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.

23 Years of Disquiet.com

Remembering blogging before blogs

Even if you don’t have a lot of time, it’s good to take a moment, at least, to note an anniversary. Twenty three years ago today, December 13, I bought the URL for Disquiet.com. It was the winter of 1996. I had recently moved to San Francisco from Sacramento, where for the previous seven years I’d worked at Tower Records on their magazines. Initially that was Pulse!, and then Classical Pulse!, which I co-founded with my friend Bob Levine, and then in 1994, as the World Wide Web (capitalized thusly) was beginning to happen, a weekly email newsletter I founded called, naturally, epulse, which ran more or less weekly for a decade.

I’d moved to Sacramento from Brooklyn in 1989, a little under a year after graduating from college. Moving, years later, to San Francisco was disorienting, and it took a few weeks, maybe even a few months, for me to realize what was disorienting about it: I’d benefited for a long time, at that point, in having a music publication as part of what I might call my identity, my self-identity. Suddenly I didn’t have such a thing, and the only solution I could come up with was to create my own, and that was Disquiet.com.

This all got started about three years before the word “blog” formally entered the vocabulary (2019 marks the word’s 20th anniversary). Initially I was just reposting to Disquiet.com things I published elsewhere, like Pulse!, which I continued to write for right up until Tower went bankrupt. In time, though, I started writing things directly for Disquiet.com. At some point along the way my always insightful friend Jorge Colombo suggested I add dates to my posts (again, this was before blogs normalized and codified such things).

From 1996 until 2007, the whole site was hand-coded by me in HTML, even the index pages and the RSS feed. In 2007 I paid someone (Nathan Swartz) to translate it all into a WordPress site, and then a few years after that someone else (my friend Max La Rivière-Hedrick) did a beautiful revision of the WordPress theme so the site would be as readable on mobile phones as it was on a computer screen.

Each year on December 13, if I have the time, I write a brief summary of my memories of founding Disquiet.com. I don’t re-read previous such summaries while doing this writing; I just write it again from scratch. If it’s cut’n’paste, it isn’t a memory.

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 Disquiet.com 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 Disquiet.com.
    • 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 (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • 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 oup.com.)

  • 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