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.

This Week in Sound: Web-Only Edition

A lightly annotated clipping service

I haven’t sent out an issue of the This Week in Sound email newsletter (tinyletter.com/disquiet) in awhile, not since mid-May. The world and life are complex right now, demanding in unfamiliar ways. I had some material stored up last week, but just didn’t have the time. Or more to the point, I had time, but not the time; the time I had, I spent alternately. As many who are spending far more time at home than they might be accustomed to, the logical expanse of time that might result from stationary existence is an illusion; there is, in fact, less time. Certainly less productive time, because recuperation is harder to come by, and more necessary than usual. The world outside is both more quiet and, especially in metaphoric terms, more noisy. Inside, we focus, take breaks, make progress.

In any case, had an issue of This Week in Sound gone out last Monday, this is the core of what would have been in it. I hope to get back to the email version soon.

And as always, if you find sonic news of interest, please share it with me, and (except with the most widespread of news items) I’ll credit you should I mention it here.

▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰
THIS WEEK IN SOUND

“[A]nimals that lower their voices to sound bigger are often skilled vocalists,” goes an uncredited story at phys.org. “Both strategies — sounding bigger and learning sounds — are likely driven by sexual selection, and may play a role in explaining the origins of human speech evolution.”
https://phys.org/news/2020-07-animals-bigger-good.html

Mariusz Kozak wrote in the Washington Post about the role songs play in protests: “The first is that the meaning of music is deliberately imprecise — in technical terms, music is referentially ambiguous. The same song can be significant in different ways to different listeners, or even to the same person on different occasions. The second feature is that listeners can still connect with each other emotionally by moving together in synchrony with what they hear and with each other.” (via Diana Deutsch)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/07/07/protest-chants-musicology-solidarity/

Much as Darth Vader has that trademark breathing sound, “a distinctive ambient sound,” in the words of sound designer Ben Burtt, was also planned for Boba Fett. The problem was, the audience never heard it “because he never appeared in a quiet place.” Germain Lussier gets into the details.
https://io9.gizmodo.com/why-boba-fetts-sound-was-a-mystery-for-almost-20-years-1844280863

“What started as a minor change to a common song has now morphed into a continent-wide phenomenon before our very ears,” writes Carly Cassella of a sparrow’s song, and its viral influence on the broader bird population. “Between 2000 and 2019, this small change has travelled over 3,000 kilometres (1,800 miles) from British Columbia (BC) to central Ontario, virtually wiping out a historic song ending that’s been around since the 1950s at least.” (via subtopes)
https://www.sciencealert.com/this-sparrow-song-went-viral-across-canada-and-it-s-unlike-anything-we-ve-heard-before

“Scientists have developed a gadget that can reduce the intensity of noise pollution passing through an open window,” writes Anthony Cuthberston. “A proof-of-principle study is published in the journal Scientific Reports, detailing a prototype that makes use of 18 microphones and 24 speakers to eliminate half of the sounds passing through a window.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/noise-cancelling-windows-sound-reduction-traffic-pollution-a9610856.html

There’s a fundraiser to save the Dream House of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela.
https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/save-the-dream-house-keep-our-dream-alive

Reading John Zorn on the late Ennio Morricone is like reading Zorn on Zorn: “Having roots in both popular music and the avant-garde, Morricone was an innovator, and he overcame each new challenge with a fresh approach, retaining a curiosity and childlike sense of wonder.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/arts/music/ennio-morricone-john-zorn.html

▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰
GRACE NOTES

▰ The local school district is SFUSD (San Francisco Unified School District). When there’s an auto-call with an announcement of some sort (tl;dr: “You probably wanna know if school will open come fall. Well, so do we.”), the alert pronounces it as if it were a name: “Suh-fuh-sed.”

▰ One word disappointingly absent from all those tracks listed in the upcoming expansive box set of my favorite Prince album: “instrumental.”

▰ I’m not practicing guitar. I’m performing a trio with dishwasher and passing traffic.

▰ Aretha Franklin foresaw the nuanced social negotiations involved when planning virtual-conference events during a pandemic. “You think you’re smooth / And you can pick and choose when the time is right.”

▰ I recently watched both seasons of Star Wars: Resistance, and the the best caption was “[distressed beep].” Those rollie droids sure are emotive.

▰ Once I realized that the voice actor of Neeku in Star Wars: Resistance is the same actor as Big Head in Silicon Valley, it all made sense.

▰ Heads up to musicians who regularly send out PR announcements to as many email addresses as they can. Those are, increasingly, showing up in my spam folder. Having your email designated as spam is the internet’s karmic response to what is, big surprise, actually in fact spamming.

▰ Why does Twitter keep recommending that I follow the account of a composer who died toward the end of 2016, an account that hasn’t been updated since about a month prior to the death?

▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰ ▰

Subscribe to This Week in Sound at (tinyletter.com/disquiet).

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, 2021: This day marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    December 28, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    January 6, 2021: This day marks the 10th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    July 28, 2021: This day marked the 500th consecutive weekly project in 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.)

  • Ongoing
    The Disquiet Junto series of weekly communal music projects explore constraints as a springboard for creativity and productivity. There is a new project each Thursday afternoon (California time), and it is due the following Monday at 11:59pm: disquiet.com/junto.

  • 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

  • 0511 / Freeze Tag / The Assignment: Consider freezing (and thawing) as a metaphor for music production.
    0510 / Cold Turkey / The Assignment: Record one last track with a piece of music equipment before passing it on.
    0509 / The Long Detail / The Assignment: Create a piece of music with moments from a preexisting track.
    0508 / Germane Shepard / The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.
    0507 / In DD's Key of C / The Assignment: Make music with 10 acoustic instrument samples all in a shared key.

    Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 511 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts