The New Old Web

SoundCloud, Tinyletter ...

It’s funny how the new web eventually becomes the old web. When the Disquiet Junto was founded, way back in January 2012, SoundCloud was the primary place where interactions between members occurred — not just tracks being posted, which remains the main Junto SoundCloud use to this day, but communication, as well. Back then, SoundCloud had a “groups” functionality and a “discussion” tab. Today, in the absence of those built-in functions, such activity has been outboarded to Lines ( and to the Disquiet Junto Slack. Lines is more for project-specific communication, whereas the Slack has been more of what is sometimes termed water-cooler chat. Of course, the Junto has always had a distributed communication structure. Twitter, for example, is where the majority of early participants got to know each other. SoundCloud and Tinyletter are slowly becoming the old web, which may simply be what happens as time passes.

Disquiet Junto Project 0548: Drone Vox

The Assignment: Make a drone using just your voice.

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, July 4, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 30, 2022.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0548: Drone Vox
The Assignment: Make a drone using just your voice.

Step 1: Think about what constitutes drone music.

Step 2: Make some drone music from nothing other than the sound of your own voice. You can manipulate and layer your voice, but please add no other instrumentation.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0548” (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 “disquiet0548” (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

Project discussion takes place on

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, July 4, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 30, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you. It can be longer than you can hold a note.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0548” 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 548th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Drone Vox (The Assignment: Make a drone using just your voice) — at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

Project discussion takes place on

Image by Nevit Dilmen used thanks to a Creative Commons license (cropped, text/color added), according to which this reworking is also available for reuse by the same terms:

Orbital Patterns Live

Glitchy atmospherics, shimmery foundational sonics

The YouTube channel of Orbital Patterns is always worth returning to. Over a year has passed since the Michigan-based musician’s The Lonely Orbit album, and in advance of news of a follow-up, there’s a steady stream of live ambient jams to fill the void. The latest is trademark Orbital Patterns: glitchy atmospherics, shimmery foundational sonics, slushy melodicism. He mixes in vocalizing and field recordings with a sublime sense of balance. The music is at once oceanic in its swelling, and wondrously detailed in its production.

This is the latest video I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live performance of ambient music. Video originally posted at

This Week in Sound: Neuro-Urbanism

A lightly annotated clipping service

These sound-studies highlights of the week are lightly adapted from the June 27, 2022, issue of the free weekly email newsletter This Week in Sound (

As always, if you find sonic news of interest, please share it with me, and (except with the most widespread of news items) I’ll credit you should I mention it here.

Optical microphones are a thing: “The extracted audio isn’t as clear or high-fidelity as what a traditional microphone can capture, but the optical microphone could provide mixing engineers with an easy to way monitor individual instruments during a live performance, and over time there’s little doubt the quality of the extracted audio will continue to be improved. The system has other interesting applications outside of music. A video camera monitoring all the machines on a factory floor, or pointed at the engine of a running car, could determine when individual parts or components are making an abnormal sound, indicating maintenance may be required before a problem actually becomes a problem.” ➔

“Amazon is devising a way for users to speak to their family members through its Alexa voice assistant, even after they’ve died.”

“A new study found that wild bats were able to remember a specific ringtone four years after learning to associate it with food.”

“Microsoft’s plan to remove AI emotion analysis from Azure and restrict how its customers use facial and voice recognition tools is the latest response by a tech giant to widespread criticism of the technologies’ capacity for discrimination and bias.” ➔

I love this comment by Carl Stone in a recent interview: “Tokyo is the noisiest city in the world. Of course, there are a lot of noisy cities in the world where if you measured the noise level, it would be a lot noisier than Tokyo. I’m not saying that. … It’s a city with the most purposefully introduced sounds whether they be announcements or beeps and signals or sound logos that stores have that they blast out onto the street. And these things are dynamic too, when I first came here, one of the big electrical stores was Sakura Denki. They had a song that everybody knew at the time and blasted it out the windows.” ➔

A U.S. senator has expressed concerns about Amazon’s doorbell privacy: “That not only means that anyone within 25 feet of the doorbell — bikers, delivery drivers, pedestrians — could unknowingly have their conversations recorded by some random person’s house, but that Amazon could be listening in on the homeowners or their neighbors. … If a family was having a conversation with a window open, or close to the door when its motion sensor activated, it could end up recording their conversations.” ➔

First, this is a study exploring the hypothesis “that stress-related brain activation in regions important for emotion regulation were associated positively with green space and associated negatively with air pollution and noise pollution.” Second, the article introduced me to the term “neuro-urbanism” (“a newly emerging discipline that assembles neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, city planners, urban designers, architects, landscape architects to explore the impact of the design of our cities on stress and psychological wellbeing”). ➔,

“The number of complaints about helicopter noise in New York City has skyrocketed in the past few years, partially due to a rise in wealthy commuters taking helicopter rides to the airport or the Hamptons. After a decade in which the city’s 311 hotline rarely received more than 1,000 complaints a year, 2020 saw 10,000 complaints about helicopter noise. Last year, the number rose to 26,000.” ➔

PetSmart is looking to have lawsuit dismissed regarding voice-tracking

You don’t miss your water until your well runs dry, as William Bell sang (though I heard it first as Brian Eno’s cover), and you don’t appreciate what those admittedly monstrous highway sound barriers do until after they’ve been removed. ➔

If you’ve been following the criminalization of loudspeakers at religious facilities in India, you’ll be interested in the latest twist: reportedly “police authorities have been issuing permanent licenses/permissions which is totally wrong and against the provisions of law.” ➔

I don’t use WhatApp much, so I didn’t realize this wasn’t already a feature: “you can both mute and message specific people in your group calls.” ➔

Sound Ledger¹ (Amsterdam, McDonald’s)

Audio culture by the numbers

11: Percentage of flights curbed at Amsterdam airport since 2019 to cut noise pollution

95: Reportedly the expected percentage accuracy for voice AI ordering at the McDonald’s drive-thru window

80: Reportedly the effective percentage accuracy for voice AI ordering at the McDonald’s drive-thru window


Amsterdam: McDonald’s:

Originally published in the June 27, 2022, edition of the This Week in Sound email newsletter. Get it in your inbox via