My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

twitter.com/disquiet: Mars, Chernobyl, Nothing

From the past week

I do this manually each week, collating the tweets I made at twitter.com/disquiet (which I think of as my public notebook) that I want to keep track of. For the most part, this means ones I initiated, not ones in which I directly responded to someone. I sometimes tweak them a bit here. Some tweets pop up on Disquiet.com sooner than I get around to collating them, so I leave them out of the weekly round-up. It’s usually personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud, especially these days, when a week can feel both like a year and like nothing whatsoever has happened or changed.

▰ Most excited I’ve ever been in my life to hear a fluid pump

▰ Judging by the moon’s brightness tonight, it has heard the news about Mars and it’s determined to remind us it exists.

▰ It’s not a “todo list.” It’s a “you’ll log.”

Bwa ha ha ha.

Yeah, a bit stir crazy today.

▰ RIP, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919-2021). Impossible for me to encapsulate what he and City Lights have meant to this city, and around the world.

▰ Just happened to see my automated Tuesday tweet right at noon (the one mentioning that the Outdoor Public Warning System siren is on hiatus for repair), and experienced the strangely intense absence of sound that is Tuesday at noon right now in San Francisco, if you’d long since become accustomed to the Tuesday noon siren. It is like a vacuum, a vertiginous void.

▰ Not gonna bother to try to screenshot it, given Netflix’s arduous restrictions. I’ll just note it’s delightful when Benedetta Vitali comments in Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat that listening to the dough-rolling process is an essential and pleasure-rich phase of pasta-making.

▰ On the one hand, I am a functioning adult.

On the other hand, I more than occasionally type things such as “thonk plinky” into my browser’s search engine.

(Don’t worry, it’s fully SFW.)

▰ When I first saw this, it made me think of those sad tadpoles that had the misfortune of growing up near Chernobyl. Now I’m wondering about balanced tadpoles versus unbalanced tadpoles, and the impact of radiation on granular synthesis.

▰ 7:41am sounds: buzz of modest traffic a few blocks away; muffled hum of person talking on phone across the street; thud-infused whir of car passing house; and the house, as it warms, producing crackles, like nothing so much as a piece of paper gently being crumpled

▰ If there’s a badge for falling asleep while practicing guitar and then waking up a split second or two later fairly certain that you continued to play while asleep then I unlocked that badge last night.

▰ 1968 Apple Records
1976 Apple Computers
2001 Apple iPod

1992 Nothing Records
2020 Nothing (.tech)
202? Nothing Something

▰ The cover image of this week’s Disquiet Junto project, 0478, is by the late Jeffrey Melton, a very early participant in the Disquiet Junto whose photos remain on Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

▰ – – – mental palate-cleansing tweet – – –

▰ And on that note, have a great weekend. I just may be able to get a new episode of the Disquietude podcast out. We shall see. The tracks are more or less set, and I even may include audio from one or more of the musicians talking about their work. Baby steps.

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Livestream Reviewstream

On Twitter of Lesley Flanigan at Roulette

I live-tweeted this livestream this evening. Here it is, lightly edited:

Lesley Flanigan is performing live (at 8pm East Coast, 5pm here in “we make the future but we live in the past” San Francisco).

I highly recommend tuning in. She’s looping her vocals, creating beading layers of choral intensity.

There are also sine wave generators in the mix.

I noticed she’d donned headphones at the start, despite the space, Roulette, being devoid of a live audience.

Explanation from the video note: “Though Flanigan will be performing live at Roulette for this event, there will be no sound amplified within the performance space. Why should there be? There is no audience to hear it.”

Also: “Playing with the closeness, directness and stereo image of the headphone space, Flanigan brings the intimacy of performing alone with her headphones to the solo listener at home.” (A livestream that is cognizant of its livestreamness.)

I love drones. All the more, I love music that takes drone as the foundation, and grows from there. That’s what Flanigan is up to here, singing atop and amid the hovering clouds she has patiently summoned.

The beading has hardened, has been focused into something pulse-like now, the minimalist of minimal techno, underlying some ancient folk hymn.

This may not be the exact model of audio generator she is employing, but it’s close. She’s using two of them, and adjusting during the performance.

I always say Twitter is my public notepad. This may be the most true that statement has been. Aside from Google image search, these are the sorta notes I’d be taking in a notepad if we were all sitting in the audience. And you might complain about the scratch of my pen on paper.

And now the glitch is on.

And now the glitch is off, supplanted by a hybrid of classic minimalism and early polyphony.

Presumably, roughly 40 minutes in, it’s coming to a close now, though perhaps not. The density has softened considerably, reduced virtually to a hum, maybe just one vocal line and one oscillator now.

This is so beautiful, both rapturous and restrained, deliriously so in both cases.

These aren’t exactly the notes I’d be writing down in a live auditorium, because they’re in full sentences and have fewer spelling errors, and are entirely legible. But this is an interesting experience, using my public notepad as a public notepad during the performance.

I’ve reviewed several livestreams during the pandemic. I just submitted a review for publication in The Wire this week. This, though, is the first reviewstream I’ve written.

Speaking of spelling errors, here’s a circuit diagram of a progenitor of the brand of audio generator, a solid state oscillator, that Lesley Flanigan employed a pair of during the concert.

And here’s one more shot from the ancient manual, this one of the “waveshapes” produced by the audio generator, of the sort Flanigan used in the show.

And that’s it. The concert has ended. And thanks to the magic of livestreams, I can immediately go do some dishes without having to bother with public transportation.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0478: Collage of Collages

The Assignment: Make a collage that will become part of a larger collage.

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, March 1, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, February 25, 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 0478: Collage of Collages
The Assignment: Make a collage that will become part of a larger collage.

Step 1: Create a “musical collage,” however you might define it, likely using the equivalent of cut and paste. When doing so, consider the sense in which your collage might itself become part of a subsequent collage.

Step 2: If you’d like your piece excerpted for a broadcast on the Austrian community radio show Kopfkino (translated: “cinema in the head,” and also available as a podcast) by Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka, make sure your track is set for download when you post it.

Background: Margarethe has offered to produce an online segment in collaboration with the Disquiet Junto. The theme of the Kopfkino episode will be “collage.” The episode will itself be a collage of tracks produced in this week’s Junto project.

More on Kopfkino at: https://cba.fro.at/series/kopfkino

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0478” (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 “disquiet0478” (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-0478-collage-of-collages/

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 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, March 1, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, February 25, 2021.

Length: The length is up to you. (With collages, relative density is arguably as important as length.)

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0478” 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 478th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Collage of Collages (The Assignment: Make a collage that will become part of a larger collage.) — at:

https://disquiet.com/0478/

The project is a collaboration with the radio show Kopfkino, initiated by Margarethe Maierhofer-Lischka. More on Kopfkino at:

https://cba.fro.at/series/kopfkino

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-0478-collage-of-collages/

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

Image associated with this project is by the late Jeffrey Melton (a very early Junto participant), and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:

https://flic.kr/p/4zoz46

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

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A Pair of Sloths

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

Got labels prepped for when the modules arrive. I should mention, those are the actual names of the modules. There’s a third in the trio. It’s called Inertia, the slowest of the three. Collectively they’re called Sloths, for the slow waveforms they emit.

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Live, if Mechanized

An automated place by Tobias Karlehag

It’s simply plastic, wood, and metal, with the midday world just outside a clear plate of glass, and yet the sound is that of a welcoming place, perhaps a fictional one, perhaps one in a sonic terrarium, structured just right, so as to have the desired effect — peaceful, inviting, blood-pressure-reducing — but a place nonetheless. This is Tobias Karlehag’s 12-minute automated recording, a synthesizer set to work and not once intruded upon by human hands. There’s depth here, tiny sounds echoing space while in the near we hear textured washes and melancholy tones. Though this is a live, if mechanized, performance, it could virtually be a still image were there not occasional bits of movement: a passerby, a light going on and off and on again, a small display dimly registering change. But change happens, in the music and the visual alike, more often than it might initially appear.

This is the latest video I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live performance of ambient music. Video originally posted on YouTube. More from Tobias Karlehag, who is based in Gothenburg, Sweden, at tobiaskarlehag.tumblr.com and instagram.com/tobias_karlehag.

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