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.

Disquiet Interview on Hilobrow

In which Peggy Nelson asks about Junto, Benjamim Franklin, Instagram, "the influence question," Twitter, IRL, CC, and more

If you follow Peggy Nelson on Twitter (where she’s @otolythe), or her writings at, you know she pays particular attention to sonic subjects. It was a pleasure when she inquired about interviewing me about Disquiet projects, and it was doubly a pleasure when the interview got underway. Not only did she lead up to the interview with a great overview of the Disquiet Junto group a few days in advance, she also illustrated both articles with a well-chosen selection of tracks from both the Junto and Instagr/am/bient. And, she asked some great questions that worked together collectively to get me thinking about threads that run through various projects, and where they are rooted in the broader culture, and in my own personal experience. The full interview is at It’s pretty lengthy (Nelson tags it as a #longread), so I’ll reproduce here my response to her final question, on the chance some readers don’t get that far:

What’s your view of music in the 21st century? Where’s it going, where should it go?

Man, how many pages do you have for me to fill? I’ll be brief with this one, or try to be. I think talking about the future is a fool’s game, and even though I’m as foolish as the next person, I’m going to talk about the present instead.

I think we’re in a resplendently transitional moment, and while I have no idea what kind of unforeseen form might become normalized, I do like to think we can do a lot to make more of our present cultural circumstances. I think there is something between RSS and API that could make music more exhilarating, and that’s kind of what Junto is for me. RSS can be seen as the steady flow of information in a linear fashion that allows for its wide, unintended dispersal. API can be described as the means by which a code-based system allows itself to interact with other code-based systems.

There is a reason why political blogs are exciting even if the individual posts are just ever-shifting bits of tea-reading and barometer-checking, because watching politics unfold in real time is fascinating, and watching a good blogger’s mind change in real time is intoxicating, like the best serial television can be. I think music has an opportunity to unfold in a more blog-like mode. Meanwhile, most of the major online commercial music apparatuses are just trying to make virtual record stores, and I think that’s a strategic error so sizable that “strategic”is an understatement; I just don’t know what is to “strategic”the way “strategic”is to “tactical.”Maybe I should just get comfortable with that hackneyed term, “paradigm.”

Anyhow, the future — OK, here I go, fool that I am — isn’t an online record store. It could be something else, something more fluid and ephemeral, with a sense of narrative underlying it. I think music in the not too distant future might relate to the concept of a record store like telephones related to the concept of a “visiting card”and automobiles related to the concept of a train schedule.

Read the full piece at More on Nelson at and

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • 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

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    December 13, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of
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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

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    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:

  • 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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    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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