Prosecutor as Bully (Lessig on Aaron Swartz) by Lee Rosevere
Each Thursday, Marc Weidenbaum, who runs the Disquiet.com website, posts a compositional assignment based on deliberate constraints "to stoke creativity". The track must be finished by the following Monday night.
This is a compilation of some of Lee's favourite submissions to the Junto community. There is a great variety of style and mood to these tracks, that doesn't necessarily work as an album, especially when they are presented in chronological order.
From disquiet.com: "The word “junto” comes from the name of a society that Benjamin Franklin formed in Philadelphia during the early 1700s as “a structured forum of mutual improvement.” In Franklin’s honor, the third Disquiet Junto project explored the glass harp, an instrument he experimented with in the development of what he christened the armonica."
For more, visit the Junto page at disquiet.com or listen to all submitted compositions at the disquiet Soundcloud page:
1. Ice Chimes
"Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it."
photo by fo.ol
2. The Rhythmic A.I. Nomothetic (T.R.A.I.N.)
“Duet for Fog Horn & Train Whistle”
No midi or samplers used. All sequences and edits built manually.
Fog horn sample by Schaarsen: http://www.freesound.org/people/schaarsen/sounds/69663/
Train whistle sample by Ecodios: http://www.freesound.org/people/ecodios/sounds/119963/
"Remixing Marcus Fischer"
Using only the original samples of Marcus Fischer's "Nearly There". The non-musical sounds (pick up scrapes, bumping) inspired me to make a 'metal machine music' remix, everything turned up past 11.
4. The Attic
“Remixing archival Edison cylinders”
Based out of a small extract of "Shimmee Town - Fox Trot", with 'rain and thunder' from "Angel's Serenade".
All audio selected from these antique cylinder recordings:
5. His First Day Without Her
"Remixing wild Up playing Shostakovich"
My intention was to keep the timbre and textures of the original recording, and create a new arrangement of elements from the piece, that could actually be played by an orchestra.
More on wild Up at:
6. Milo's Afternoon Snack
"Sonic version of Matt Madden’s Oubapo story"
I really wasn't sure what to do for the Junto assignment this week... after a lot of thinking and looking up Matt Madden, I saw a photo on his blog, reading and sipping a martini. And then the idea of doing a 50s lounge style track might be a good soundtrack for the comic.
I quite like the melody here, and will probably use it again in the future with a longer (and more flushed out) piece.
And it's 99 seconds, with a special appearance by naotko's "Abstractedly". Cha cha cha!
More on Matt Madden and his book 99 Ways to Tell a Story at:
7. Sacrificial Shortwave
"Transition between field and composed"
Inspired by Marc's "The Classical Button" radio recording last week, I used a 'field' recording of static from my shortwave radio, and combined it with the track by Tag Cloud.
I noticed that when "A Controlled Burn" was reversed, it is a tiny gong being played at various tempos and intensities. I recorded repetitive rhythmic bursts of noise off the radio, edited them so had accents (follow by fades) and then mixed in distorted and manipulated versions of the recorded music sample.
As per instructions, it begins with at least 5 seconds of the untouched field recording, and 5 seconds of the untouched sample at the end.
The best way to describe the result is a bizarre soundscape of a shortwave radio being sacrificed to a volcano. A controlled burn indeed.
8. Pre-Vertex (Limited Functionality Is My New Jam)
"Use the NodeBeat app"
I recorded simple progressions from nodebeat desktop version (I refuse to buy an ipad/iphone), and then chopped them up into a bass loop, and little melody lines. Then constructed a song around them, and chose percussion (played live) to be the second instrument, with lots of flanging the drums.
The track is now fully-realized and available on the new EP "Xeno"
9. Prosecutor As Bully (Lessig on Aaron Swartz)
"Create an original musical score for the day’s news"
I wasn't planning on submitting anything for this week's project, but the news of the death of Aaron Swartz changed my mind. I didn't know Aaron, but I make use of his work with both RSS feeds and archive.org on a daily basis (my version of "local news"), not to mention my support for SOPA and his dedication to keeping the internet a free and open place.
After reading a few articles on it, I found Lawrence Lessig's was the most powerful and insightful:
I read it a few times in my head and then composed this piece on Ableton.
10. Love Theme from Dr Curiosio meets the Ambient Amphibians
"Combine two Nils Frahm solo piano pieces into one"
After listening to the original source tracks again by Nils, I really didn't feel like messing with them, they were so beautiful on their own. Despite that, I had a go anyway - this is the result of two attempts.
The first was running "Re" through my monotron and the second was isolating sections I liked from "Do" and stretched them with Adobe and then looped. Then I arbitrarily inserted bits from attempt #1 into attempt #2. Voila.
photo by Rick Scully
11. Cat Wearing Glasses
"Record a single for which the cover would be the image suggested by a @textinstagram tweet"
Since it was such a literal image instruction, and since there are tons of cat photos on the information superhighway, I used one for actual reference (hipstercat).
I don't have an iphone so I had to use http://photogramio.com/ for the filter, the closest approximation of what "toaster" might look like.
Simple 4-bar phrase in 3/4, looped - originally much faster, slowed down a little less than half original speed. Added little bits to it, that now sound somewhat too goofy on reflection, but oh well. Yes, it's also longer than 2 minutes
12. Trio (nofi)
"Collaborate posthumously with the late Jeffrey (Nofi) Melton" (also with BASSLINGss)
Since this week required a live performance, I chose the only instrument I am capable of doing that on.. drums. I had initally chosen the same section as BASSLINGss did (Thriller [disquiet0066-nonofi] by BASSLINGss), so I downloaded his track and I played along to him, playing along with Jeffrey, essentially making it a trio. This works better for me, as I find drums sound a little empty without some bass in there.
As the rhythm was pretty much established on Jeffrey's original track, I ended playing inside the beats and wound up with something I believe mortals refer to as "overplaying".
But it was fun to do, and I figured that's what the project was all about: celebrating Jeffrey's memory and enjoying doing it.
I've uploaded it as a .wav in the event that anyone wants to make this a quartet.
This track is a posthumous collaboration with Jeffrey Melton, aka Nofi, who passed away on March 30, 2013. It was recorded live in April 2013 atop a June 2012 Melton live recording.
13. Sense the Wind
"Create an original score to the trailer to Christine Knowlton’s film about blind sailors"
Written and performed in real time on acoustic and electronic instruments. This entry was selected by the director as the official music for the trailer:
Prosecutor as Bully (Lessig on Aaron Swartz) by Lee Rosevere is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.