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. • 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.

Monthly Archives: September 2021 Home, Rain, Insects

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating most of the tweets I made the past week at, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up in expanded form or otherwise on sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ Dust never sleeps

▰ 2021 is, in part, sitting alone in two different virtual conference tools associated with a single meeting’s calendar invitation, and waiting to see which (or if, yes, either) will turn out to be where the meeting will take place.

▰ Hometown telephone pole graffiti

▰ I did make it to Escape Pod Comics. If only this place existed when I was a kid.

▰ You can go home again, and you can learn things about your home in the process.

▰ Sometimes I stare at the crates of records against a wall near my desk and think: that exact space could hold an upright piano, and if there were a piano, it could (eventually) play more music than all these LPs combined. (I kept the LPs and bought a guitar instead, but yeah.) I’m actually 3,000 miles from my desk at the moment, but in a way that lends perspective.

▰ Pro tip: turn off the ceiling fan before conducting the interview you intend to record. (Turning off the rain is another story.)

▰ Fairly certain this week’s Disquiet Junto project has the best/worst pun in the 508 consecutive weeks to date.

▰ If you’ve been living in a rain-starved region for years, waking up to (from?) the sound of the roof being pummeled by a storm feels somehow wasteful. (It also sounds like thousands of tiny horses are rushing past frantically overhead.)

▰ The sheer volume of insect noise in my hometown is insane.

And now I have Hall and Oates in my head. “They only come out at night …”

And now maybe you do, too.

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Travel Sound Journal

Day 10 of 17

▰ The commonality of squealing tires as car drivers in all manner of settings assert themselves.

▰ The myriad new squeaks and burbles and vibrations from an entirely new phone, after the previous one was no longer eligible for software upgrades and had not only lost much of its tactile quality, but had begun to really fail for conversations.

▰ Main Street so barren at night, so quiet, that multiple crosswalk sounds can be heard from several directions at the same time.

▰ Passing by a hospital where your high school choir once sang, and hearing in your head some of the crusty old repertoire.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0508: Germane Shepard

The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.

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, September 27, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0508: Germane Shepard
The Assignment: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.

Many thanks to Robert Precht for having proposed this project.

There’s just one step: Use the Shepard tone to create a piece of music.

More on the Shepard tone at

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0508” (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 “disquiet0508” (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 track in the following discussion thread at

Step 5: Annotate your track 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.

Note: Please post one track per weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, September 27, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you. Given the topic, it may sound like it goes on forever …

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0508” 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 508th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Germane Shepard (The Assignment: Make music with 10 acoustic instrument samples all in a shared key) — at:

Many thanks to Robert Precht for having proposed this project.

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 [email protected] for Slack inclusion.

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

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A mesostic

                          THe bank is for
       sale. Long ago I broUght rolls
                 of dimes iN; 
                         goT my  
                          fIrst check 
 book. The Greek place has New proprietors;
                     the avGolomeno soup is
            remarkable, besT ever.
                      And fOr my after-supper
                walk, the iNsects seem louder,
though it could be my ears.
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Wandering in and About the Rain

Via Nomadic Ambience

Rain is something that can be thought of almost as an echo of itself. Like an extrovert who only exists when there is an audience to perform for, rain is not heard so much as it is heard in reaction to something: an umbrella, the ground, a window, or generally some other surface that it strikes. There is also the way rain combines with the sound of wind, and how cloud cover and other related factors can utterly alter the broader sonic environment: dulling edges, nurturing a sense of closed space, walling off further distant noises.

That’s a case made clear in this video from the always on the move Nomadic Ambience (834,000 subscribers on YouTube as of this writing), who wandered around Chicago on a rainy day and captured not just the rain as heard against the protective gear that keeps the camera lens dry, but also as it bounces off the sidewalk, and creates slick streets and shallow puddles that cars turn into sound sources as they pass by.

The video captures some thunderstorm noise, and various urban sounds, one highlight being a tour guide aboard a boat that passes under a bridge just as we, the viewer experiencing this all YouTube-vicariously, cross midway: “It’s a very well-designed building” goes the narration, before trailing off, absorbed by the whir of the rain.

Video originally posted at YouTube.

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