A Tumblg by Benjamin Dauer, Senior Interactive Designer at NPR and experimental musician/composer.

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Posts tagged “music”

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SoundCloud Heroes | Collaboration | Save the Pollinators

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.” - Maya Angelou

Voice is a powerful tool. Washington DC SoundCloud Hero Benjamin Dauer wants to raise awareness of two diseases affecting bat and bee populations which has a direct impact on us.

For example, how would you feel living in a world without peaches, avocados, chocolate, almonds, or flowers? 

Head to for more info and to get involved by sharing your thoughts.


SoundCloud Heroes are inspirational leaders who bring people together around sound by cultivating and engaging unique communities.

SoundCloud Hero Introduction

Welcome Benjamin Dauer of Washington, DC! Benjamin is an experimental musician and great community leader. He’s an active member of the Disquiet Junto group and runs a music project called Save the Pollinators to raise awareness of a plight affecting bees and bats, and in turns, us humans!)

Benjamin believes the community can come together to raise awareness for global issues. How? Read on.

I am honored to be named SoundCloud Hero for Washington, DC. I am also excited to kick off some collaborative projects very soon. Stay tuned and thanks so much for listening!

Ask That I Walk Easy [disquiet0011-motoring]

This particular Junto submission has a bit of background. Those familar w/my Dwindlers project ( will know that our latest release, Allegories, is a collection of songs that are, in part, a response to Michelle’s current loss of mobility. As such, a daily rhythm for us is the sound of her crutch hitting the ground as we walk. I used a field recording of this sound, sped up, as the base layer for this song.

I wanted to create something simple and repetitive (as much of walking is) but also beautiful and uplifting. She put a reminder on our refrigerator to everyday “Ask That I Walk Easy”. I want nothing more than for her to fully regain mobility and to be able to dance, rollerblade, and yes, even walk, without pain. So, over the course of this piece the base layer of her crutch slowly fades away. This one is for you love.

As always, thank you so much for listening.

More details on the Juno project here: 
Disquiet Junto

A Glimmer of Hope

This is my contribution to @disquiet's latest project. Learn more.

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a collaborative photo/ambient music project commissioned by Marc Weidenbaum of 25 ambient musicians created original sonic postcards in response to one another’s evocative Instagram photos. Below are all of the project details/links/downloads. But first…

I wanted to share a little about the inspiration for my song above, “In Reference to Time”.

Photo byMarc Rushton

Equipment Used: Teenage Engineering OP-1 synth, Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo, Cordoba GKStudio Nylon String Guitar, Tape Recorder, TLAudio Fat Track, MacBook Pro

Inspiration: When I received my ‘assignment’ for this project I knew immediately what I wanted to do. This image makes me feel as though I have arrived early for a performance/presentation of some kind. Not being allowed into the main space just yet, I enjoy the angle of peering around a corner, over a stack of chairs, and seeing/hearing someone talking. I tried to capture some of this feeling in my track - the faint sound of someone’s voice, muted guitar and pads as if musicians were warming up, and other environmental noises. I hope it gives the sense of subdued excitement or anticipation one gets when they’re waiting at a show.

In return, I also submitted the following image, which musician Jared Smyth composed his track to.

Texture Study


Instagr/am/bient: 25 Sonic Postcards

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.

The full collection is also streaming at

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

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

A Project
Commissioned by Marc Weidenbaum

Cover Photo/Brian Scott


Inspired by the sunshine and slowly moving clouds, I shot some video and then recorded an ambient improvisation on my 6-string bass to accompany the footage.

To download the audio only, please visit:


OP-1 Improvising

Having a little bit of fun w/the OP-1, sent through the El Capistan, into the TL Audio Fat Track. Lovely sound.

Shortly after completing the music for my album, “Burning of Wine”, I began writing towards what would become this album.

Saturation Event" is a sonic exploration of the place that exists between being awake and asleep. Space and time seem to fold in on themselves and elements of reality become distorted. Experimenting with analog tape saturation I wanted to capture some of the feeling, that haze or cloud, that descends upon your mind just before letting go and drifting off. Slow, steady, and enveloping - layers of music peel away and seem to crumble, or fall apart, separately from the whole.

Headphones recommended. Thank you for listening.

Available now as a FREE DOWNLOAD: Benjamin Dauer - Saturation Event

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