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.

This Week in Sound: Silent Tires + Speech2Face + …

A lightly annotated clipping service

Don’t Tread: Despite the fact that sounds are being added to electric and hybrid cars to compensate for how quiet they are, Bridgestone has produced a new tire, the Turanza QuietTrack, designed to muffle the familiar noise of rubber on tarmac. Soon enough we’ll be adding electronic tire sounds to compensate for the newly quiet tires. Then perhaps we’ll replace car horns with what sounds like a parent screaming in the middle of the night upon stepping on a Lego tire.

Visage Thing: MIT researchers report they can deduce what your face looks like from what your voice sounds like: “The paper, ‘Speech2Face: Learning the Face Behind a Voice,’ explains how they took a dataset made up of millions of clips from YouTube and created a neural network-based model that learns vocal attributes associated with facial features from the videos. Now, when the system hears a new sound bite, the AI can use what it’s learned to guess what the face might look like.” (Via the Twitter account of Robin James, who appears to be understandably skeptical about this announcement.) Of perhaps more interest is the Fast Company article’s focus on the way “Voice privacy has taken a backseat to the push to regulate face recognition.”

Nay, Robot: The FCC appears to have taken steps to stem the tide of robocalls. Whether the actions will have an impact is yet to be seen. I have worried that robocalls will be impossible to regulate due to some obscenely broad interpretation of free speech. You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater. Nor should you be able to contribute to a denial-of-service attack on the household phone by loading it down with scam pitches and spoofed numbers.

Not OK: Apparently when the band Radiohead declined to pay a ransom, someone posted 18 hours of bootlegged rarities from their OK Computer recording sessions. (Update: Radiohead then went ahead and put the whole thing online, temporarily, at

To Beep: To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, Fast Company has been running a series of stories on 50 related subjects, such as Tang and Velcro. The eighth such story is about “the birth of the electronic beep”: “The CBS News special devoted to the launch and impact of Sputnik opened with 18 seconds of the recorded beep.’Until two days ago,’ said anchor Douglas Edwards, ‘that sound had never been heard on this Earth. Suddenly, it has become as much a part of 20th century life as the whirr of your vacuum cleaner.'”

Fly in a Wall: A prototype sound proofing material has been derived from “the tiny sound absorbent scales found on the wings of a giant species of moth,” the African Cabbage Tree Emperor.

Two to Tango: The video game Dance Dance Revolution turns 20 this year. According to the New York Times, there are now only two remaining DDR machines at Manhattan arcades. The newspaper’s scrolling photo essay takes readers to the scenes. (Via Simon Carless’ excellent Video Game Deep Cuts weekly email newsletter.)

This was first published in the June 9, 2019, issue of the free weekly email newsletter This Week in Sound.

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

  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 544 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts