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.

Monthly Archives: January 2022

Three Important Aspects of the Disquiet Junto

Per Jason Richardson

Jason Richardson, a longtime and prolific member of the Disquiet Junto community, posted this great short appreciation:

Here’s a lightly edited transcript of the short video:

The Disquiet Junto offers three aspects that I think are quite important.

The first is a direction, because Brian Eno had the idea that any creative project needed to outline the constraints, and this helps focus in on what you’re going to achieve.

The second is a timeframe. Duke Ellington famously said, “I don’t need time, I need a deadline,” and that’s my feeling that, particularly in the past when I wasn’t working: having a deadline really helped focus and make things happen.

The third part is the community, because you do get that feedback from people, but you also get to see how other people approach the project, and that expands your creative horizons.

I’m really grateful for the Disquiet Junto being part of my life and creative practice.

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Drawing Sound Media

And the (possible) return of the CD

With the news that sales of CDs have risen for the first time in years, I got to reflecting on the media on which we replay sound. There is a lot of talk about form and function, which makes me wonder where nostalgia comes in. Is it a feature, or just something that helps us appreciate the bugs — the fragility of tape cassettes, the crackles of vinyl? Or perhaps that is nostalgia’s feature.

When I edited the comics in Tower Records’ Pulse! magazine from 1992 through 2002, it was a challenge to veer from vinyl as a romantic signifier. Once in a while I managed to encourage an illustrator to use a CD or CD player in place of an LP player, and it generally worked. Hand-drawn, the object had its own resonance. However, when a comic pictured a device for mural playback, it was almost always an LP player.

Last week I flipped through a stack of old Pulse! strips just to see what examples were on hand. The following details and individual panels are all from old Pulse! comics:

Detail of turntable by John Porcellino (1994):

LPs as drawn by Keith Knight (1994):

Technically not a turntable in the sense of an LP player, but instead a recording device by Tony Mostrom (1995):

A mention of a Walkman in a panel from a comic by Dylan Horrocks about Arvo Pärt (1994):

One by J.E. Fullerton, intentionally run in Swedish (1995):

Of course, our instinct for nostalgia went prior to LPs, like this detail from a piece on ragtime composer Joseph Lamb by Chris Ware (1994):

One by Matt Madden (1995):

This flip through memory lane was inspired by an article by my friend Rob Sheffield in Rolling Stone (“Jewel-Box Heroes: Why the CD Revival Is Finally Here”) and a tweet by Bruce Levenstein. This originally ran, in slightly different form, as a twitter.com/disquiet thread.

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twitter.com/disquiet: Drones, Sirens, Conway

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating most of the tweets I made the past week at twitter.com/disquiet, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up in expanded form or otherwise on Disquiet.com sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud. This isn’t a full accounting. Often there are, for example, conversations on Twitter that don’t really make as much sense out of the context of Twitter itself.

▰ Trying to decide which drone musician my dishwasher thinks it’s a tribute band for.

▰ As often happens when an emergency vehicle’s siren approaches, I listen for it to disappear as eventually it passes by and then heads further away. Except this time it didn’t disappear. It stopped quite suddenly. Because there was a car accident right outside.

▰ Walking inside my home with noise-cancelling headphones on after a call ends. Life ends up like one of those scenes in a movie when they replace “actual” silence with digital silence (sometimes due to artistic intent, often due to a lack of thought about sensory reality).

▰ I’m more of a New York Times mini-crossword guy.

CONWY
GAMEO
WORDL

▰ And on that note, have a great weekend.

  • Start a sound journal.
  • Look through your record collection to find an album that isn’t on streaming services.
  • Listen to your meals.
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Two Flashlights

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

Two flashlights on the beach after dark under a star digitally illuminated by a phone camera’s machine eye

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Disquiet Junto Project 0525: Magic Number (1 of 3)

The Assignment: Record the first third of a trio.

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 24, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0525: Magic Number (1 of 3)
The Assignment: Record the first third of a trio.

Step 1: This week’s Junto project is the first in a sequence intended to invite, encourage, and reward collaboration. You will be recording something with the understanding that it will remain unfinished for the time being. Your part will be done, but more will happen. Read on.

Step 2: The plan is for you to record a short and original piece of music, on any instrumentation of your choice. Conceive it as something that leaves room for something else — other instruments, other people — to join in.

Step 3: Record a short piece of music, roughly two to three minutes in length, as described in Step 2. When done, if possible, pan the audio so that your piece is solely in the left side of the stereo spectrum.

Step 4: Also, and this is important, be sure, when done, to make your track downloadable, because it will be used by someone else in the next Disquiet Junto project.

Background: We do this trio projects once or twice a year. This marks the third time we’ve done it during the ongoing pandemic. You can read a bit about the relationship between the pandemic, the Junto, and this trio project in this post from just over a year ago:

https://disquiet.com/2021/01/14/disquiet-junto-project-0472-jam-time-1-of-3/

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0525” (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 “disquiet0525” (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 llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0525-magic-number-1-of-3/

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.

Step 8: Also join in the discussion on the Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to [email protected] for Slack inclusion.

Note: Please post one track for this 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, January 24, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 20, 2022.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0525” 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 525th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Magic Number (1 of 3) (The Assignment: Record the first third of a trio) — at: https://disquiet.com/0525/

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0525-magic-number-1-of-3/

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