My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Monthly Archives: March 2017

Disquiet Junto Project 0274: Broken Sound

The Assignment: Record a piece of music in the genre called "broken sound."

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, 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. A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Tracks will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:

This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, April 3, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0274: Broken Sound
The Assignment: Record a piece of music in the genre called “broken sound.”

Step 1: Imagine there is a genre called “broken sound.” Not “broken beats,” not “sound art,” but “broken sound.”

Step 2: Imagine what might characterize the “broken sound” genre.

Step 3: Create an original piece of music in the genre called “broken sound.”

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If you hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0274” (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In the following discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track:

http://llllllll.co/t/the-genre-of-broken-sound-disquiet-junto-project-0274/

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, April 3, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, March 30, 2017.

Length: The length is entirely up to the participant.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0274″ in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and be sure to 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.

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 online, please be sure to include this information, as well as the identity of the source track that yours accompanies:

More on this 274th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Broken Sound: Record a piece of music in the genre called ‘broken sound’”— at:

https://disquiet.com/0274/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

http://llllllll.co/t/the-genre-of-broken-sound-disquiet-junto-project-0274/

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

Image associated with this project is by Marc Weidenbaum:

http://instagram.com/p/BDvyl6zLIiB/

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What Sound Looks Like

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


Doorbells are generally buttons to be pushed, rarely if ever pulled. Sometimes these buttons are illuminated, though generally not. The ones that are illuminated don’t merely help guide the visitor’s finger; they also surface the fact of the electricity that mediates the interaction: that the bell, like the light, is the result of the AC power of the building into which entrance is being requested. Doorbells replaced knockers, the non-electrified notification system of banging a small hard object connected to the door by a hinge. Not all non-electric door-announcement systems are knockers, however. Some ring bells as the result of a spin, bringing to mind bicycle bells. The question is when these spun doorbells originated. Are they a mechanical means to accomplish a post-electric entry sound, or are they a pre-electric premonition of the now common doorbell?

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
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The Drone Comes in Phases

A piece by Newcastle Upon Tyne's Dominic Dixon

At 25 minutes in length, “Phasic” by Dominic Dixon (aka talkingmakesnosense) of Newcastle Upon Tyne, U.K., might feel like hours of life on hold — or it might seem like a few minutes cycled through quickly. The piece uses dense, rich drones that waver in and out of sync — hence the track’s title. The phasing renders a slow tonal mantra, a downtempo head-nodder of an organ recital, a sweeping envelope of miasma synthesis. Depending on your point of view, it is majestic or intimate.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/tmns. More from Dixon at talkingmakesnosense.com and twitter.com/talkingnosense.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0273: Alarm Clocked

The Assignment: Make music for a (new! improved!) slow-waking alarm clock.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, 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. A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required. There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Tracks will be added to this playlist for the duration of the project:

This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 27, 2017. This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, March 23, 2017.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0273: Alarm Clocked
The Assignment: Make music for a (new! improved!) slow-waking alarm clock.

Step 1: You’re going to make music for an alarm clock. Think about what you like and hate about alarms, and about your morning routine.

Step 2: This alarm clock is special. You set it three minutes before you’re due to wake up, and the music slowly gets louder as those three minutes pass. Then at precisely three minutes in, the alarm-like nature of the sound announces itself, and then the music plays for roughly another full minute.

Step 3: Create an original piece of music based on steps 1 and 2.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If you hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0273” (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In the following discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track:

http://llllllll.co/t/alarm-clocked-disquiet-junto-project-0273/7097

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, March 27, 2017. This project was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, March 23, 2017.

Length: The piece should be roughly four minutes long, per the instructions.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0273″ in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and be sure to 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.

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 online, please be sure to include this information, as well as the identity of the source track that yours accompanies:

More on this 273rd weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Alarm Clocked: Make music for a (new! improved!) slow-waking alarm clock” — at:

https://disquiet.com/0273/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here:

http://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

llllllll.co/t/alarm-clocked-disquiet-junto-project-0273/7097

There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

Image associated with this track is used with a Creative Commons license:

flic.kr/p/662uYX

creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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The Patzr Radio Podcast

Jimmy Kpple's micro-odes to everyday noise

Podcasts aren’t radio, but in many cases they might as well be. When someone says, “I don’t watch TV,” yet is up to date on lots of shows by virtue of a Hulu or Netflix account, there’s a disconnect at work that’s difficult to address politely, one that seems to have more with identity flag-waving than with anything technologically persuasive.

Podcasts may align with radio, but they’re something else entirely — or, more to the point, they’re capable of being something else entirely. Many, nonetheless, still feel like radio, from the structure to the content to the intonation. Not, as they say, that there’s anything wrong with that. The podcast mode has been on my mind a lot as I’ve been planning my own, titled Disquietude. Now that it’s out, I hear other podcasts through a different … well, not lens, but through instinctively analytical earbuds. When amid a hastily recorded bit of timely tech news, for example, the word “Googleable” sounds oddly close to “giggle-able,” I can relate to the anxiety in regard to whether you really want to do one more take. There’s at least one grammatical error in my first Disquitude podcast episode that kills me, a simple plural/singular misalignment, but I just couldn’t face the mic one more time.

I did radio twice for long stretches, first on WYBC on the East Coast during college, and then on KDVS on the West Coast after moving to California. Reviewing plays during college is how I learned the concept — if not the fully adopted practice — of whittling one’s discussion points to a select few, and hanging them on some semblance of narrative. Both stations encouraged relatively freeform approaches for its DJs, and that’s what I took pleasure in. Disquietude, as I plot episode two, is still very much a work in progress. I have aspirations to “play with the form,” as my friend Erik Davis (of the Expanding Mind podcast) encouraged me recently. It’ll come in stages.

If there’s a podcast that gets at the orthogonal-to-professional notion of the medium, the other-than-radio aspect, it is the excellent Patzr Radio series, which is helmed by Jimmy Kipple, who (employing a brief vocal element by Paula Daunt) did the theme for my Disquietude podcast. His Patzr consists of collections of #cheap-concrete, to employ Kipple/Kpple’s favorite tag. It’s snatches of everyday sound, rendered into “listening material” courtesy of nothing other than the mere fact of the podcast’s existence.

There are 72 Patzr episodes to date, all the same one minute and forty seconds in length, the latest a mix of unintelligible passing voices, and rough noises against subterranean leakages, doppler-effect motoring, and exquisitely banal footsteps that are not in the least bit threatening — except to the extent that the assemblage threatens the tidy conception of a podcast. When a format is merely a feed and a file, a few lines of RSS code and a fixed audio document, there’s a lot you can do with it, and sometimes doing very little, doing something explicitly contained, is the best reminder of the potential therein.

Check out the full series at soundcloud.com/patzr-radio, iTunes, and podbean.com.

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