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.

search: illustoria

Personal Aesthetic Forensics

The labor of Labor Day

The physical and emotional labor of Labor Day. Typical Gen X housecleaning: replacing old long boxes with new ones, and neglecting to whittle whatsoever.

I was streaming videos of Mountain Man as I performed aesthetic forensics on my teens, 20s, and 30s. I generally listen to very little music with vocals, and yet I listen to Mountain Man all the time. Their harmonies kill me, and today’s activity, packed as it is with nostalgia, aligned with their music tonally.

I am a nut for anything by Tim Sale, Eddie Campbell, and Guy Davis. Challengers of the Unknown is one of my favorite formally playful superhero series. (And yes, “formally playful” is one of my favorite oxymorons.)

One more round, as I pack up the sixth of today’s long boxes: minis from Ellen Linder, Jason Shiga, and the late Dylan Williams.

I edited comics for a decade, and dipped into it a few more times in more recent years, and revisiting this material really brought me back to that work, which I always found incredibly rewarding.

Tag: / Leave a comment ]

2,000 Days of #DailyBleeps

The short-form delights of Todd Webb

Todd Webb has, over the past roughly 2,000 days, posted roughly 2,000 #dailybleeps tracks online. They have populated his YouTube and Twitter accounts, but their primary home on the internet range has been Instagram. There, bite-size videos playfully themed around squash (the fruit, not the sport), and going outside (as determined by an Oblique Strategies card), and frogs, among numerous other topics, feature micro-compositions of what feel like the sonic equivalent of a zine aesthetic: either minor-key chipper, or up-tempo maudlin, and utterly delightful. And like all good things, they must come to an end. Webb will post his final daily bleep this coming Wednesday, October 28, two days from now.

Here’s a recent one, the theme of which is fog on the water. Gurgling beats provide the score for a view over the side of a road and into a deep bright miasma from which the track takes its title:

Some 40 of Todd’s daily bleeps fill out the the second of a two-CD Oahu set released last year. A personal favorite of mine is track 15, “Not That I Mind (Simple Sounds 10),” which is like if Michael Nyman had been commissioned to record a lilting gamelan interstitial cue for a Nintendo video game. (The other half of Oahu, the first five tracks, collectively titled “Slow Waves,” are built from “mysterious sounds” from Deerhoof’s John Dieterich.)

The record is a great object, but arguably the best way to appreciate Webb’s daily bleeps is in situ, as tidy little audio-visual spectacles on Instagram. And since Halloween is just a few days away, here, in closing, is one about “tree skeletons”:

More from Webb, a cartoonist and illustrator, at toddbot.com. He lives in Virginia. (Full disclosure: I edited a comic of his in an early issue of the children’s magazine Illustoria.)

Tags: , , / Leave a comment ]
  • 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

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe

  • 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).

  • disquiet junto

  • 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.

    Recent Projects

  • 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?

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 567 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts