New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Tangents: Reich Untaped, Player Pianos, Cardiac Development …

Recommended reading, news, and so forth elsewhere:

To Tape or Not to Tape: In a review of the June in Buffalo Festival (as in Buffalo, New York), Allan Kozinn comments on an ensemble, Signal, that opts to perform Steve Reich‘s “Double Sextet” with 12 instruments, rather than as six instruments played against a prerecorded tape:

Other ensembles, like Eighth Blackbird, have used the tape version, and it would be hard to say with complete assurance that the all-live version is more supple. But there is a lot to be said for seeing 12 performers interacting.

The take is interesting, in that he doesn’t immediately side with the non-recorded rendition. While it’s fairly inevitable that an all-live-instrument version would have have more give — that is, be more “supple” — than one involving a prerecorded tape, it’s no less likely that there’s something special inherent in the prerecorded version that’s lost in the process: the tension between live and, as it were, Memorex; the eerie doubling of timbres when an instrumentalist is heard twice at once.

Return of the Living Gould: Nick Seaver at is porting his 2010 master’s thesis (“A Brief History of Re-performance”) to his blog. The full document is downloadable as a PDF at (other promising theses include such subjects as the “metaphorical potential” of, as well as ethics in, video games; as well as “civic production” in mobile video). The most recent section he has culled is on Zenph, the studio that specializes in simulating live performances based on existing recordings. As Seaver points out, such a feat is of particular interest with Glenn Gould since he famously retreated prematurely from the stage to focus on creative life within the confines of a studio:

Although Gould was not seated at the bench, he seemed to be everywhere else: in the grooves of the record, the name of the studio, the replica of his chair, and in the few megabytes of data that ran through the cable and triggered the array of precision solenoids attached to the piano’s internal mechanism, or “action.”That “the only thing missing”seemed to be a holographic projection of Gould himself was a testament to the success of Zenph’s other projection: the motion of Gould’s hands and feet, pulled through time and space in thousands of precise measurements and reconstituted by the technological apparatus on stage.

Shoot the Player Piano: Nicely slotting alongside Seaver’s piece on Gould is another entry, this one about this video by Jürgen Hocker of Conlon Nancarrow‘s piano rolls:


Nancarrow arguably foresaw Zenph’s business model, and did his best to render it moot by removing himself from the performance equation to begin with.

Cardiac Development: At Hugo Verweij‘s, there is news of the Heart Chamber Orchestra (, the heartbeats of whose members “are picked up by electrocardiogram sensors, and fed into a computer”:

The information is used to create a composition which score is sent back to the musicians to be played from the laptop screens in front of them. At the same time the heartbeats influence the visuals on the screen.

Pattern Cognition: Alva Noto alter-ego Carsten Nicolai is following up his book Grid Index with Moiré Index. Like it’s predecessor, Moiré is a thick, spartan collection of spare geometric images — truly the visual equivalent of much of Nicolai’s sonic output. The book includes a CD, but there’s no music on it: “A CD accompanies the book and contains not only the featured moirés as digital files, but also individual elements that can be used to create an almost endless amount of new overlays.” Info at

Be Quiet; Be Very, Very Quiet: Practical advice for recordists on “How to Capture Very Soft Sounds”:

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , , , / Leave a comment ]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website 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

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe

  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly ( at Gray Area (
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of 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

  • 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).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    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.

    Recent Projects

  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 544 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts