RIP, MF Doom (1971-2020)

A 2014 comic I edited

Back in 2014, I edited a series of lightly animated comics for Red Bull Music Academy on the occasion of a big festival it was putting on in Japan. Among the pieces was one by writer Gabe Soria, illustrator Dean Haspiel, colorist Allen Passalaqua, and letterer Vito Delsante, guided by Todd Burns, then at Red Bull. The subject was MF Doom, the larger-than-life rapper whose death was reported today. Here’s the comic, minus the animation:

Here’s a little more background on the comic: “MF Doom + DJ Krush + Comics + Manga”, plus had some beautiful behind-the-scenes images of Haspiel working at the time.

2020’s Most Read Posts

And a few other details from my most prolific year

Being shut in for the majority of 2020 had some benefits, one of them being that for the first time since I founded this website at the tail end of 1996, I managed to write a post every single day. On some days I posted more than once, yielding a total of 478 posts over the course of the leap year’s 366 days (479 posts counting this one, come to think of it). The months of March and May were my most prolific, with 52 posts each, and July was my least (with 32).

Using Google Analytics, I sorted out the 10 most read posts of the year:

  1. The Fjærlett, a beautiful audio feedback instrument designed by Oslo-based Kristoffer Gard Osen.

  2. A highly sensitive microphone called the Geofón: “designed for seismic measurements, it can be used with regular field recording equipment to capture very faint vibrations in various materials and even soil.”

  3. This post is only half a month old, but was clearly popular based on the subject: guitar adaptations of Aphex Twin’s music.

  4. Visual code (in this case Pure Data) as a form of graphic notation, with a focus on the work of Fahmi Mursyid, who is based in Indonesia.

  5. A small MIDI controller that Tom Whitwell of Music Thing Modular (based in London) prototyped with me in mind.

  6. Portland, Oregon-based Patricia Wolf’s Cellular Chorus.

  7. My advice when sharing your music via email in the hopes of getting press attention.

  8. A short video I shot of the hum whose emanation from the Golden Gate Bridge has gained worldwide notoriety.

  9. Video of a live ambient performance by Orbital Patterns (aka Michigan-based Abdul Allums)

  10. Commemorating 2,000 days of Virginia-based cartoonist Todd Webb’s Daily Bleeps:

And as a side note, the most popular post associated with the Disquiet Junto music community (besides the FAQ, which isn’t new) was related to the Solitary Ensembles project, which teams up trios of geographically dispersed collaborators.

Disquiet Junto Project 0470: Calendar View

The Assignment: Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen (or more) super-brief segments.

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 the end of the day Monday, January 4, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, December 31, 2020.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0470: Calendar View
The Assignment: Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen (or more) super-brief segments.

As is the tradition at the end of each calendar year, this week’s project is a sound journal, a selective audio history of your past twelve months.

Step 1: You will select a different audio element to represent each of the past 12 months of 2020 — or you might opt for even more elements, choosing a segment for each week, or each day, for example. These audio elements will most likely be of music that you have yourself composed and recorded, but they might also consist of phone messages, field recordings, or other source material. These items should be somehow personal in nature, suitable to the autobiographical intention of the project; they should be of your own making, your own devising, and not drawn from third-party sources.

Step 2: You will then select one segment from each of these (most likely) dozen audio elements. If you’re doing a dozen items, one for each month, then five-second segments are recommended, for a total of one minute. Ultimately, though, the length of the segments and of the overall finished track are up to you.

Step 3: Then you will stitch these segments together in chronological order to form one single track. There should be no overlap or gap between segments; they should simply proceed from one to the next.

Step 4: In the notes field accompanying the track, identify each of the audio segments.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0470” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0470” (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 tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your tracks in the following discussion thread at

Step 5: Annotate your tracks 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 the end of the day Monday, January 4, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, December 31, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you. Did time pass quickly, or slowly?

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0470” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, 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: It is always best to set 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 470th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Calendar View / The Assignment: Create a sonic diary of the past year with a dozen (or more) super-brief segments — at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

Project discussion takes place on

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

Image associated with this project is by Dan Allison, and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:

First Track from Forthcoming A Winged Victory for the Sullen Album

A production based on an Italo Calvino novel

It’s almost exactly two months until Invisible Cities, the new album by A Winged Victory for the Sullen, arrives. But the first public track, “Desires Are Already Memories,” is already up on its Bandcamp page.

The music is the score composed by AWVftS’s Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie for a theater production by Leo Warner (see Warner ‘s for details). The title comes, clearly, from the Italo Calvino novel, of which the Warner production is an adaptation.

“Desires Are Already Memories” is classic Winged Victory, which is to say it’s post-classical: all stirring, minimalist chamber-ensemble undergirding, an angelic choir component, and touches of modernity in the form of artful maudlin-techno pulsing and what sounds like a Jew’s harp emulating rave-era Underworld. More than enough reason to get excited about for what’s to come when the full record is released.

Album originally posted at

Ambient Gets More Trombones

Thanks to Benjamin Louis Brody

This brooding, speedily hypnotic track combines two trombones, played by Alaina Alster and Max Sholl, with synths performed by the piece’s composer, Benjamin Louis Brody. The title, “Oscillations,” is spot on for the heavily vibrating opening, a volatile drone that slowly recedes (though only partially) as more immediately recognizable horn playing begins to surface. The track was released back in mid-2018, but I first learned of it only last night when Brody replied to a tweet I had made about how “Ambient music needs more trombones.” This is further proof of the truth of that statement.

Track originally posted at More from Brody (raised in New Jersey, based in Brooklyn, New York) at