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
This Week in Sound

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Scratch Pad: Pirie, Mastodon, AI

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, usually in the morning over coffee: collating most of the little comments I’ve made on social media during the preceding week. I tend to think of social media — Twitter especially, though I’m taking a break, and Facebook to a degree, and increasingly Mastodon — as my public scratch pad. It’s informative to revisit a week of thinking out loud in public. Also, knowing you’ll revisit what you say pulls in the reins a bit, in a good way.

▰ Just an occasional reminder that my inbox is certainly open to new music releases for potential review, but I simply can’t respond personally to them all due to the sheer amount of inbound communication. Follow-up emails don’t help, I assure you.

▰ Mastodon has retired the term “toot,” per Dell Cameron at Gizmodo. I think it’s a good move. Per my earlier comments (which preceded the announcement, about which — to be clear — I knew nothing in advance), this helps reinforce that Mastodon isn’t just a Twitter replacement. It’s something else. (I mentioned this back in early May, when I wrote that people would maybe less often confuse Mastodon’s posts with Twitter’s tweets if Mastodon didn’t refer to its posts as “toots.”)

▰ Person 1: The problem with AI is it’s too easy. Those images you post look great, but they’re too easy. It’s gonna take over because it requires no effort.

Person 2: I had to do several rounds of coaxing the prompts each time, and I learn a bit more each time I do it. There’s a lot of trial and error, and paying attention.

Person 1: That’s the problem with AI: it takes too much work. It won’t take off until it gets easier.

▰ If you’ve done any Disquiet Junto projects and wanna be on a Mastodon list (I’ve not yet experimented with Mastodon lists), lemme know and I’ll put one together.

▰ A local cemetery is advertising on television. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a television ad for a cemetery before.

▰ “A low down disturbing pest / But, as of now, I’m gonna pluck this pest off my chest” —The Fat Boys’ “Trouble!” (which samples Sam and Dave’s “Hold On! I’m a Comin'”)

▰ The subtitles in this TV show, Karen Pirie, keep saying how the car’s handbrake “croaks.” Is that a Britishism, or a car thing, or a British car thing? (I’m illiterate in all three.)

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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  • This is an image of three colorful rulers against a plain background. The rulers look normal at first, and then you realize they're sort of oddly colored. That's because they were made by an AI.
  • 0567 / Three Meters / The Assignment: Make music in 5/8, 6/8, and 7/8 time signatures.
    0566 / Outdoor Furniture Music / The Assignment: Imagine the ur-ambient Erik Satie musique d’ameublement concept en plein air
    0565 / Musical Folly / The Assignment: Make a piece of music inspired by this architectural concept.
    0564 / Octave Lept / The Assignment: Work an octave leap — or more than one — into a piece of music.
    0563 / Digital Magical Realism / The Assignment: What does this imaginary genre sound like?

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