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.

Disquiet Junto Project 0399: Edges & Echoes

The Assignment: Make sonic art for a space with the sounds of that space.

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.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, August 26, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 22, 2019.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0399: Edges & Echoes
The Assignment: Make sonic art for a space with the sounds of that space.

This project is the second of three that are being done in collaboration with Musikfestival Bern, which will be held in Switzerland from September 11 through 15. For this reason, a German translation is provided below. We are working at the invitation of Tobias Reber, an early Junto participant, who is in charge of the educational activities of the festival. Select recordings resulting from these three Disquiet Junto projects will be played publicly as part of the Rauschlabor Schützenmatte (musikfestivalbern.ch) or broadcast on the festival’s radio show, Radio Antenne (radioantenne.ch). If you don’t want your recording to be used in this way, please note so wherever you post it.

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the German word “rauschen,” the theme for this year’s festival. Understand that “rauschen” is noise in the sense of white noise, waterfall noise, background noise, static, wind in trees, rain, etc. The blurred, diffuse, continuous kind of noise, not short individual non-tonal sounds.

Step 2: Provided are several recordings capturing the sounds of the empty performance space for the festival. Access them at the following URL and listen to them:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jy7ou2ssdvl8til/Bern%20Audio.zip

Step 3: Create a piece of sonic art intended to be played back in the festival performance space utilizing only the source audio.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0399” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0399” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0399-edges-echoes/

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtags #disquietjunto and #musikfestivalbern so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, August 26, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 22, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you. Shorter is often better.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0399” 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: Consider setting your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 399th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Edges & Echoes / The Assignment: Make sonic art for a space with the sounds of that space — at:

https://disquiet.com/0399/

This week’s project is the second of three being done in collaboration with Musikfestival Bern, which runs in Switzerland from September 11 – 15, 2019. The source audio was provided by the Tobias Reber. More details at:

https://www.musikfestivalbern.ch/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0399-edges-echoes/

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

The image associated with this project was adapted from one by Tobias Reber and is used with his permission.

. . .

Disquiet Junto Project 0399: Edges & Echoes
Die Aufgabe: Mach Klangkunst für einen Raum mit den Geräuschen dieses Raums.

Jeden Donnerstag wird der Disquiet Junto eine neue Kompositions-Challenge gestellt. Mitglieder haben dann vier Tage Zeit, ein Stück hochzuladen, in welchem sie auf die Challenge reagieren. Die Mitgliedschaft in der Junto ist offen: du kannst einfach mitmachen. (Ein SoundCloud-Account ist nützlich, aber nicht zwingend.) Es besteht keine Verpflichtung, bei jedem Projekt mitzumachen. Die Junto ist wöchentlich von Donnerstag bis Montag, so dass du immer dann mitmachen kannst wenn du Zeit hast.

Deadline: Die Abgabefrist für dieses Projekt ist der Montag, 26. August 2019 um 23.59 Uhr wo immer du bist. Das Projekt wurde am Donnerstag, 22. August 2019 gepostet.

Dies sind die Anweisungen, welche an die Email-Liste der Gruppe (unter tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto) versandt wurden:

Disquiet Junto Project 0399: Edges & Echoes
Die Aufgabe: Mach Klangkunst für einen Raum mit den Geräuschen dieses Raums.

Dies ist das zweite von drei Projekten in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Musikfestival Bern, welches vom 11.-15. September stattfindet. Wir arbeiten auf Einladung von Tobias Reber, einem frühen Junto-Teilnehmer und Verantwortlicher für die Musikvermittlung beim Festival. Ausgewählte Resultate dieser Projekte werden im Rahmen des Festivals im Rauschlabor Schützenmatte (https://www.musikfestivalbern.ch) öffentlich gespielt oder auf dem Festtivalradio, Radio Antenne (www.radioantenne.ch), ausgestrahlt werden. Falls du nicht möchtest, dass dein Stück dafür verwendet wird, dann vermerke dies bitte wenn du es veröffentlichst.

Weitere Informationen:

Schritt 1: Mach dich mit den Bedeutungen des Wortes «rauschen» vertraut, dem Thema des diesjährigen Festivals.

Schritt 2: Es werden mehrere Aufnahmen zur Verfügung gestellt, welche die Klangumgebung der Schützenmatte einfangen. Du kannst sie unter der folgenden URL herunterladen:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jy7ou2ssdvl8til/Bern%20Audio.zip

Schritt 3: Gestalte ein Stück Klangkunst nur aus Aufnahmen dieses Ortes, welches wiederum an diesem Ort abgespielt werden soll.

Sieben weitere Wichtige Schritte wenn deine Komposition fertig ist:

Schritt 1: Verwende „disquiet0399″ (ohne Leerschläge und Anführungszeichen) im Namen deines Tracks.

Schritt 2: Falls deine Audioplattform Tags zulässt: stelle sicher dass du den Projekt-Tag „disquiet0399″ (ohne Leerschläge und Anführungszeichen) verwendest. Vor allem auf SoundCloud ist dies hilfreich um anschliessend eine Projekt-Playlist erstellen zu können.

Schritt 3: Lade deinen Track hoch. Es ist hilfreich, aber nicht zwingend, wenn du dazu SoundCloud verwendest.

Schritt 4: Poste deinen Track im folgenden Diskussions-Thread auf llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0399-edges-echoes/

Schritt 5: Füge deinem Track eine kurze Erklärung zu deiner Herangehensweise bei.

Schritt 6: Falls du den Track auf den sozialen Medien erwähnst, verwende gerne die Hashtags #disquietjunto #musikfestivalbern so dass andere Teilnehmer deinen Hinweis besser finden können.

Schritt 7: Höre und kommentiere die Stücke deiner Junto-Kolleg*innen.

Weitere Details:

Deadline: Die Abgabefrist für dieses Projekt ist der Montag, 19. August 2019 um 23.59 Uhr wo immer du bist. Das Projekt wurde am Donnerstag, 15. August 2019 gepostet.

Dauer: Die Dauer des Stückes ist dir überlassen. Kürzer ist oft besser.

Titel/Tag: Wenn du das Stück postest, verwende bitte „disquiet0399″ im Titel des Tracks und – wo möglich – als Tag.

Upload: Wenn du bei diesem Projekt mitmachst, dann poste einen fertigen Track mit dem Projekt-Tag und füge ihm eine Beschreibung deiner Vorgehensweise bei – Planung, Komposition und Aufnahme. Diese Beschreibung ist ein zentrales Element im Kommunikationsprozess der Disquiet Junto. Fotos, Video und eine Auflistung der verwendeten Instrumente sind immer willkommen.

Download: Ermögliche gerne das Herunterladen deiner Komposition und erlaube attribuiertes Remixing (z.B. eine Creative Commons-Lizenz welche nicht-kommerzielles Teilen mit Attribution erlaubt und Remixes zulässt).

Wenn du den Track online postest, füge ihm als Kontext die folgende Information bei:

Mehr über dieses 399. wöchentliche Disquiet Junto-Projekt – Edges & Echoes / Die Aufgabe: Mach Klangkunst für einen Raum mit den Geräuschen dieses Raums.

https://disquiet.com/0399/

Dies ist das zweite von drei Projekten in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Musikfestival Bern, welches vom 11.-15. September stattfindet. Die Aufnahmen von der Schützenmatte werden von Tobias Reber zur Verfügung gestellt. Weitere Informationen unter:

https://www.musikfestivalbern.ch/

Mehr zur Disquiet Junto unter: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Abonniere die wöchentlichen Projekt-Ankündigungen hier: http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Die Diskussion des Projekts findet statt auf llllllll.co unter:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0399-edges-echoes/

Ausserdem gibt es einen Junto Slack-Channel. Sende deine Email-Adresse an twitter.com/disquiet um Zugang zum Channel zu erhalten.

Das Bild zu diesem Projekt wurde aus eine Fotografie von Tobias Reber adaptiert und wird mit seinem Einverständnis verwendet.

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Action as Atmosphere in Thief

An essay I wrote for Hilobrow

Jessie turns to Frank, the titular thief played by James Caan, and asks, “What does this mean?”

Frank replies, “It means heat.” What Frank means by “heat” is “attention from formidable adversaries on both sides of the law who were my dowry when you and I became a couple,” but he might as well have said, “It means Heat and Manhunter and The Insider and Collateral.”

That is from a short essay I just had published at the excellent hilobrow.com website. The subject is Michael Mann’s first theatrical-release film, Thief, which came out in 1981. (And, yes, there is a brief mention of Tangerine Dream’s score.)

The essay is part of the Convoy Your Enthusiasm series “analyzing and celebrating some of our favorite action movies from the Seventies (1974-1983).” There are 25 entries in the series. Other contributors include Madeline Ashby on Blade Runner, Jonathan Lethem on Straight Time, Erik Davis on Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, and Luc Sante on Black Sunday.

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This Week in Sound: Mice v. Deep Fakes + Hackers v. Smart Speakers + …

A lightly annotated clipping service

This is lightly adapted from an edition first published in the August 18, 2019, issue of the free Disquiet.com weekly email newsletter This Week in Sound (tinyletter.com/disquiet).

As always, if you find sonic news of interest, please share it with me, and (except with the most widespread of news items) I’ll credit you should I mention it here.

If you’re a whale, audio surveillance has your (hump)back: A system deployed in the Santa Barbara Channel “could capture whale calls as far as 30 miles away. Cables connected the listening station — about 600 feet below sea level — to a buoy floating on the surface.” The goal is to warn ships away from cetacean hangouts.

Mice may be the canaries in the deep-fake coal mine: “A research team is working on training mice to understand irregularities within speech, a task the animals can do with remarkable accuracy.” Bonus points for distinction drawn between “deep fakes” and “cheap fakes.” (via subtopes)

More mice news, this time relating to repairing human hearing: “Using genetic tools in mice, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine say they have identified a pair of proteins that precisely control when sound-detecting cells, known as hair cells, are born in the mammalian inner ear. The proteins, described in a report published June 12 in eLife, may hold a key to future therapies to restore hearing in people with irreversible deafness.” (via Tom Whitwell)

No one apparently wants to be left out of the recent speech-to-surveillance bingo matrix: Facebook reportedly “paid contractors to transcribe users’ audio chats.” Thus the service’s Messenger has joined Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s more anthropomorphism-neutral Assistant in sounding alarms about consumer voice privacy.

More positive news about voice recognition, from Google’s Project Euphonia: Euphonia is an “attempt to make speech recognition capable of understanding people with non-standard speaking voices or impediments. The company has just published a post and its paper explaining some of the AI work enabling the new capability.”

And a positive spin on deep fakes, as artistic pursuit: For some, the technique is a propaganda tool. “For others, this nascent technology holds great promise, offering realistic vocal models for people with speech impairments, more convincing voice assistants, intimate chatbots, and myriad uses in the entertainment industry. Motivated more by artistic interests than commercial applications, musicians in particular envision different possibilities for the future of human and machine collaboration.”

The room tone of the planet is hell on earth for some: Infrasound is sound at the floor of human perception, but some humans perceive better than others, sometimes to their detriment. “It’s like as if someone is driving needles through me. … It’s not a noise so much as you’re hearing with your ears, it’s a vibration,” says one sufferer.

The city of Malibu is exploring an outdoor public warning system for fires: “The city is asking consultants/consulting firms to identify the optimum placement of multiple sirens along the 21-mile length of the city that could be heard everywhere in an emergency and provide an overall detailed and comprehensive plan for an outdoor siren warning system.”

Your kitchen-counter smart speaker is being recruited as a weapon of sonic terror: “Matt Wixey, cybersecurity research lead at the technology consulting firm PWC UK, says that it’s surprisingly easy to write custom malware that can induce all sorts of embedded speakers to emit inaudible frequencies at high intensity, or blast out audible sounds at high volume. Those aural barrages can potentially harm human hearing, cause tinnitus, or even possibly have psychological effects.”

Movie theaters in Maryland are working to serve their hearing-impaired audiences: Via the Twitter of Sean Zdenek, who notes: “Hawaii is the only U.S. state with open captioning laws.”

Composer Geoff Barrow (of Portishead) agrees that people are using movie soundtracks to score their own lives: “It’s amazing to see just how many people are getting into the idea of listening to film scores, outside of just listening to a band’s album with 10 tracks. It’s because they want a new musical experience. It’s like reading a book, they want to be taken on a musical journey. It’s basically the modern classical.” (This via Jason Richardson, who made similar comments in his blog the week prior.)

In a surprise move, a horror-film director may have exaggerated scientific evidence, in this case of fish noises: The director of 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, Johannes Roberts, says of the movie’s screaming fish, “I wouldn’t want to necessarily swear to it, that that’s a very accurate thing that fish do.”

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“epiano, timeline, processed”

A glass held, welcomingly, to the thin wall of a home studio

SoundCloud is different things to different people. It may be where your favorite bands host their tracks. It may be where your favorite record label stores its catalog. It may be the home for podcasts you follow, or for media related to a favorite news service, or museum, or consumer product company, for that matter. SoundCloud has grown and changed as time has passed. But for many early adopters, it remains a window on their laboratory, a glass held, welcomingly, to the thin wall of a home studio.

For many musicians, SoundCloud remains a place for sketches, for works in progress. How can one tell? Well, for such musicians, the sketches are often distinguished by their titles, which tend to take the form of a list of ingredients and techniques, as much a reminder for the recording artist as a clue to the listener.

Case in point: “epiano, timeline, processed,” which is Dance Robot Dance, aka Brian Biggs, running bits of a virtual electric piano, an emulation of a stately Rhodes, through a variety of effects. This is all laid out in the brief liner note and handful of tags accompanying the track. What it is to the ear, however, is a splendidly glitchy, syrupy, artfully broken, nearly seven-minute procession of warped samples. It’s the beautiful sound of a music box melting under the summer sun.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/dance-robot-dance. More from Biggs, who is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at dance-robot-dance.bandcamp.com.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0398: Rauschen Bern

The Assignment: Make music by making a collage of noises.

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.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, August 19, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 15, 2019.

Tracks will be added to the playlist for the duration of the project.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0398: Rauschen Bern The Assignment: Make music by making a collage of noises.

This project is the first of three that are being done in collaboration with Musikfestival Bern, which will be held in Switzerland from September 11 through 15. For this reason, a German translation is provided below. We are working with Tobias Reber, an early Junto participant, who is in charge of the educational activities of the festival. Select recordings resulting from these three Disquiet Junto projects will be played publicly as part of the Rauschlabor Schützenmatte (musikfestivalbern.ch) or broadcast on the festival’s radio show, Radio Antenne (radioantenne.ch). If you don’t want your recording to be used in this way, please note so wherever you post it.

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the German word “rauschen.” Understand that “rauschen” is noise in the sense of white noise, waterfall noise, background noise, static, wind in trees, rain, etc. The blurred, diffuse, continuous kind of noise, not short individual non-tonal sounds.

Step 2: Consider that the word “rauschen” is half of the family name of the late artist Robert Rauschenberg, who was famed for his collages.

Step 3: Record several “rauschen” noises and make a sonic collage of them.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0398” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0398” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0398-rauschen-bern/

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtags #disquietjunto and #musikfestivalbern so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, August 19, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 15, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you. Shorter is often better.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0398” 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: Consider setting your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 398th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Rauschen Bern / The Assignment: Make music by making a collage of noises — at:

https://disquiet.com/0398/

This week’s project is the first of three being done in collaboration with Musikfestival Bern, which runs in Switzerland from September 11 – 15, 2019. More details at:

https://www.musikfestivalbern.ch/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0398-rauschen-bern/

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

. . .

Disquiet Junto Project 0398: Rauschen Bern Die Aufgabe: Mach Musik aus einer Collage von Geräuschen.

Jeden Donnerstag wird der Disquiet Junto eine neue Kompositions-Challenge gestellt. Mitglieder haben dann vier Tage Zeit, ein Stück hochzuladen, in welchem sie auf die Challenge reagieren. Die Mitgliedschaft in der Junto ist offen: du kannst einfach mitmachen. (Ein SoundCloud-Account ist nützlich, aber nicht zwingend.) Es besteht keine Verpflichtung, bei jedem Projekt mitzumachen. Die Junto ist wöchentlich von Donnerstag bis Montag, so dass du immer dann mitmachen kannst wenn du Zeit hast.

Read more »

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