February 13, 2014, is the official release date for my 33 1/3 book on Aphex Twin's 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II, 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.

tag: field-recording

Disquiet Junto Project 0142: Call Center

The Assignment: Make music from the near silence of phone calls.


Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.com and at Disquiet.com, 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.

Tracks in the project will be added to this setlist:

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, September 18, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, September 22, 2014, as the deadline.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0142: Call Center
The Assignment: Make music from the near silence of phone calls.

This week’s project explores the near-silence inherent in phone calls. These are the steps:

Step 1: Record the near-silent sound of phone calls between your phone and three different other phones.

Step 2: Develop a short, original piece that accentuates the differences between the sounds of these three calls.

Step 3: Upload the track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 4: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow participants.

Deadline: Monday, September 22, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Your finished work should be between one and three minutes in length.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and 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.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0142-callcenter″ in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

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, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 142nd Disquiet Junto project — “Make music from the near silence of phone calls″ — at:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Join the Disquiet Junto at:


Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:


Photo associated with this project by Georgie Sharp and used thanks to a Creative Commons license:


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A Texan’s Memory of Paris in the Rain

Denton-based Old Clone revisits a rainy day

The muffled chords and elongated melody, the recording of rails and the hushed drone like a thick cloud cover, the almost intelligible conversation, the laughs of people who aren’t you — all this combines in Old Clone’s “Concorde” for a majestic, nostalgia-rich reverie. Old Clone describes it in a brief liner note as being “based on my memory of paris and europe, and in particular, a rainy day when i went to the concorde stop.” The rain in the end is what truly distinguishes the track, how it reveals itself in the closing seconds, having lingered there all along amid the fragmented source material.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/oldclone. More from Old Clone, who is based in Denton, Texas, at oldclone.bandcamp.com.

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From the Wilds of Southernmost Japan

A half hour from deep in Iriomote


The ingredients: “Elegant scops owl, Ryukyu flying fox, Yaeyama harpist frog, Ryukyu ruddy kingfisher, cicadas, Ryukyu green pigeon, Ryukyu crow, white breasted waterhen …”

The setting: the remote Japanese Island of Iriomote, which is so far south on the archipelago that it looks more like a neighbor of Taiwan.

The recordist: Rodolphe Alexis traveled to Iriomote this past summer, and returned with a four-channel document of the luxurious habitat, all bleating and crooning, welping and whizzing, croaking and cawing. It is an enticingly remote sonic postcard, available for free download as an MP3.

Track originally posted at touchradio.org.uk. More on Alexis, who is based in Paris, at rodolphe-alexis.info.

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Sensing Lisbon

A responsive sonic environment by Abinadi Meza


The audio is a race of everyday noise at what feels like hyperspeed. There are warbling sirens and clipped voices of public address systems or low-resolution audio surveillance, not to mention foremost this underlying bass drone. Played on a laptop’s speakers at mid- to high level of volume, it will vibrate your desk until your pens and spare change join in the quotidian cacophony. It all has this sense of speed because of the high pitch and the constant pervasive environmental presence.

As it turns out, that sense of presence is rooted in the source audio. The track, “Mere Pis: Lisbon” by Abinadi Meza, is a digital reflection of constant triggers from everyday life. As the brief project description explains:

“Mere Pis: Lisbon is an exploratory atmospherics project that was made in Lisbon, Portugal using custom-built sensors and software. The sensors recorded micro-local environmental elements such as ambient light, humidity, light frequencies, and temperature. Meza treated these sounds as residues, glitches, and afterimages – fragments of a city beyond the city. The project was presented as a live performance at the Sinel de Cordes Palace in Lisbon on September 19 and 21, 2013.”

The above image shows the sensors in question. More on the project at abinadimeza.blogspot.com. This recording was episode 55 of the excellent Radius podcast.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/theradius. More details at theradius.us. Abinadi Meza is an American living in Rome, Italy. More from him at abinadimeza.blogspot.com and twitter.com/abinadi.

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Time in the Library with Mark Rushton

An extended Disquiet Junto piece

There are many mysteries to the Internet, among them why Mark Rushton has a total of just 173 followers at the moment on his SoundCloud account. He’s an active and frequent participant in ambient music online, with a deep archive at markrushton.bandcamp.com and a must-subscribe podcast, just to note a few of his outposts. In any case, among his most recent treats is an extended version of an earlier Disquiet Junto entry. Back in June he was among the members to record the sound of their local library and turn it into music. The first take was two minutes, which he found wanting, and so he has extended it by nearly three times. He talks a bit about the source audio in the original post:

I decided I would try to get a recording by checking out a couple of books. There were two people staffing the Service Desk, so there was a chance for additional sounds in the recording. I figured I could easily get a minute’s worth of recording, and I did. The microphone was peeking out of my shirt’s pocket in a rather unobtrusive way. I tried to be quiet and be careful with my breathing as the mic was pointing upwards at my nose.

Since the elevator exit is right around the corner from the Service Desk, I left that sound in. I thought that was an interesting start. Surely if you work the Service Desk you have to hear it all the time.

The extended version takes even more time to locate the musicality in those source elements and create a lithe, gently percussive, quotidian fantasia from them.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/markrushtoncom. More from Iowa City–based Mark Rushton at markrushton.com.

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