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.

Disquiet Junto Project 0444: Bot Ensemble

The Assignment: Make music as directed by the great account.

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 Monday, July 6, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 2, 2020.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0444: Bot Ensemble
The Assignment: Make music as directed by the great account.

Thanks to Michael Upton for having proposed this project.

Step 1: You will be making music with makeshift instruments suggested by the great account.

Step 2: Visit the account and familiarize yourself with it.

Step 3: Either select one or more of the recommended materials in the bot’s Twitter feed, or use a random number generator to determine which one(s) you will use. (Between one and three is recommended.)

Step 4: If you cannot obtain materials in the bot’s recommended instrumentation, approximate what you think it might sound like through other means.

Step 5: Produce a piece of music using only the instrument(s) determined in the previous steps.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0444” (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 “disquiet0444” (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

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 Monday, July 6, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 2, 2020. Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0444” 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:

Thanks to Michael Upton for having proposed this project.

More on this 444th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Disquiet Junto Project 0444: Bot Ensemble — The Assignment: Make music as directed by the great account — at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Subscribe to project announcements here:

Project discussion takes place on

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

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Barely a Minute

So play it on repeat

It’s barely a minute in length, just enough time for the slight variations in the held drone to suggest a melody, and just enough time for the abrasive rubbings at either side of the stereo spectrum to become a kind of slow-motion percussion, and just enough time for the descending notes to make it clear they will never ever resolve, even as the piece fades out. This is “A Starry Blackness,” which according to a brief description is a work by Matthew Swiezynski “inspired by John Carpenter’s The Thing,” so perhaps there’s an Antarctic narrative unfolding beneath that scraping.

Track originally posted at

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Mike Dayton Was Ahead of the Game

Making music with microbes back in January

Mike Dayton’s album Men and Microbes came out in mid-January, back when the “and” was more arithmetic than apocalyptic. It’s 11 tracks of variously electronic activities, from the shivering miasma of “Never feel clean” to the slow instrumental pop of “What’s a king to a single celled organism,” from the latter-day new wave of “A Delicate Balance” to the vocaloid stylings of “More them than us.” Throughout, there’s a sense of solitude to each song. No matter the relative complexity, no matter how many striations of tracks are evident in the final mix, there’s the sense of a single hand behind the wheel, at times almost giddy at the freedom (check out the chiptune funk of “Keep calm, its out of your hands”), at others deeply haunted (the album opens with a three-minute horror show titled “We were here first”). But of course Dayton isn’t alone. The “we” in that first track isn’t merely plural; it’s the microbes with whom we mere humans share the album’s title.

Album originally posted at More from Dayton, who is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at

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Six months and counting

As of tonight, when I’ll post about something I’ve enjoyed listening to, I’ll have written on every single day for the full first half of 2020. I’ve had my Disquiet website since December of 1996, and I think this will be the first time I’ve published daily for six months straight. Technically I’ve already done so, since I’ve posted this, but I’ll post something else this evening.

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Esther Venrooy Controls the Chaos

"Slam Your Doors in a Golden Silence," she says.

This track by Esther Venrooy does crazy things to my fingers. My fingers rest on my laptop keyboard. My laptop keyboard is where the speakers are located. As the intense bell-like tones of “Slam Your Doors in a Golden Silence” rise, as their energy collects amid wisps of rougher sounds, the laptop’s surface vibrates in kind. Sonic Tesla coils send charges up my arms. There’s a luxurious chaos at work here, a chaos kept in line, and only just barely. Much as the live-wire noises and arcing tones hint at dangerous apexes, they remain held in check. There’s a famous maxim about music being “organized sound,” courtesy of composer Edgard Varèse. What Venrooy exposes here is that organization needn’t mean corralling sound into something familiar. There’s a lot of room before something is even remotely domesticated. It can mean yoking noise just tight enough to give it shape, but to still let it move under its own strange power.

Track originally posted at More from Venrooy, who is based in Breda, Netherlands, at

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