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.

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Past Week at Twitter.com/Disquiet

  • From advance warning anxious that Dyer’s Zona will send me back to my decades-long no-1st-person approach to writing, just as I was warming. #
  • Picked up Geoff Dyer’s Zona at the library. It has a sticker on it that says “POPULAR READING.” #
  • Thanks! MT @Nonwrestler: @disquiet 30s photos converted to sound, presented as videos tracking through the results http://t.co/wPJzfPhQ #
  • Made banner image for my site: white backdrop + black text atop image. Massive Kinko’s flashback to circa-1987 college flyer/zine-making. #
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Newsletter Update + Discussion Forum

Pondering an addition to this website – input from readers appreciated.

I just sent out an email to this website’s newsletter list. It was an interim newsletter, mostly serving as a request for input from readers:

I’m thinking about adding a discussion forum to Disquiet.com, and was wondering if, as a reader of the site, you might find such a thing of interest.

That wasn’t phrased as a question, but please imagine that it had been and, if you have a chance, please reply with your thoughts. I’d greatly appreciate the input.

What’s led me to think that a discussion forum housed on Disquiet.com might have a solid base of informed and inquisitive participants is the range and quality of discussion in various related places, such as on the Discussion tab at the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud, and on Facebook and via Twitter, as well as in the comments on Disquiet.com. I feel like there’s an opportunity to host discussions about sound, art, music, technology, creativity, and related subjects. I think I’d revive the “MP3 Discussion Group,” and add a semi-regular book discussion, perhaps film as well. If this appeals to you, please let me know. (And if you think it’s a less than stellar idea, please tell me why, if you have a chance.) And no matter your expressed perspective you’re under no obligation to participate, should I go ahead and launch it. There are numerous forums associated with music-making gadgetry, and with record labels, but a place focused on listening and composition might have some promise.

If you have thoughts on the subject, shoot me an email (at [email protected]), or reply in the comments section to this post. Thanks.

That logo at the top of this post is for the service that hosts the Disquiet.com email newsletter, which you can subscribe to at tinyletter.com/disquiet, or from the form that appears in the left-hand column of just about every page on this website. Previously the list was hosted on the archaic Mailman service, which was inelegant, and before that it was just me putting a lot of email address into the Bcc line of an email, which was several leagues below inelegant.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0025: Schedule Song

The Assignment: Turn one or two sets of sonic alerts (project 24) into a song.

Each Thursday evening at the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com 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 to the Junto is open: just join and participate.

This week’s project is the Disquiet Junto’s 25th, which is quite a remarkable milestone. Just this past week we passed the 1,000-track milestone, and just the week prior the 200-participant milestone. The 25th project builds on the 24th one, which was about creating an asynchronous suite of related musical alerts, sonic signals or ringtones for events such as the arrival or email or an IM. While the individual parts of those tracks did relate to each other, they also suggested themselves to many participants as the source material for subsequent reworking — which is precisely what the 25th project is up to.

The assignment was made late in the day, California time, on Thursday, June 21, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, June 25, as the deadline. View a search return for all the entries as they are posted: disquiet0025-skedsong.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto). They appear below translated into four additional languages: German, Japanese, Spanish, and Turkish courtesy of Allan Brugg, Naoyuki Sasanami, Norma Listman, and M. Emre Meydan, respectively.

Disquiet Junto Project 0025: Schedule Song

This week’s project treats the previous week’s (project 24) as its source material. The goal of project 25 is to construct a single track made from audio elements that were initially intended to serve as sonic alerts. The tracks contributed to project 24 included four distinct elements, one each to signify the arrival of an email, the arrival of an IM, the arrival of a phone call, and a calendar event. Please select one or two tracks from project 24 and make a new song by combining their individual parts. Please structure your new song in the form of a day: opening, for example, with an alarm clock, and ending at bedtime. You can add new sounds and you can transform the elements from the pre-existing tracks.

The source tracks from project 24 can be located here:

Disquiet Junto Project 0024: Alert Suite

Deadline: Monday, June 25, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: Please keep your track to between 2 and 5 minutes.

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, please 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.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on Soundcloud.com, please include the term “disquiet0025-skedsong”in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: As always, you don’t have to set your track for download, but it would be preferable.

Linking: When posting the track please include links to the one or two tracks you employed as source material, and include to the following information:

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/info

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Under the Bridge, Revisited (MP3)

A Portland bridge gets a German restructuring.

A month ago rawore (aka Bob Phillips) caught the sounds under the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, Oregon. The result was a gaping-mouth yawn of rumble and doppler woosh. At barely half a minute, it registered as a snippet, a glimpse of daily sonic life, a snapshot of the sonic everyday. But it had something to it, a sense of narrative, perhaps, and certainly a meaningful texture — that odd tension that exists within a documentary recording that feels lush and warm when in fact it is capturing hard rubber on tarmac echoing against concrete and metal. Perhaps brevity served it as well, coaxing the imagination to ponder where it might have gone had the road not hit a dead end.

Over in Germany, all cousmatic (aka Allain Cousmatique) took note of this low-grade intrigue, and then took the sounds and expanded them sixfold in length. The result tweaks the texture just enough so that the rubber on the road becomes a minimal techno rhythm, a light beat that shimmers like a mass of passing headlights, never quite aligning with a proper metronomic pulse, but still telegraphing momentum, speed, direction, force.

Original track originally posted at soundcloud.com/r-37, remix at soundcloud.com/all-cousmatic.

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Tensile Free Improvisation (MP3)

Bass, drums, violin – and vapor

The trio of Mathieu Werchowski (violin), Fabien Duscombs (drums), and Heddy Boubaker (electric bass) don’t have a prominent digital presence between them, except perhaps for some unannotated processing, but the result of their music — a tensile free improvisation — will appeal to electronically informed ears. For the first half of this live performance recording, there is little in the way of a beat; instead there are three semi-distinct sounds moving slowly around each other in the voluminous haze of the instruments’ collective sonic vapor trail. In time, these contrasting rhythmic impulses coalesce, eventually building to something meaty and insistent. That drive, which rocks fairly hard, can be difficult to trace back to where it came from. The pleasure in the track is listening, again, and witnessing the fragile sounds accumulate and consolidate.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/hbbk. Also available are the first and third parts of the performance. Audio recorded and mastered by Mathieu Werchowski.

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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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  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    • 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 (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • 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 oup.com.)

  • 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.

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