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.

field notes

News, essays, reviews, surveillance

What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


I shot this last night while walking a few blocks to the local movie theater to catch a summer blockbuster. Even at 9pm, the night wasn’t dark enough for the illuminated doorbell buttons to be visible from much of a distance. They’re neither bright nor commonplace enough to provide a Christmas-tree effect. Later, after the movie, on the walk home, even though it was quite dark, they still really weren’t visible from a distance. Their light is just strong enough for when you’re near a given doorway. This one, clearly getting on in years, seems to suggest a non-existent functionality: that the apartment dwellers can turn on and off the light to signal whether or not they are welcoming visitors.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
Tag: / Leave a comment ]

What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


An LP by Lawrence Welk was playing when I walked in. #vinyl #records #soundstudies

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
Tag: / Leave a comment ]

What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


It’s a clean parallel, the Cylon faceplate speaker on the left and the nod to halcyon roadside full-service stations on the right. They’re both artifacts: the old face of the future, and the old face of the past. This photo was shot at a second-tier gas station in my neighborhood. I struggle to imagine a scenario in which it would make more sense to hit this button than to walk the 15 feet to speak face to face with the attendant in the room with two refrigerators and assorted snacks — small and dingy as that room is. The idea of the attendant even responding to the call seems highly unlikely. I considered asking the man on duty if anyone ever used it, but he was too busy looking at his cellphone for me to want to interrupt him. As for the device itself, the chrome is clean and the casing shows little wear. For that matter, it shows little use. Whoever requisitioned this intercom had either a strong sense of purpose or a mistaken sense of proportion, perhaps both.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
Tag: / Leave a comment ]

What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


Happy 4th of July

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
Tag: / Leave a comment ]

Pitchfork on My Aphex Twin Book

One of "the 33 best 33 1/3 titles" (out of 106)

This sure was a nice way to start the week. Pitchfork yesterday published a list of “the 33 best” books in the 33 1/3 series. About 106 or so books have been published by 33 1/3, including mine on the 1994 Aphex Twin album Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2. Here’s what the “33 best” article has to say about it:

Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2 was a puzzle when Aphex Twin released it 21 years ago: an anti-album that eschewed track names and introduced a spare sound that was in the process of either dissolving for forming. It was, in other words, an ideal release for the new forums of this thing called the Internet, whose members not only picked apart the music but helped define the album for subsequent generations. Marc Weidenbaum packs a lot into these 130 pages: a mini-biography of a ground-breaking artist, a capsule history of ambient music, and an example of how digital technology determines how we hear and interpret music.

The full article is at pitchfork.com. It was written by Stephen M. Deusner. (I think it’s supposed to read “dissolving or forming.”)

There are a lot of great subjects ahead in the 33 1/3 series. I’m especially looking forward to Andrew Schartmann on Koji Kondo’s music for the Super Mario Bros video game and to George Grella on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. There’s a full list of the books in the series at 333sound.com.

Tag: / Leave a comment ]