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.

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Environmental Industrial Music

In outer space

Industrial music is generally all klang, and it is truly industrial more by association than by audio hallmarks. The sounds are sourced from what might very well be an active factory floor, but the dance floor is where they are intended to reside, and where they are most at home. Another kind of industrial music is more akin to environmental industrial music: the sound of an inactive factory floor, when the motors are humming but activity is on pause. Such is “Grave doubts – Decisioni difficili” by the Italian musician Marco Mascia, who lives in Cagliari. The gorgeous echoes of grating noise suggest an immeasurably cavernous space, one built to house vast human aspirations, and either temporarily unused, or perhaps left behind entirely. The spaciousness does have a space-ness, the more you listen into it. Because this is not merely music one listens to. It is music that asks you to step inside it, to explore it from the inside, from inside the geography it intimates. Perhaps this is interstellar industrial music, the room tone of a former robot-making facility on Mars, before civil war tore the planet apart, or an ice-processing plant in the asteroid belt, no longer in use since the stargates opened.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/progettosonoro. Found via a repost by Robert Knote.

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Redwoods Trail (June 2021)

I am not frequently in the wilderness.


This is an experiment that occurred to me to undertake as I walked through a forest three hours north of San Francisco. I was in the redwoods the week before this one, staying in a small cabin to mark the start of summer, or something close to the start of summer. Clearly marked hiking trails behind and all around the cabin made for easy ventures out. The lines of these trails crisscrossed each other at junctures useful to gauging and adjusting one’s itinerary. It was hard not to photograph things, so striking was every direction and every stage of one’s depth of field, from the densely layered beauty of the widely varying greenery, to the markings of horseshoes in the dusty trail, to sudden glimpses of the broad ocean, to the occasional bird, though these were more heard than seen.

I am not frequently in the wilderness. When I am at my desk, I frequently have running on a second screen footage from one or another YouTube account, generally someone’s point-of-view wandering through a city, and sometimes amid a more rural environment. This is adjacent viewing, something that provides a vantage on another place, something that feeds the imagination.

While I stood there in the forest looking ahead at the trail, it occurred to me to do the same. I just had my phone with me, and an old one at that. I set it to video mode and took one step after another forward. I was not about to endeavor to document the hour-long meanderings that my favorite YouTube accounts feature. I just wanted a sliver of the moment, a few minutes. Each step took me further along. The sounds of my feet became more evident to me, because I was aware they were being recorded. The forest ahead brought details into focus out of what, moments before, was just a thicket. Eventually, after two and a half minutes, I stopped mid-trail, did a sweep of the area, and stopped recording. And eventually I returned home, home to the city.

The whistle-like presence of a bird, the rough noise of the microphone responding to a slight breeze, the crackle of a dry twig — each element came into greater focus when I had returned to my desk and was viewing the moving image on the same screen where I normally have YouTube running. I confirmed my own wandering as akin to the ones I so often appreciate vicariously. And so I uploaded it, and jotted down these notes. I don’t foresee myself making many of these — there is only so much time for so many pursuits — but it was useful to share my walk, to experience the layering of memory and moment, to put myself in the footsteps of those who do, to aim my lens in a similar direction, to hear my own footsteps as I have heard theirs.

Video originally posted to YouTube.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0494: Insect Menagerie

The Assignment: Record a 20-second clip of the sounds of an insect that you yourself have invented.

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, June 21, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 17, 2021.

Tracks will be added to the playlist for the duration of the project.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0494: Insect Menagerie The Assignment: Record a 20-second clip of the sounds of an insect that you yourself have invented.

This project is the first of three that are being done over the course of as many months in collaboration with the 2021 Musikfestival Bern, which will be held in Switzerland from September 1 through 5 under the motto “schwärme” (“swarm”). For this reason, a German translation is provided below. We are working at the invitation of Tobias Reber, an early Junto participant, who is in charge of the educational activities of the festival. This is the third year in a row that the Junto has collaborated with Musikfestival Bern. Select recordings resulting from these three Disquiet Junto projects will be played and displayed throughout the festival.

There is just one step for this week’s project: Compose the sound of a single imaginary insect. The duration of the recording should be 20 seconds.

Background: There will be public display cases at the festival, and we may set up motion triggers that cause an insect sound to occur when people pass by. We will do so with signage explaining that it documents experimental insect life. The participants whose work is included will be listed by name.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0494” (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 “disquiet0494” (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 tracks in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0494-insect-menagerie/

Step 5: Annotate your tracks with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #disquietjunto and #musikfestivalbern 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.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, June 21, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 17, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track should be 20 seconds.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0494” 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 494th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Insect Menagerie (The Assignment: Record a 20-second clip of the sounds of an insect that you yourself have invented) — at: https://disquiet.com/0494/

Thanks to Tobias Reber and Musikfestival Bern for collaboration on this project. More on the festival at:

https://www.musikfestivalbern.ch/
https://www.instagram.com/musikfestival_bern
https://www.facebook.com/musikfestivalbern

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0494-insect-menagerie/

There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this project is by dr_relling, and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:

https://flic.kr/p/6RPmAq

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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Grazing the Ointment

Glitchy choir work from Mark Hadley


Contrasts make for rich compositional territory. Here, in Mark Hadley’s “FELT9b,” the opposed elements are vocal choir on the one hand and a beading, percussive, occasionally glitchy effect on the other. The glitch originates in part from the treatment of the vocals, which sometimes backtrack briefly, quicker than briefly, a microsecond that is like a stray thought, like a fly not so much in as grazing the ointment. The refracted vocalizing finds its match in the percussion, which is put through a delay that replicates it, as if in a hall of sonic mirrors. In a less sensitive approach, this would quadruple the seeming speed of the piece, but quite the contrary occurs. The delay seems to slow it, to divide time into more segments, to draw attention to time, to the vocals, and to a connection with the artifice of the fractured singing.

Track originally posted atsoundcloud.com/soundbymark. More from Hadley, who is based in Sheffield, UK, at soundbymark.bandcamp.com.

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Hoth on Earth

Under the ice in a Michigan winter

Rob Byers placed a microphone beneath the ice, and found laser beams. Not actual ones, but what could easily be mistaken for such a thing. The battle beneath the ice, as recorded in northern Michigan earlier this year, sounds like an epic fight on Hoth. “A drop in temperature causes a frozen lake to sing through the winter night,” writes Byers of the audio. “The piece starts underneath the ice, recording laser-like sounds with a hydrophone. At 2:15 it transitions above the ice to hear the groans and moans of the shifting ice. Listen for a neighbour’s response.” The streaming file isn’t embeddable, so head over to fieldrecordings.xyz for a listen.

More from Byers at robbyers.com and twitter.com/RobByers1.

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