This Week in Sound: Animal Music, Conrad’s Drone, Telephone Music, …

Plus a guest NewMusicBox columnist and an archive of female electronic musicians

A lightly annotated clipping service:

— Sonic Husbandry: It was a big week for sound and the natural world. We learned from Kevin Holmes at the Creators Project how scientists are using slime molds to make music, and from just about every news service on the planet of a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison that explains how to compose music with cats as the intended listeners. (The mold item via the theater director and playwright Elyse Singer.)

— String Theory: Liz Glass at the great website of the Walker Art Center writes at length about the 1972 “Long String Drone” of artist Tony Conrad: “Conrad’s relationship to the sounds created by the Theatre of Eternal Music is based on both an understanding of mathematics and musical mechanics as well as on an interest in attaining certain physical, spatial, and spiritual experiences. The plasticity that Conrad attributes to the sounds created by the Theatre of Eternal Music’s unyielding drone signals a shift in his understanding of his role as the maker of a sound, moving from the position of a composer to that of a technician, or, as he would say, ‘from progenitor of the sound to the groundskeeper at its gravesite.'”

— Bell Tones: The National Museum of American History has an exhibit running through October 25 on Alexander Graham Bell and the Origins of Recorded Sound. (Via the Washington, DC, comics blogger and medical-history archivist Michael Rhode.)

— Sample This: Ethan Hein has started a month-long residency at the composer-oriented website His first piece there is about the aesthetics and politics of sampling: “Playing a riff from a chart sounds very different from discovering it in the heat of the moment.”

— Beyond Delia: Over at, a user who goes by hardboiledbabe has compiled a massive list of female practitioners of “early electronic, electroacoustic, minimalism, tape music, drone, and musique concrète.” Kudos.

This first appeared in the March 10, 2015, edition of the free Disquiet “This Week in Sound”email newsletter:

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