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


This being San Francisco, when rent on my #noiseoffice went up over 50%, I figured that was part of the price of being in the city. But then friends and colleagues started directing me toward more cost-efficient options, and in the end much of what my current office’s rent included (shared conference room, waiting area, bathroom with shower) wasn’t all that necessary for me. Surprisingly quickly, I lucked out and found a place that was 40% less than my current rent (do the math regarding how much less that is than my projected rent). Anyhow, the new spot is also about 50% larger than my previous office, though lacking in some of the amenities (no street view, fewer windows, carpet instead of wood floors). For local flavor’s sake, my new office is in between that of a massage therapist and a crematorium. They don’t have an oven in the crematorium office — they just hold meetings there. This shot is the view out the one window in my office. The building neighbors a local church, whose bells ring clearly at 5pm, and likely other times of the day — when exactly I’ll find out after I move in.

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