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: February 2022

Sound Ledger¹ (France, ALAC, ASMR)

Audio culture by the numbers

147,000,000,000: An estimate of the annual cost, in Euros, for France as a result of noise pollution

75,000,000: Number of songs in Apple Music’s “entire catalog”

45,000,000: Approximate number of ASMR videos on YouTube as of 2019

________
¹Footnotes: France: nytimes.com. Lossless: macrumors.com. ASMR: medscape.com.

Originally published in the February 28, 2022, edition of the This Week in Sound email newsletter tinyletter.com/disquiet.

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синтґесйзер

Synths for peace

This week I learned that the synthesizer firms knob.farm, happynerding.com, and dnipro-modular.net are all Ukrainian, as is the music software firm sinevibes.com. Make some space for them in your rack and in your heart. (I have no idea if that is actually the Ukrainian word for “synthesizer” up there, but Google Translate tells me it is.)

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Mœbius Realist

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

Neighborhood graffiti has entered its Mœbius realist period

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twitter.com/disquiet: Chapman Stick, Minimal Code

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.

▰ Briefly went down a Chapman Stick rabbit hole on YouTube and have probably destroyed my home page’s algorithmic recommendations for the next month.

▰ This week we’re making “minimally viable music,” such as this bit of audio-emitting code one participant committed. (Listen on llllllll.co.)

▰ In my Algorithm-served ads this week was one for “syringe tin solder paste,” so clearly I’m doing something correctly.

▰ Novels I finished reading, 2022, #6: Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: very fun multi-species, feelings-on-your-sleeve, family-you-choose sci-fi about a tight spaceship crew finding its way through the universe and through life. I’ll be reading the sequel for sure. (In fact, I’ve already started.)

▰ Weekend plans if you need ’em:

  • Find unfamiliar records produced by whoever produced a favorite of yours.
  • Sort your albums in the order you obtained them.
  • Listen to an album straight through while you just, you know, sit there. 🤯
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7:50pm – 8:07pm

A state of alertness

It’s 7:50pm as I start typing. A siren went by just now. I wasn’t planning to write anything. It’s Friday evening. I had written enough. The siren alerted me, though — not just to some pressing drama in the neighborhood, but to listening in general. Once the siren was gone, I was all the more attentive to what it had briefly masked with the shock of its noise. The siren was a short burst, confusing any sense of trajectory, of direction. Almost immediately after, a car sped by, and following so quickly as it did on the brief presence of an emergency vehicle, the car might itself have been part of the action, even though cars speed past all the time. Elsewhere at home there is typing, each sequential pair of keystrokes framing brief snippets of silence. The short snippets go by quickly. The longer ones are filled with some measure of consideration. When will the next key come? What is delaying its arrival? Presumably the majority of the pauses are between words, or sentences. As for the newfound relative silence, the post-emergency silence, it is all the more quiet because there is no music playing. I was listening earlier to a track on repeat, something from the latest Disquiet Junto project, and then I spent time with an album I wanted to write a bit about. Now it is just minor domestic activity after another long work week in what will be another long year, one whose trajectory is unclear, though newspaper headlines certainly suggest a state of alertness, if not of outright emergency, is underway. And now it is 8:07pm.

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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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  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • 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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  • Background
    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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  • 0561 / Samplelicker / The Assignment: Rework environmental sound recordings with Aphex Twin's new software.
    0560 / Sonic Disambiguation / The Assignment: Help the Wikimedia Foundation develop a sonic logo.
    0559 / Yes Exit / The Assignment: Compose your personal entrance and exit cues for conference calls.
    0558 / Chore Progressions / The Assignment: Use a routine activity as the map of a composition.
    0557 / Condensation Is a Form of Change / The Assignment: Interpret a graphic score that depicts four phases.

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