Instagr/am/bient: 25 Sonic Postcards

25 ambient musicians respond to one another’s evocative Instagram photos.

25 ambient musicians created original sonic postcards in response to one another’s evocative Instagram photos.

An Introduction to Instagr/am/bient:

Photos shared with the popular software Instagram are usually square in format, not unlike the cover to a record album. The format leads inevitably to a question: if a given image were the cover to a record album, what would the album’s music sound like?

Instagr/am/bient is a response to that question. The project involves 25 musicians with ambient inclinations. Each of the musicians contributed an Instagram photo, and in turn each of the musicians recorded an original track in response to one of the photos contributed by another of the project’s participants. The tracks are sonic postcards. They are pieces of music whose relative brevity—all are between one and three minutes in length—is designed to correlate with the economical, ephemeral nature of an Instagram photo.

The result of the 25 musicians’ collective efforts is an investigation into the intersection of technology, aesthetics, and artistic process. What parallels exist, for example, between the visual filters that Instagram provides users to transform their photos and the sound-processing tools employed by electronic musicians?

In many cases here, the musicians employ sonic field recordings as source material for their music. In the case of both their photos and their compositions (photography in one case, phonography in the other), documents are altered to emphasize their atmospheric qualities: to eke a modest art out of the everyday.

Thumbnails of the 25 Images:

The full collection is also streaming at soundcloud.com/disquiet.

The 25 MP3s are downloadable for free individually and as a Zip file at archive.org.

Download a 58-page PDF with full-page reproductions of the images and additional information on all the participating musicians: PDF.

A Disquiet.com Project Commissioned by Marc Weidenbaum

Design/Boondesign.com Cover Photo/Brian Scott

This project in no way intends to imply any formal association with Instagram.

48 thoughts on “Instagr/am/bient: 25 Sonic Postcards

  1. Hi, this is a really interesting project, thanks! However, I was a bit disappointed that the embedded album art in each track was the cover picture, not the inspirational picture for that track. This was done right by NIN’s ghosts release, see http://ghosts.nin.com/. I hope this could be fixed.

    1. Oh, media player fail. Turns out banshee 1.6.1 (version in Debian stable) caches one cover art per album; it’s just whatever the first one it saw was. Apologies. Well done on getting this right :-) Slightly higher-res pics in the embed would have been nice. But I’ll stop wingeing.

      1. hi jon, a lot of the metadata seems to be wrong in your version, so a lot of images get screwed up. for me at least – osx itunes. the original comp metadata seems to be off too mind…

      2. Hi aidan, thanks for letting me know. I reckon it might be because I put in ID4 v2.4 tags, and I’m not sure how well supported that version is in things like iTunes. I’ll put aside some time to do some digging.

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