- Lao New Year celebration at Civic Center in San Francisco: minor chords on massive Casios are traditional, as in Russian & Thai festivities. #
- Military aircraft just shattered unusually sunny day with its jet engines. Not sure if the sound lingers in the sky, or just in my ears. #
- The bus is oddly quiet. Something should penetrate my iPod’s chamber music. My entire neighborhood has decided to make it a 3-day weekend. #
- Favorite new-to-me phrase: “festina lente,”Latin for “to make haste slowly.”#
- Neat insta-rewind: Play MP3 in Quicktime in Firefox to the end; hit Command/Backarrow & it plays backward with no clipping. #
- RIP, pop provocateur Malcolm McLaren (b. 1946). Tonight: Duck Rock & Fans. Here he is on 8-bit as the new punk from 2003: http://is.gd/bkyzg #
- Garbage truck rumbles past clumsily, continues for a block, turns down another street. Someone else’s sonic Thursday morning is my Monday. #
- Q: “What is that sound/Where is it coming from/All around”–Billy Bragg … A: The hum of the industrial carpet cleaner a few houses down. #
- The office printer at various points during the day performs a hypnotic, deeply modal qawwali-like drone for minutes at a time. #
- Wondering what sound on a given morning triggers the activity of noting sounds. Today: hard drive, airplane, bus, ice in glass of coffee. #
- Both @bandcamp and @soundcloud are great web platforms for musicians. I just wish the latter had “clickable tags”the way the former does. #
- Morning sounds: hard drive, fridge, bus, shower, heater, plane overhead. Each truly ordinary but in combination a kind of ambient cacophony. #
- From George Prochnik’s book In Pursuit of Silence: “I was as tired of hearing myself complain about noise as I was about the noise itself.”#
- Lovely quiet after long, intense rain. Is the water-logged street quieter, are our wet walls thicker, or are there just fewer cars out? #
- Sunday morning = new Ava Mendoza album. #
- There are mornings when the refrigerator sounds like a body shop for hovercraft. This is one of them. #
- Just saw flick Staten Island, with great Seymour Cassel as deaf mute deli worker in trouble with mob. Great handling of his lack of hearing. #
- Washing machine is sound of industriousness. Birdsong reminds me I need to clean the yard. #
Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media
• December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
• December 28, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
• January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
• July 28, 2021: This day marked the 500th consecutive weekly project in the Disquiet Junto music community.
• There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
• A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)
• The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.
• My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).
Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.
• 0511 / Freeze Tag / The Assignment: Consider freezing (and thawing) as a metaphor for music production.
• 0510 / Cold Turkey / The Assignment: Record one last track with a piece of music equipment before passing it on.
• 0509 / The Long Detail / The Assignment: Create a piece of music with moments from a preexisting track.
• 0508 / Germane Shepard / The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.
• 0507 / In DD's Key of C / The Assignment: Make music with 10 acoustic instrument samples all in a shared key.
And there is a complete list of past projects, 511 consecutive weeks to date.