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.

twitter.com/disquiet: Echo, Novels, Airplanes

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.

▰ Flashback to three years ago today, when I went to SFMOMA and stumbled on a lesson about how to pack a characteristically massive Richard Serra sculpture for shipping.

▰ The doorbell rings. It’s mechanical and takes time to decay. There’s a light echo in the hallway. A few minutes later there’s another echo, a text message beeps to note delivery had occurred. I kinda wanna change the text ringtone to match the doorbell: a more literal echo.

▰ I wander into the kitchen and think, as I often have for 22 months now, of home as spacecraft, specifically the Rocinante. I float in, refill my water bottle, get some dried fruit, and return to my station: monitors on, feeds enabled, tasks ahead. (Sound design by dishwasher.)

▰ That moment after guitar (Zoom) class, where I hold my left hand in position and then, after signing off, use my right hand to take a picture of my left hand before I forget the chord.

▰ Over breakfast I finished reading the third and final volume of Fonda Lee’s Jade trilogy, Jade Legacy. I took the last three chapters slowly just to stretch them out. What a run, what a ride. So many great characters, so many moments when the author didn’t take the easy way out. Now that I’m done with reading the final Jade book, it’s time for the ninth and final Expanse novel. That’s two epic series done with, and I read both in real time, as they were released, rather than after the fact. Both are excellent.

▰ The pandemic has really made me lose interest in participating in longterm interstellar travel.

▰ I think a lot about the Matthew McConaughey character in Interstellar listening to field recordings of Earth to keep his mind off the thin metal wall between him and the void. The thin wall would, yes, weird me out but the monotony in that cabin is what holds decreasing interest.

▰ Not that I’m going to movies yet, but I sure do love my neighborhood.

▰ Hate can’t be promised to die in a vacuum, but at least it suffers in a vacuum.

▰ Start of a thread of novels I finished reading, 2022 (habit borrowed from Jeremy Bushnell). The first week of the new year is when you finish reading books you almost finished reading over the holiday break.

No. 1 Jade City by Fonda Lee. Three words: triad boardroom fantasy. One more: awesome.

No. 2 The Last Tourist by Olen Steinhauer. Septuple agents, quadruple crosses. If thriller plot intricacies were an Olympic gymnastic event. Fourth book in Milo Weaver series. Benefits from intriguing introduction of occasional first-person perspective of a new, junior character.

▰ I’ve been one on plane trip since March 2020, so I’m here on the couch listening to the white noise of an airplane interior through headphones while I type away. I’m thinking of passing buses as clouds, and of the occasional emergency vehicle sirens as cockpit announcements.

▰ That’s pretty cool. Well under 24 hours after sending out yesterday’s This Week in Sound email newsletter, half the 2100+ subscribers had opened it. Tinyletter has minimal tracking, which is fine by me. Just nice to know it’s not falling on deaf inboxes, so to speak.

▰ Exactly four days later, the newsletter has a 54.5% open rate, which apparently is pretty good. If you’re into the role sound plays in culture, technology, politics, science, ecology, storytelling, warfare, art, and elsewhere, get This Week in Sound via tinyletter.com/disquiet.

▰ Topics for this coming Monday’s This Week in Sound email newsletter will include:

  • audio fakes by birders
  • phone surveillance prophylactics
  • sound of snowflakes
  • listening for broken windows
  • more

Subscribe (free*) at tinyletter.com/disquiet

*I just have a tip jar. No paywall.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

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    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

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    0546 / Code Notes / The Assignment: Make music that includes a secret message.
    0545 / Unself-Awareness / The Assignment: Learn from feedback intended for others.
    0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.

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