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 2014

sound.tumblr.com

A lightly annotated linkblog about the role of sound in the media landscape

This is the fourth or fifth time I’ve taken a fresh start at my sound.tumblr.com account. This time I feel — as I suppose I have each time, for varying lengths of time — like I’ve finally sorted out how to manage it, what use to make of it. I’m pretty unsatisfied by simply reposting things without commentary. At the same time, Tumblr is even more like Twitter than it is like Facebook: it doesn’t seem to reward longer considerations of subject matter, and much of the collective participation happens through hashtags and through reposting. So, I’m now using Tumblr as a kind of linkblog, an “active delicio.us” as it were. It has a specific focus: entirely on my research on “the role of sound in the media landscape. That’s the realm of the class I’ve been teaching since 2012 at the Academy of Art in San Francisco (“Sounds of Brands / Brands of Sounds”). Everything that I post to sound.tumblr.com will be annotated, but only lightly, and I’m doubling down on the hashtags, so they’ll be of use to me for collation purposes. For the re-inauguration, I’ve updated the theme, just to tonally note that there’s been a shift.

Recent posts include the “ghost lap” of a race car, aftermarket activists undoing the sounds added to vehicles, Teju Cole’s ode to the vuvuzela (via Alexis Madrigal), and Yuri Suzuki’s new sounds for shoes.

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]

Making Music from “Making Waves Make Waves”

A remix by L-A-J

Larry Johnson, whose music is often credited to L-A-J, has taken the nascent modular synthesis experiment that I recently posted, “Making Waves Make Waves,” and reworked it into something considerably more nuanced and complex, for which I am quite thankful. I’ve had field recordings reworked by others in the past, but this is the first time something closer to the consensual definition of “music” that I’ve posted has been reworked. What’s especially enticing for me is how it sounds like the music in my head I’d like to make, more layered and attenuated. Johnson has done right by my beeps and boops:

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/l-a-j-1.

Tags: , , , , / Leave a comment ]

Disquiet Book Club: Daphne Oram’s An Individual Note

The discussion begins at disquiet.com/forums on June 18

20140607-daphneoramA proper online discussion forum was recently introduced on Disquiet.com. The implementation is still in beta, but it seems to be functioning well. One of the things the forum will support is an occasional book club. After much deliberation, the first book we’ll be collectively reading and talking about is the out-of-print volume An Individual Note of Music, Sound and Electronics by composer, theoretician, philosopher, and studio manager Daphne Oram, perhaps best known for her pioneering efforts in the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop. Oram passed away in 2003 at the age of 77. The discussion will begin on the 15th of this month, a Sunday. Originally published in 1971, An Individual Note is available as a free PDF download here:

http://www.ubu.com/historical/oram/index.html

On the morning of June 15, California time, a discussion thread will appear in the forums here:

https://disquiet.com/forums/

Thanks for considering joining in. There will be more such discussion groups in the future. A number of excellent suggestions were contributed to the forum in the process of coming up with the Oram title.

Tag: / Comment: 1 ]

Disquiet Junto Project 0127: Library Shhh

Record the sound of your library – and then maybe make something of it.

20140605-libraryshhh

Each Thursday 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 in the Junto is open: just join and participate.

Tracks by participants will be added to this playlist as the project proceeds:

This project was published in the evening, California time, on Thursday, June 5, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, June 9, 2014, as the deadline.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (sign up at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0127: Library Shhh

This week explores the concept of silence. You will record one full minute of sound in the sort of place that is often associated with silence, or at least near silence: the library. By doing so, you will help support artist Zoè Benoit’s artwork called “bibliobeep,”which is a collection of library soundscapes from around the globe. Benoit is especially interested in the “beeps” that might occur in a library, so if possible follow this instruction:

“We are looking for one-minute recordings of background noises occurring at library checkout points and returns, including: electronic ‘beep’ sounds, sounds of books or other library media being handled, words exchanged, etc. To properly record a sound, position yourself near the offices where you can hear especially machine ‘beeps’ that incorporate the voices and sounds of library staff and the materials they handle.”

These are the steps:

Step 1: Record the sound of a library.

Step 2: Locate a continuous one-minute segment and upload it to the Numelyo “bibliobeep” project website:

http://goo.gl/7oKwfM

Step 3 (optional): If you so desire, create a very quiet piece of music suitable for background listening. This piece should employ your library field recording as source material.

Step 4 (optional): If you made the piece of music in step 3, then create a two-minute file by appending it at the end of the original one-minute library field recording.

Step 5: Whether you did steps 3 and 4 or if you merely made the field recording from steps 1 and 2, upload the finished file to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud, following the remaining instructions:

Deadline: Monday, June 9, 2014, at 11:59pm wherever you are.

Length: The length of your finished work should be either one minute (if you just do the field recording) or two minutes (if you also do the composition).

Information: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, 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 “disquiet0127-libraryshhh” in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 127th Disquiet Junto project — “Record the sound of your library — and then maybe make something of it”— at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0127: Library Shhh

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

The Disquiet Junto Project List (0001 – 0279 …)

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

More on Zoè Benoit’s “bibliobeep” art project at:

http://conference.ifla.org/ifla80/librarians-worldwide-call-beeps

Photo associated with this project via:

http://goo.gl/UJhtQr

Tags: , / Leave a comment ]

“Making Waves Make Waves”

A first upload from my new experiments in modular synthesis

I continue to explore modular synthesis, with my nascent Eurorack (small format) setup assembled, and then expanded thanks to some loaner modules from a friend. The above track is the first thing I thought was vaguely upload-worthy. It’s titled “Making Waves Make Waves” because it’s an early attempt at using waves as both sound and as patterns for effects. Here’s what I wrote about it on SoundCloud:

I’ve begun fiddling with a simple modular synthesis setup, using module components in the Eurorack format. This is a recording I made in the afternoon of June 2, 2014. As shown in the accompanying picture, I’m using six modules to accomplish this, one of which (a Doepfer A180) is just to get the audio out. The main sound is from an oscillator. It’s a triangle wave being fed into this filter called the Harvestman Polivoks. An LFO, the Doepfer A-145, is affecting the Polivoks filter as the result of a saw wave. That same LFO is outputting a sine wave that is feeding into the Ginkosynthese, which is affecting a horizontal wave distortion (if I understand correctly, which I likely don’t), which, to bring things full circle, is triggering note values in that original oscillator mentioned at the start of all this. One thing not visible in the accompanying photo is that I used a fairly slow pace to set the tempo with the Ginkosynthese. Anyhow, I’ve been fiddling with this stuff for a few weeks, and this is the first thing that felt uploadable.

Here’s a short loop of that same piece in Vine:

These are the loaner modules I mentioned:

And my explorations of this can be followed intermittently via the #modular tag.

Tags: , , / Comments: 2 ]
  • 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

  • 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 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.

  • 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