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.

Listening to Yesterday: New Old Home

Guests breathe unfamiliar life into an intimate space


Two guests slept in the house, one in a bedroom, another in the living room, crashed out on the couch. It is rare that people stayed the night, and the house felt different and much of why it felt different was how it sounded. I’m used to stray, strange noises. I live in the city not far from the ocean in one direction and the bay in another, and quite close to a massive park. All manner of people and wildlife make themselves heard on a regular basis.

The building itself is over 90 years old. It creaks. It gives. It moans. It has regularly let the world in: a neighbor’s quiet party experienced only through chance fragments of the goings-on, such as the nearly sub-aural thud of the drum track to some quietly played music tuned just below annoyance and recognizability; a squeal in the backyard that seemed like a litter of mice but turned out to be a solitary, frightened, cornered skunk; off-season fireworks shot off at a considerable distance and echoing peculiarly; bands playing at one festival or another a few blocks away.

Eight years living in this building, I find all those sounds now familiar, and their familiarity has made other sounds more familiar than they might have been: permutations of the known. The guests provided permutations as well — not just of the known, but of the intimate. Footsteps in a new cadence, tracing a new route, but on floorboards I’d recognize anywhere. Water turned off just shy of fully, leaving the sort of drip that otherwise never happens. Cabinets closed just too quickly, a toilet seat dropped by mistake. Things few people rarely do in their own homes, but that they do naturally in other people’s homes.

Hearing these sounds — in the early morning, in the middle of the night, mid-day when the world has briefly gone otherwise quiet — turned my home, so new were the variations, into something akin to another person’s home. At night, for the duration of the visit, there were sounds I couldn’t hear — more heartbeats, more breaths — but I knew they were there. And even when the guests have returned to their homes, they will leave an echo in mine.

(Photo by Flood G., used via Flickr and a Creative Commons license.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website 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
    • 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 ( at Gray Area (
    • 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

  • 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

  • 0548 / Drone Vox / The Assignment: Make a drone using just your voice.
    0547 / Genre Melee / Combine two seemingly different genres.
    0546 / Code Notes / The Assignment: Make music that includes a secret message.
    0545 / Unself-Awareness / The Assignment: Learn from feedback intended for others.
    0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 548 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts