in the sense that Josh Azzarella’s work largely deals with taking an image and “altering or removing the punctual event in the image.” (www.joshazzarella.com/about/)

Huge thanks to Westy for wanting to work on this together, as he could’ve (and did) come up with something excellent completely on his own and didn’t need me at all to drench it in reverb… but it was a great experience and I’m greatly looking forward to the next opportunity.

****

——————————————————-
More on this 138th Disquiet Junto project — “Compose a 2.5-minute soundtrack to complement a work of silent video art″ — at:
disquiet.com/2014/08/21/disquie…38-videosonicvoid/

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

Join the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:
disquiet.com/forums/

The image associated with this track is a still from the video that inspired it: “Untitled #8, 2004″ by Josh Azzarella.


[a few words on] the disquiet.com junto

I started creating tracks for the Disquiet.com Junto in January 2012 upon the group’s founding by Marc Weidenbaum, a San Francisco music, technology and culture writer. A former editor of Tower RecordsPulse! magazine, he has written for Nature, Boing Boing, and The Atlantic online, and he also lectures on the role of sound in the media landscape. Marc is most recently the author of the 33 1/3 book on Aphex Twin’s album Selected Ambient Works Volume II and since 1996, he runs the website Disquiet.com about the intersection of sound, art, and technology.

The Disquiet Junto is an online music community in which members respond to weekly composition prompts posted every Thursday devised and designed by Marc. Participants have just over four days to complete each project. As of this writing, ~460 musicians and sound artists from all over the world have joined in, creating over 3300 tracks that have been uploaded and shared via soundcloud.com. The playlist above has my contributions, and updates in real time with the most recent (an playlist unstuck from time in a post about Disquiet seemed appropriate).

Participation in the Junto for members is not compulsory, and artists jump in and out at will. The Junto makes it ok to take tremendous risks with creativity, though, so many of us keep coming back for more. As of this post, I’ve done ~50 of the 135 challenges, and a few of the resulting tracks ended up on my last two records, which are released under Creative Commons currently at Bandcamp and the Free Music Archive.

I followed Marc’s writing and blog for years. As a rock and pop songwriter, I was an outlier for the Junto, but always aspire to abstraction and harbor fascination with electronic music and sound manipulation. So after his initial call, I listened from the sidelines for few challenges, then conjured the courage to create a track.

Avant-garde and abstract expression are often low-hanging fruit for ridicule, tossed off as the butt of jokes while dismissed as misplaced fealty to impracticality. Explaining the Junto is not always easy. A couple people – people who should know better – have said “it sounds like a cult,” after I entreated them to check it out.

I told the last one, “Never mistake something cult for a cult. Anyway, what happened? You used to be so cool.”

:^D

The Junto reminds me that in writing music and “songs,” I also create sound(s). These sounds have texture and personality and interact in mathematical and metaphysical ways. I am way more aware of my compositional process now, and every week I mine Junto tracks for technique and marvel at the output. Even when not able or capable to participate in a given challenge, the assignments themselves are enough to spark lanterns otherwise unlit. I’ve also found friends. It’s made the internet not such a cold, commercial place.

Just when you think you couldn’t grow…


This video of Marc speaking in April 2014 at the SETI institute about the Junto is a definitive explanation of its intent and impact:


disquiet.com: yellow dog coda

Yesterday Disquiet.com‘s Marc Weidenbaum published a wonderful perspective on the Junto’s impact on the Studio360 Yellow Dog Blues cover challenge. In addition the featuring of my contribution on this week’s Studio360, tracks by Junto members Ethan Hein and Tom Anderson (both in the set below) had been featured on the May 28th broadcast of Soudcheck, in which Kurt Anderson and Marc Anthony Thompson (Chocolate Genius) were interviewed by John Schaeffer.

Marc writes (via: http://disquiet.com/2014/06/27/got-those-junto-blues/):

Challenges like the blues cover initiated by Studio 360 have a lot in common with the Disquiet Junto: open calls based around a specific prompt. I’m always on the lookout for an external project that seems like it would be fun to put forward to the Junto, especially a project where the Junto’s interest in abstract sound might provide some unique contributions. This particular Studio 360 project seemed especially appropriate because of the sense in which the blues was never fully about composition as an end, but about a rich community of shared source material. The blues, like other forms of folk music, is a source of inspiration for the Creative Commons, and this seemed like a good time to make that connection. That connection is emphasized in the Studio 360 broadcast, when it’s mentioned how in the blues “lyrics are passed form person to person, generation to generation.”

A few days ago, I wrote on why I stated making tracks for the Junto and the impact its had on my process. And here’s the full set of the Disquiet Junto contributions to the Yellow Dog project (disquiet0125-junto360blues), many of which were never ported over to the Studio360 page:


[disquiet review] prologue: in recollection and amazement

Wonderful review of the opening track of transient lines by marc weidenbaum of disquiet.com

If noise music is ambient music turned up loud, then shoegaze is ambient music with a beat. Not just any beat, mind you, but a beat that emerges from the ebb and flow of the underlying drone, a beat that recognizes the rhythmic content in the flow of the drone and that latches onto it, building a hard lattice that supports the seemingly ethereal initial audio. It traces that underlying form, a cloud fitted with an iron scaffold. This is what happens in “Prologue: In Recollection and Amazement,” the first track off the new album from Westy Reflector, titled Transient Lines and available at bandcamp.com. The initial glisten, with hints of Robert Fripp’s tape loops, hovers like a thick cloud, builds a pulse that then reveals itself as proper drums, playing along in stereophonic splendor. What makes this more than a matter of accrual, of layering, is that the glisten itself has a reveal — slowly, for if anything this track embraces its placid approximation of momentum, the hazy original sound acknowledges that it is produced on guitar, and more familiar chiming, ringing, strummed chords kick in.


Retrospective Reflector [Disquiet0051-audiojournal]

PROCESS:

This is my 28th submission to the Junto. This is a mix of my work for the Junto and singles and demos I’ve released (and one not) this year. Thank you to everyone in the group for your generosity, friendship and acceptance. And a special Thank You! to Mark Weidenbaum of http://disquiet.com, for dreaming up this amazing opportunity to learn and grow as a musician, songwriter, sound artist and general noisemaker.

These are just stitched together, eq’ed and compressed a bit for volume stability.

Jan: nearly there (alprazolam dream #76c) [disquiet0004-mfischer] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/nearly-there-disquiet0004
Feb: Nowhere Man (cover) [Unreleased]
Mar: Manhattan Bridge Train [Disquiet0011-motoring] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/manhattan-bridge-train
Apr: Jack Kirby’s 99th Dream [disquiet0014-oumupo] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/jack-kirbys-99th-dream
May: sliver of sky [disquiet0019-rojiura] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/sliver-of-sky-disquiet0019
Jun: the rime of the ancient pacific garbage patch [disquiet0026-composting] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/ancient-pacific
Jul: The 12th Step [2012a] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/the-12th-step
Aug: friction and the flame [disquiet0031-onomatch] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/friction-and-the-flame
Sep: The Know It Alls At Bloomingdale’s [disquiet0037-asrealasitgets1] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/the-know-it-alls
Oct: AustinTown (inst.) [disquiet0042-naivemelody] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/austintown-inst
Nov: crystalline sky grace [disquiet0044-sandy2012] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/crystalline-sky-grace
Dec: Crystal Never Hurts [rough mix 2012b] http://soundcloud.com/thereflectors/crystal-never-hurts

PROJECT:

This week’s project is a sound journal, an audio history of the past year. You will select a different audio element to represent each of the past 12 months of 2012. You will then select one five-second segment from each of these audio elements. Then you will stitch these dozen five-second segments together in chronological order to form one single one-minute track. There should be no overlap or gap between segments; they should simply proceed from one to the next.

These audio elements will most likely be of music that you have yourself composed and recorded, but they might also consist of phone messages, field recordings, or other source material. These items should be somehow personal in nature, suitable to the autobiographical intention of the project; they should preferably of your own making, and not drawn from third-party sources.

More on this 51st Disquiet Junto project at:
http://disquiet.com/2012/12/20/disquiet0051-audiojournal/

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:
http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/info/


Disquiet Daydream – SoundCloud Spoken remix [disquiet0010-reflect]

remix of the soundcloud podcast w/ seams and marc weidenbaum:
Community-team – Soundcloud-speaks-001-disquiet

backing track is from the portion of the show that included emma hendrix’s disquiet 0004 project:
Emmahendrix – Nearly-there-disquiet0004

i started by sampling every instance in the show of marc saying a number and everything flowed out from that. my intent was to turn him into a radio beat poet like joe frank (not that he already isn’t that cool, tho).

the track has 48 music and vocal samples, and bursts opens with all of them at once, for no reason. fwiw, i don’t think there’s a complete actual sentence from the podcast in the piece. in the end, it was more of me putting marc’s voice to my own thoughts.

“clearly i changed my mind with an extended experiment in four days.”
“i did not think beyond my own curatorial process.”
“20000 remixes changed my mind.”
“junto (or junto) changed my mind”
“midnight changed my mind.”

this disquiet junto (or junto) has been the most valuable musical left turn i’ve taken in a while (at least since i re-cut a track of mine in spanish a couple years ago). thank you to disquiet for this creative, collaborative and continuing adventure.

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:
soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/info

peace,
westy