Current Favorites: Interior Landscapes, Live Tape Drones

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

A weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them. (This weekly feature was previously titled Current Listens. The name’s been updated for clarity’s sake.)

▰ Matt Madden’s three-minute “Tme No Radar on Emit” is a mix of atmospheres, most of them misty and somber, artfully so. A repeated line hints at a foghorn’s signal, some white noise at rough weather. That it’s guitar and a ventilator, according to Madden’s own description, just adds to the sense of being transported.

▰ Listen as a dense drone emerges from Femi Fleming’s January 25 live tape performance. What begins as ringing and mottled grows turbulent and orchestral as time passes.

Live Ateliers Claus captures a pair of rangy performances by Gaël Segalen. A French sound artist, Segalen, who also goes by IhearU, is heard here moving between hyperreal urban noise, Fourth World rhythms, and dramatically processed field recordings.

▰ A set of field recordings by Jeremy Hegge from a summer journey during 2019, one that took him from Chongqing, China, to Hong Kong, to Xinjiang, to Kazakhstan. The tracks are labeled by time of day (morning, afternoon, night), helping to set the context for insects, frogs, and street noise.

Disquietude Podcast Episode 0003

Ambient music from Dance Robot Dance, Jeannine Schulz, Orbital Patterns, Alan Bland, Heymun, and Kin Sventa

This is the third episode of the Disquietude podcast of ambient electronic music.

The goal of the Disquietude podcast is to collect adventurous work in the field of ambient electronic music. What follows is all music that captured my imagination, and I hope that it appeals to your imagination as well.

All six tracks of music are featured with the permission of the individual artists. Below is the structure of the episode with time codes for the tracks:

00:00 theme and intro

02:01 Dance Robot Dance’s “Tangents”

09:43 Jeannine Schulz’s “Beacon”

14:50 Orbital Patterns’ “Found in the Fog”

22:15 Alan Bland’s Boulder siren field recording

26:58 Heymun’s “Ambient Cello & Strings on the OP-1”

29:31 Kin Sventa’s “Octatrack Saxophone Drone”

35:56 track notes

40:01 outro

41:39 end

Thanks for listening.

Produced and hosted by Marc Weidenbaum. Disquietude theme music by Jimmy Kipple, with vocal by Paula Daunt. Logo by Boon Design.

Continue reading “Disquietude Podcast Episode 0003”

What Twitter Hears at 2am (California Time)

A scheduled experiment

Nearly three dozen people replied to a tweet of mine while I was deep asleep. This was by design. I set a tweet to appear at 2:00am on Friday morning, and checked the results when I woke. I’ve sent variations on this tweet in the past, but never with such a strong result.

The tweet read:

I’m asleep. This is an automated tweet at 2am, California time. Please reply, if you have a moment, and let me know what you hear right now. Thanks.

I chose to send it at 2am, thinking since that was 5am on the East Coast, therefore in the United States a relatively smaller percentage of the population would be awake and online. I wanted to optimize for people elsewhere on the planet to reply. There were some local insomniacs in the mix, nonetheless.

Below are the results, in the order they appeared in my Twitter feed. Where individuals’ locations were identifiable, I include them parenthetically. Some folks actively named their location. When I do this again in the future, I may ask people to say where they are, and I may send it at 1:30am. The final of these appeared 24 hours after the rest of them.

▰ The cat snoring.

▰ The washing machine downstairs. Light rain. Traffic on the road outside. Birds shouting about sex/boundary disputes.

▰ Tinnitus (Sydney, Australia)

▰ Rain

▰ A tap running (Berlin)

▰ it’s noon in london, zone 2. i hear the white-noise generator i use 24/7. i hear a lack of truck reversing signals, shout-talking. not even any bangs and crashes from above. i can hear low-level traffic noise outside & know that its been raining from the swishing sound of tires. … windows open, add seagulls, a distant siren and a few human voices (London)

▰ HEPA and fridge duet.

▰ Coffee machine and rain

▰ The air purifier trying to keep us safe.

▰ Tinnitus, a washing machine, a sleeping dog and the next door but one shooting hoops. (Manchester)

▰ Tinnitus. Breeze. (Istanbul)

▰ It’s half past noon here in Berlin. I hear clicking coming from the radiator and muffled radio voices from across the hallway.

▰ Cat complaints (Hudsonville, Michgan)

▰ Rain (Loomis, California)

▰ 10:00am GMT. Birdsong, chickens scratching for food. The creak of my footsteps on the shed floor. New Madlib x Four Tet album on low volume. (Nottingham, England)

▰ The gentle rumble of slow traffic in the distance, the occasional drops of water dripping from a leaky gutter, birds calling to one another, my partner chopping fruits for her porridge in the kitchen, and now my fingers typing on the keyboard. (Bristol, England)

▰ It is a little after 5a, and I just woke up. I also have no idea who you are, but @brainmage reached out, so now I am. I hear ‘Chicks on Speed’ on my spotify (Philadelphia)

▰ My computer fan. Waiting for a student to log on and present their work for their mid-year assessment. (Staffordshire, England)

▰ It’s 11:32 a.m. here and I’m wearing headphones while not listening to anything. I hear my fingers on the keyboard and a faint ringing in my ears. Nothing else, which is nice. (Glasgow)

▰ Beethoven Sonata 29 – Adagio Sostenuto (headphones ‘cos the fam’s in bed). Outside: a ton of crickets on this warm damp night. We had a month’s worth of rain today! (Melbourne, Australia)

▰ The sound of me eating a sandwich. And the tram 7 passing on the tracks in front of my apartment. (Brussels, Belgium)

▰ traffic
an electrical hum that i think is the fridge
upstairs neighbours doing something that’s resulting in some kind of scratching dragging sound
my own v faint tinnitus
birds (small corvids im pretty sure)
a dog barking (medium to large)
a car door closing (maybe blue? [Thinking face emoji])

▰ sounds of cars passing by in d distance, soft taps of my fingers on d touchscreen keyboard of my phone, quiet airflow in d buildings ventilation system, movement now and then from my upstairs neighbors, my soft breathing, and quiet pondering bubbling in my stomach. all so gentle (Sweden)

▰ Dishwasher and howling wind. (Connecticut)

▰ The gentle pulse of my wife’s CPAP machine. (Shepherdstown, West Virginia)

▰ Watching a movie just after 11pm, sounds of cars on a highway in Utah coming out of the Genelecs and a cat chirping for attention (New Zealand)

▰ Sound of hearing system in my house. Ears ringing. (Charlottesville, VA)

▰ It’s 11.19 AM on Friday morning. The hum of my laptop’s fan is slowly winding down after disconnecting from the day’s first Zoom meeting. Outside, silence, cut across the middle by bus tires on water, then silence again. And birds. (Biel, Switzerland)

▰ the whirring univent fan in my office

▰ Got it at 10:30 EST. We were out of power for 4 hours tonight, so I’m hearing lots of waking up- radio, kitchen timer, me and the kid watching LOL music videos (Gainesville, FL)

▰ computer hum, radiator tinkles, wind, cars in the distance (Boston, MA)

▰ 6:38 AM – the buzzing of my heater, my stomach rumbling, my fridge humming, and that’s it! Love how quiet and still it is.

▰ It’s Friday, 01/29/21 2:48 AM PST. Water dripping rhythmically from a gutter just outside my bedroom window. (San Francisco, CA)

▰ I hear the sound of Reverse Osmosis by Kevin Drumm playing through laptop speakers (a dense spectrum of harmonic frequencies); the tapping of my fingers on the laptop keyboard writing this; cars passing at the end of road infrequently; the family next door shouting at each other. (Nottingham, UK)

▰ 10am, Friday. Sounds: My kids playing at the end of the house, radio 4 (talk radio) from the other room, a distant aeroplane and the occasional bird chirping… There is also a low hum from our biomas unit. (Norfolk, Europe)

▰ dim humming of fridge in the distance (California)

▰ I’m a day late – but it’s the morning and I hear bread being kneaded… slapping hard against the mixer bowl, the slight wavering whine of the motor accompanying!

The full thread is at Heinlein, Hein, Miles, Cortini

I do this manually each week, collating the tweets I made at (which I think of as my public notebook) that I want to keep track of. For the most part, this means ones I initiated, not ones in which I directly responded to someone. I sometimes tweak them a bit here. Some tweets pop up on sooner than I get around to collating them, so I leave them out of the weekly round-up. It’s usually personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud, especially these days, when a week can feel both like a year and like nothing whatsoever has happened or changed.

▰ When you recognize yourself in a book you haven’t read since you were in junior high school:

“that look of painful, unseeing concentration found only under a pair of earphones”

–Robert A. Heinlein’s Rocket Ship Galileo

▰ By and large, I don’t know about the future of newsletters, as this detail of my inbox evidences, but I enjoy putting out This Week in Sound ( It’s a helpful way for me to (as it turns out) process my inbox, and leads to good conversations with readers.

▰ This image is by Ethan Hein. It’s from two years ago, and it exhibits the chain of interactions among asynchronous collaborators in series of connected Disquiet Junto projects. We’re doing the same sequence right now: We begin with solos, which become duets, and then trios.

▰ In today’s post. Looking forward to it. And, no, my eyewear is self-evidently not as cool as Miles Davis’.

▰ It’s been one thing to have musical collaborators all over the world. It’s a whole other thing, in our golden age of streaming, to be able to discuss each other’s local television series offerings.

▰ I did two episodes of the Disquietude ambient podcast in 2017, and then recognized the world had broken and I needed to moderate my activities. I think I’m getting it going again. I have material mostly sorted. One musician even made a special version of her track I requested.

▰ My tablet’s facial recognition seems to recognize my face better when I give it a quizzical “Don’t you recognize my face yet?” look, versus my normal vaguely blank everyday face look. I’m sure this is not a good feedback loop to enter into.

▰ When you get to “Black Satin” and you have this sense of relief, both the familiarity of what’s playing, and the realization of what you’ve just emerged from 20 minutes of. I’m spending the afternoon On the Corner.

▰ 2020: interest in complex oscillators

2021: having an oscillator complex

▰ I was using an app the other day, and when I swiped through to a subsequent page it paused and the screen briefly showed:

[suspenseful orchestral music plays]

And then the next screen popped up. I couldn’t reproduce this. It must just happen when the app unexpectedly pauses.

▰ Major thanks to Łukasz Langa ( for summing this up, putting into helpful words a big part of what I think of as the Disquiet Junto music community’s combination of mutually supportive and self-directed. What Langa is referring to is that folks shouldn’t be hesitant to post something. The Junto isn’t about finished work. It’s about getting started.

▰ It has been so long since I wrote a letter by hand other than a thank you note that I’ve found myself typing it and then transcribing it. Even this is a thank you note, just a slightly longer one than normal.

▰ YouTube radicalization is real. I’ve been practicing 12-bar blues on guitar to live recordings of 80 bpm shuffle beats, and the algorithm just suggested a 70 bpm video. At this point I’ll be in an Earth cover band by spring.

▰ Arguably years of experience help, but sure, OK

▰ Tracks selected for the Disquietude podcast. And last night, with a usefully pre-bedtime sleepy voice, I recorded the intro and the post-music track explication. Now I just need to edit it. Looks like there will, four years on, be a third episode of the Disquietude podcast.

▰ Step 1: Modular synthesizer.

Step 2: Modular synthesizers are expensive. VCV Rack is free.

Step 3: I really need a new, powerful computer dedicated just to VCV Rack.

▰ The GameStop situation is further evidence that (1) we live in a simulacrum and (2) its CPU is failing.

▰ I used to first type “this seems cool” every time I tried out a new piece of technology that involved data input. Now I type “this doesn’t seem like a hassle.”

▰ Remembering my early experiences with Twitter when all I’d do was post stray sounds I happened to hear.

▰ I do my best to stick to a Kindle Paperwhite on the rare occasion I’m up in the middle of the night. A recent bad night was cured when I played audiobook I’d been listening to but slowed the speed considerably. It … was … so … slow … I … fell … asleep … fast. A friend had recommended listening to audiobooks of ancient history, and that led me to worry I’d find it too interesting, which led me to wonder how to make something seem boring, which led to me slowing it down. I was listening to a spy novel, and it still knocked me out.

▰ Getting retweeted by is the highlight of my day.

▰ Just to confirm, that’s a Bruce Springsteen box set, a Beatles album, and a Wham album on the shelf behind Alessandro Cortini in that new synth video? (The one for the Make Noise Strega.)