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2,000 Days of #DailyBleeps

The short-form delights of Todd Webb

Todd Webb has, over the past roughly 2,000 days, posted roughly 2,000 #dailybleeps tracks online. They have populated his YouTube and Twitter accounts, but their primary home on the internet range has been Instagram. There, bite-size videos playfully themed around squash (the fruit, not the sport), and going outside (as determined by an Oblique Strategies card), and frogs, among numerous other topics, feature micro-compositions of what feel like the sonic equivalent of a zine aesthetic: either minor-key chipper, or up-tempo maudlin, and utterly delightful. And like all good things, they must come to an end. Webb will post his final daily bleep this coming Wednesday, October 28, two days from now.

Here’s a recent one, the theme of which is fog on the water. Gurgling beats provide the score for a view over the side of a road and into a deep bright miasma from which the track takes its title:

Some 40 of Todd’s daily bleeps fill out the the second of a two-CD Oahu set released last year. A personal favorite of mine is track 15, “Not That I Mind (Simple Sounds 10),” which is like if Michael Nyman had been commissioned to record a lilting gamelan interstitial cue for a Nintendo video game. (The other half of Oahu, the first five tracks, collectively titled “Slow Waves,” are built from “mysterious sounds” from Deerhoof’s John Dieterich.)

The record is a great object, but arguably the best way to appreciate Webb’s daily bleeps is in situ, as tidy little audio-visual spectacles on Instagram. And since Halloween is just a few days away, here, in closing, is one about “tree skeletons”:

More from Webb, a cartoonist and illustrator, at toddbot.com. He lives in Virginia. (Full disclosure: I edited a comic of his in an early issue of the children’s magazine Illustoria.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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