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.

Monthly Archives: May 2015

Disquiet Junto Project 0177: Netlabel Portrait

Deadline May 25, 11:59pm: Use samples of recent Dark Winter Records releases to produce a sonic image of the label.


Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on and at, 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 will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, May 21, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, May 25, 2015.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0177: Netlabel Portrait
Use samples of recent Dark Winter Records releases to produce a sonic image of the label.

Every couple of months the Disquiet Junto hosts a netlabel remix. All of the source audio for a netlabel remix is available for free, non-commercial download and creative reuse thanks to a Creative Commons license. This series of “netlabel remixes”is intended to promote that sort of thoughtful, collaborative sharing.

The netlabel Dark Winter has already released three albums this year. We’re going to use a snippet of one track from each of those records, and in combining them produce a kind of sonic snapshot of the label.

Step 1: Create a new piece of music by using nothing but the following segments of the following songs:

Use the first 30 seconds from “Part 1” off Scott Lawlor’s World of Ice and Snow:

Use the first 30 seconds from “Underground Shelter” off Nadador Nocturno’s Harsh Winters in the Distance:

Use the first 30 seconds from “DSM III – The Cristalline Entity” off Ovdk vs Seetyca’s Allegorik Symptom Before the Cataclysm:

Step 2: Upload your track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 3: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, May 21, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, May 25, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work should be roughly between one minute and four minutes.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and 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. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on, please include the term “disquiet0177-netlabelportrait”in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: Set your track as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution), per the license of the source audio.

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

More on this 177th Disquiet Junto project — “Use samples of recent Dark Winter Records releases to produce a sonic image of the label”— at:

Disquiet Junto Project 0177: Netlabel Portrait

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from

Noise office: The red book is the new Rothko bio. The yellow poster is my fake Rothko, a framed Pantone poster.

Cross-posted from
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Straddling Experimentation and Accessibility

Stringbot's "Shapeshifted"

One of the great things about Stringbot’s music is that even as it ventures into noisy areas and explores the automated patterning made available by modular synthesis, it retains an inherent pop appeal. “Shapeshifted” is a great example of how he straddles these two ends of the continuum, between experimentation and accessibility. The beat here has a vaguely random feel, not the rhythm itself but the way it plays out, how filters alter the relation of the foreground and the background, and how the foreground sound itself is modulated. At times it is pinched, at others deeply echoed; it can feel like a handmade instrument one moment, and a machine-tooled automaton the next. All the more interesting is how the beat moves, in a nuanced manner, from one such stage to another. That main percussive element is steady, with an enjoyable bounce to it. It has the feel of something Laurie Anderson might intone over.

The track is a trial run of a new piece of gear that Stringbot obtained, something called the Shapeshifter, a collaboration between the companies Cylonix and Intellijel. In the image accompanying the track, it’s the one with the lit-up rectangle on the bottom half of the shot. More on the module at and

Track originally posted at Stringbot is Joshua Davison, who is based in Chicago, Illinois.

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Beat in the Cathedral

A multi-stage piece by Darkmatter

When the piece “Ternary Cathedral” by Darkmatter opens, it consists largely of a shimmery, muted melodic line, like the high end of a pipe organ set in reverie mode. It is heard in a dark echoing chamber, and as time passes, distortion enters. The inbound backdrop for that melodic bit seems to be the same phrase set through some heavy filter. A brief drum pattern helps connect the two, finding a rhythm in the fairly loose and cloud-like melody, and hammering it home. That the beat doesn’t last very long makes it doubly interesting — usually a beat is the backbone of a track; here it is a cameo, one element among many.

Track originally posted at More from Dark Matter, based in London, at

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The Birds: After and Before

Transmuted field recordings by Richard Fair (aka Audiodays)

By the sounds of Richard Fair’s “Birdy Birdy,” the temporary autonomous zone has gone to seed. The birds have taken over the biodome, the dusty, moldering place long vacated by humans. The air is thick with the birds, and the cold surface echoes their songs with mechanical affect. Simple, cheerful tunes are quickly transmuted into something threatening, something hard. The birdsong itself is beginning to show evidence of an environmental feedback cycle, the birds’ own tune becoming slower, drowsier, more defensive, more feral. (Fair is aware of such a transaction, having written in a brief post: “I do wonder if the birds outside are reacting to what I’m doing in.”)

“Birdy Birdy” is not a real field recording, in the sense that it is not a pristine document, not by any means. What it is is the result of a field recording, a fairly blissfully mundane one, turned electronically into something quite other. The source audio was posted by Fair, who goes by Audiodays, of Norwich, England, as “Norwich Birdsong 17 May 2015.” It is bird song heard in the urban wild, complete with motorcycles and other evidence of 21st-century life. “Birdy Birdy” was posted shortly thereafter, the diary turned into a fiction.

This is the after:

This is the before:

More from Fair at and He also has a podcast.

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