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: May 2015

Machine Woman Goes to “Paris”

Sublime industrial work by Anastasia Vtorova

Machine Woman is the name under which Russian-born Anastasia Vtorova makes a pulsating range of slow industrial music. Her SoundCloud account has long-form exlorations, podcast material, and remixes. One highlight is “Paris,” which dates back two years. It’s a hard, simple piece, a range of clanks heard through thick static, the seeming routine of the motion masking a complex interplay of rhythmic grace notes. In the closing minute, the beats disappear, leaving a haunting, sullen, distant voice to fill the sizable void.

Track origianlly posted at soundcloud.com/machinewoman. Her Pink Silk album was realeased on Tesla Tapes this time last year.

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Busman’s Holiday (Berlin Edition)

Michael Raphael (aka Sepulchra) puts his mic out the hotel window.

Michael Raphael (aka Sepulchra) is a highly trained and well-equipped field recordist. He operates Rabbit Ears Audio, which produces a series of sound effects libraries, their contents ranging from steam whistles to helicopters to winter atmospheres to typewriters. And when Raphael goes on vacation, he takes along his microphones. This track was recorded outside his Berlin hotel window. I wrote to him to confirm it wasn’t edited, which he confirmed and elaborated on in a blog post at his sepulchra.com site. His hotel was located near Marienkirche, St Mary’s Church, and its bells are heard rolling through much of this track, above the din of traffic on Karl-Liebknecht-Straße. A testament to Raphael’s ear, the piece is easily believable as a post-production construction, so flowing and sinuous are the bells, and so perfectly interweaved are the street sounds. And yet, like a well-framed photograph, it is simply daily life, elevated thanks to the refined sensibility and ability of its documentarian.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/sepulchra. More from Sepulchra/Raphael at sepulchra.com and twitter.com/sepulchra.

Bonus: Here’s a promotional video of his steam-whistle collection:

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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


As easy as 1, 2, 3? Not so fast. Even simple domestic entrances can be gateways to bewilderment. These two doorbells are from homes on the same block. Both have the handmade, handpainted look that often translates into a peculiar brand of welcome-mat confusion. The numbering on the doorbell to the right is out of order, even though switching the sequence should be a fairly simple wiring matter. The doorbell to the left provides an unexplained pair of buttons for the occupant(s) in number 3.

Cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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New Music for a 17th-Century Organ

Composed by Marta Lennartsdotter of Stockholm, Sweden

The note is held, and held — and then it is held some more. The note is dense and thick. It is braided with overtones. It sounds like a bag pipe chanting a mantra. It sounds like a ship coming into port in slow motion. It sounds like a car horn stuck in some blissful mid-state — traffic honking turned into reverie, in other words: the annoyance at lack of motion turned into a celebration of stasis.

What it is is Johan Graden and Marcus Pal performing a piece by Marta Lennartsdotter at Tyska Kyrkan, an church in Stockholm, Sweden, where the instrument was installed in the late 1600s. She describes the work as “A piece for two players composed with drawn-out tones interrupted by lack of air,” and herself as “a violinist and a electroacoustic composer. I work in the field of free improvisation and slow, drone based music.”

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/marta-lennartsdotter. More on her in this brief interview at futurelegendsmalmo.tumblr.com. The live concert was recorded October 3, 2014. Also on the program (see the Facebook.com event) were works by Lo Kristenson and Ellen Arkbro.

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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt


Of course the #noiseoffice intern uses a Traktor controller when transcribing interviews.

Cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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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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