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.

What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from

Some buildings are born as multi-unit dwellings. Others have multi-unit dwelling-ness thrust upon them. Amid that second subset are entrances that don’t live up to the challenge. This location has at least three additional addresses where there once was likely but a single residence. How you alert unit one to your arrival is unclear (since its button is missing entirely), as is how to access unit two (since its button is kaput). Adding to the mystery is the sequencing for units two, four, and three. The pièce de résistance isn’t the fact of that additional button for unit four, or even the quotidian instructions to “Hold for 3 seconds” (what happens if you hold longer?), or the readymade collage (RIP, James Rosenquist) where unit three’s identity is layered. It’s a one-two combo: First, how the “3 seconds” confuses the eye, carrying directly over from the 2 on the left, and briefly makes your brain think the center unit is, indeed, number three. Second, how the additional button for unit four is situated so as to serve as the noun in the instructional sentence — it’s virtually a doorbell emoji. As the shadows might suggest, this photograph was shot as the daylight was coming to an end, which seems appropriate to this location.

An ongoing series cross-posted from
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Musique Concrète + Video Games

The making of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

This short documentary video about the making of the video game Resident Evil 7: Biohazard explores the use of musique concrète to achieve the game developers’ pursuit of a horror aesthetic. The 8-minute profile interviews various participants in the game’s production from a variety of sound roles, including audio director, composers, and music production supervisors.

Says one member of the team: “We talked about this whole musique concréte style. So using voices became part of the score, and we gave them instructions like pretend, you know, you’ve got a plastic bag over your head and you’re asphyxiating. Pretend you’re drowing; make a sound like that. By the end it got a little bit weird: you know, you’re a zombie cow and you’re dying.”

It’s interesting to observe their collective decision and their experience of moving away from traditional game music — which is generally electronic but also usually employs recognizably musical instrumentation or reference points — to work drawn entirely from recorded audio.

Video originally posted at Vimeo. More on the video game, which was released back in January, at An album of the music was also released in January:

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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from

Finally making it. Should be a great evening.

An ongoing series cross-posted from
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Electromagnetic Ambient Music

And slivers of found radio signals

These two short videos from Berlin-based musician Hainbach explore mangled ambience thanks to a handy new device that benefited from an especially popular Kickstarter campaign. The gadget in question is the KOMA Field Kit, and it serves as an entry point into various less typical sonic sources, including physical connections like solenoids and DC motors, as well as the far more ethereal electromagnetic pickup. The latter is employed in the first of these videos, “David Dreams | Tape, Field Kit, OP1, Phashi.” Watch as that little hand-held sensor is moved from one device to the next, the unique nature of its detection lending an otherworldly timbre to Hainbach’s drones. “Nevada in My Dreams | Tapeloop, Fieldkit, OP1” is even slower and doomier than “David Dreams,” with bits of radio noise shooting through like sliver glimpses of alternate worlds. Hainbach’s YouTube channel is a great source of electronic music using a variety of instruments, which he details in the notes associated with the videos. This pair investigates how two very different airborne signals can contribute to the texture of recordings.

Videos originally posted at Hainbach’s YouTube page. Hainbach is Berlin-based composer Stefan Paul Goetsch. More from Hainbach at and More on the KOMA Field Kit at, which is where I first came across the “Nevada in My Dreams” video.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0276: 808 Blockchain Beats

The Assignment: Make 808-style beats based on the blockchain.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Tracks will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:

This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, April 17, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0276: 808 Blockchain Beats
The Assignment: Make 808-style beats based on the blockchain.

Many thanks to Jon Phillips for proposing and helping to develop this project.

Step 1: This week we’re making music informed and inspired by blockchain. If you’re not familiar with blockchain, this concise summary might be of use:

The Blockchain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records called blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block. The most well known and original implementation is the Bitcoin Blockchain which is often described as a peer-to-peer (p2p) public ledger of all transactions. Blockchain technologies offer a consensus mechanism of indirect coordination, which provides the ability to achieve large-scale and systematic cooperation in an entirely distributed and decentralized manner. Blockchains can be considered as hyper-political and global governance tools, capable of managing social interactions on a large scale and dismissing traditional central authorities. Specific uses include accounting, identity management, record keeping systems, voting, and land registries.

The source of the summary:

Now, if blockchain is too technical and you aren’t using bitcoin as the new gold ;) then use the images that come to mind: block & chain, and use 808 sounds to make some beats.

Step 2: Make a beat informed by blockchain that uses or is in someway inspired by the 808 drum machine.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If you hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0276″ (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In the following discussion thread at please consider posting your track:

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, April 17, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

Length: The length is entirely up to the participant.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0276″ in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this information, and if possible link to the original track:

More on this 276th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “808 Blockchain Beats: Make 808-style beats based on the blockchain” — at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

Project discussion takes place on

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to for Slack inclusion.

Image associated with this project is from:

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