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: November 2019

The Wireless League

From the BBC's back pages

Down the literary rabbit hole that was that Mary-Kay Wilmers (London Review of Books) profile in the New York Times, I found this logo to what is both a long-ago BBC print publication, and a superhero team-up I’d love to read (the Wireless League!).

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Disquiet Junto Project 0410: Op Audio

The Assignment: What does the sonic equivalent of Op Art sound like?

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.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, November 11, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, November 7, 2019.

Tracks will be added to the playlist for the duration of the project.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0410: Op Audio
The Assignment: What does the sonic equivalent of Op Art sound like?

Thanks to Nate Trier for having suggested a “Shepard tone Junto,” which led to this week’s project.

Step 1: If you aren’t familiar with the concept of Op Art, read up. It employs optical illusions as raw material for artistic expression.

Step 2: Think about what the sonic equivalent of Op Art would be. For example, consider the Shepard tone (the illusion of continually rising or descending pitch).

Step 3. Record a piece of Op Audio resulting from your thinking in Step 2.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0410” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0410” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0410-op-audio/

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #disquietjunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, November 11, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, November 7, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0410” 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: Consider setting your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 410th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Op Audio / The Assignment: What does the sonic equivalent of Op Art sound like? — at:

https://disquiet.com/0410/

Thanks to Nate Trier for having suggested a “Shepard tone Junto,” which led to this week’s project.

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:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0410-op-audio/

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

The image associated with this project is from the Wikipedia entry on the logarithmic spiral:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logarithmic_spiral

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The First Button

Of many, at Perfect Circuit in Burbank

In Los Angeles for the long weekend on a project, I finally had a chance to visit Perfect Circuit for the first time. Perfect Circuit is one of the best synthesizer (and related) retail outfits in America, with superior mail-order service, excellent videos (on YouTube, where they blessedly employ limited voiceovers, letting the music do the talking), and most importantly a wide-ranging and deep stock of equipment (plus books and other merchandise). Much of that equipment is on view and available for fiddling with inside the nondescript corner storefront operation (which doubles as a warehouse) in Burbank. There are large table tops loaded with gadgets, a small wall of effects pedals, and several massive (well, massive to me with my modest little rig) modular-synth setups. And that’s just the main room. There’s a smaller secondary room of equipment, and another room dedicated to vinyl releases. The place is also deceptively quiet, because everyone walks around with a pair of headphones, jacks in, and plays.

But before you get to turn any of those knobs, or slide any of those faders, or push any of those buttons, there is a more important button you need to push: The door to Perfect Circuit is locked during business hours. There’s a doorbell out front that you need to press. And for all the noise you may generate once you’ve entered, the single sweetest sequence of sounds you are likely to experience during your visit is the combination of that doorbell registering your presence, followed by the click of the door when it is unlocked.

(Side note: If you’re in the area, the carnitas at Taqueria El Tapatio on W Victory Blvd are smoky and delicious.)

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Generative at 35,000 Feet

SFO -> iOS -> LAX

There was no audio stored on my iPad or on my phone, and the plane’s wifi wasn’t functioning. The noise cancellation feature of my headphones helped, to some degree, in muting the tense political discussion unfolding behind me between what might, in Fight Club terms, be described as single-serving combatants. The poor newborn crying one further row away was, as well, kept at bay. There remained, however, room for improvement. It was a short flight, just from San Francisco to Los Angeles, but what was I going to listen to?

I pulled up two apps on my iPad. One, a sequencer, would send note values. The other, a synthesizer, would produce sounds in accordance with the sequencer’s directions. The sequencer, named Fugue Machine, can be slowed to a near-glacial pace. Its four independent lines send varying passes on the shared piece of music (depicted in “piano roll” form) they traverse. One of these might read the music in a standard left-to-right direction, another in reverse; some might ping-pong back and forth, while others might treat the note sequence as a refrain to be repeated over and over. I then set the synth, named FM Player 2, on a preset titled Eno’s Feelings: soft pads reportedly based on one of Brian Eno’s own sounds developed on the Yamaha DX7.

And then I just let it roll. Instant generative music, an ever-changing patterning of contrasting yet interrelated melodic and harmonic elements. In the absence of fixed recordings, I filled the noisy void with automated indeterminacy.

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Ballard Variations

From the intro to a RE/Search volume

I love this qualification from V. Vale in the introduction to the book J.G. Ballard Conversations, published by Vale’s long-running RE/Search imprint.

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