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. • Disquiet.com 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: Lunch Sounds, Shuffler.fm, Polluting Noise, …

Audio Flaneur: The excellent soundscrapers.blogspot.com by Nick Sowers is three deep in a new series of “Lunchwalks.” What’s a lunchwalk? Explains Sowers, “Got an hour? Take a walk. Inside of a thirty-minute radius, an infinitely detailed (though finitely bound) landscape is within reach.” On each walk, he records the sounds he encounters. He maps the walks, and takes photos, which tend to feature his microphone, which in turn takes on the appearance of Sowers’ fuzzy walking buddy (see above). His descriptions are splendid (“The gear boxes and cable junctures add a constant hum to the background static of the city”), and he also posts samples of the audio, such as this from his third walk:

Read them, as his walking progresses, at soundscrapers.blogspot.com.

Banner Music: I don’t look too deeply into the statistics for this site. When you write about free music and about galleries that require no entry fee, as well as commercial music that often sells in the under-500-unit zone, the whole notion of pageviews can be an exercise in misdirection, if not futility. I do take note, because the dashboard in WordPress (the publishing tool that is this site’s backend) puts the information front and center, that this site seems to get a lot more visitors via Facebook than Twitter, even though I dedicate more time to Twitter than to Facebook. (Perhaps the automated posting of Disquiet’s RSS feed to Facebook that currently occurs is something I should do more of on Twitter? Somehow that doesn’t seem right. My approach to Twitter is conversational.) Anyhow, in the mix of sites sending somewhat significant traffic to this one is a service that was previously unfamiliar: shuffler.fm. The site is an aggregator of blog-filtered music (it bills itself as an “audio magazine made by music blogs”). You can search and sort by artist, genre, blog, and so forth. And, niftily enough, you can end up navigating this very site with a top bar that lets you listen to the music on a given page and navigate the site that way. The following link, unlike the previous one in this entry, will take you to an example: shuffler.fm. For the time being, the shuffler.fm service doesn’t seem to be infringing on this site’s non-commercial Creative Commons license, though there is a page on the site that talks about advertising.

Outside Man: Perhaps the craziest thing about the movie Bunraku isn’t its surreal set (part Kill Bill, part Sin City), its peculiar cast (Demi Moore and Ron Perlman and Woody Harrelson and Josh Hartnett), or the voice of its narrator (Mike Patton, of Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, etc.), but that the score is by trumpeter Terence Blanchard, best known for his numerous Spike Lee films. (The New York Times called the movie “a potpourri of genres that ends up a morass of clichés”) Back in reality, Blanchard is also tied to Red Tails, about the African American Tuskegee Airmen.

Dark Portal: The second and third freely downloadable volumes of the score to the excellent video game Portal 2 are available at thinkwithportals.com. The first volume was covered here in late June, in the Downstream department. (Via joystiq.com and nobuooo.com.)

Polluting Noise: Noise pollution is a subject that gives noise a bad name. A story in a local news site in my area, the San Francisco baycitizen.org, touched on how emotions color perception of noise: “On Sept. 12, 2001, no flights took off at San Francisco International, but complaints were lodged nevertheless.” The science-and-scifi site i09.com has been noting how birds and dolphins have shown adverse effects of human-made sound.

The Listener: Author Warren Ellis has launched a new podcast. Second episode came out the 5th of this month, at warrenellis.com, featuring such Disquiet.com favorites as Daphne Oram and Scott Tuma. Episode one had Moondog and Tangerine Dream.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • 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

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    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.

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    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.)

  • Ongoing
    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).

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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