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.

Disquiet Junto Project 0560: Sonic Disambiguation

The Assignment: Help the Wikimedia Foundation develop a sonic logo.

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, September 26, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 22, 2022.

Tracks are added to the SoundCloud playlist for the duration of the project. Additional (non-SoundCloud) tracks appear in the llllllll.co discussion thread.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0560: Sonic Disambiguation
The Assignment: Help the Wikimedia Foundation develop a sonic logo.

Thanks to Mahmoud Hashemi, of Listen to Wikipedia, for suggesting the Disquiet Junto take this project on.

The project this week is to participate, if it appeals to you, in the development of a “sound logo” for Wikimedia. Per the instructions: “The Wikimedia movement is searching for a sound logo that will identify content from all of our projects, like Wikipedia, when visual logos are not an option — for example, when virtual voice assistants answer queries.”

Details, including prize and rights, at soundlogo.wikimedia.org.

Note that the official Wikimedia contest deadline is October 10, 2022. For this Junto project, however, it is September 26.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0560” (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 “disquiet0560” (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 track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0560-sonic-disambiguation/

Step 5: Annotate your track 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.

Step 8: Also join in the discussion on the Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to [email protected] for Slack inclusion.

Note: Please post one track for this weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, September 26, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, September 22, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you, per the official instructions.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0560” 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 560th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Sonic Disambiguation (The Assignment: Help the Wikimedia Foundation develop a sonic logo) — at: https://disquiet.com/0560/

Thanks to Mahmoud Hashemi, of Listen to Wikipedia, for suggesting the Disquiet Junto take this project on.

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-0560-sonic-disambiguation/

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This Week in Sound: Nanoscience + Whale Socialization

A lightly annotated clipping service

These sound-studies highlights of the week originally appeared in the September 20, 2022, issue of the free Disquiet.com weekly email newsletter This Week in Sound: tinyletter.com/disquiet.

A study on four rising stars in nanoscience includes Sabina Caneva. Her research in “protein fingerprinting” involves “using sound waves to guide the proteins to their target. Given that the wave lengths are bigger than the proteins, she’s figuring out how to attach larger beads to the proteins, which are more likely to be caught by the sound waves.” ➔ nature.com

Introducing Sanas: a “startup that’s building real-time voice-altering technology that aims to help call center workers around the world sound like westerners.” As writer Wilfred Chan notes, it brings to mind the comedy Sorry to Bother You, “in which Cassius, a Black man hired to be a telemarketer, is advised by an older colleague to ‘use your white voice.’” Sociologist A. Aneesh (author of Neutral Accent: How Language, Labor and Life Become Global) has mixed feelings on the topic, expressing concerns about “indifference to difference.” Says Aneesh, “It allows us to avoid social reality, which is that you are two human beings on the same planet, that you have obligations to each other. It’s pointing to a lonelier future.” ➔ theguardian.com

Researchers are suggesting that the clicking of sperm whales amounts to “symbolic marking,” along the lines of how humans distinguish themselves with their hair, wardrobe, etc. “Otherwise used to echolocate prey, these sounds can take the form of emitted morse code-like sequences that the scientists call ‘identity codas’. When different clans of whales come together, they appear to use these codas to identify themselves. They are saying: this is us.” ➔ theguardian.com

Is there life after foghorns? It’s been less than a month since the New York Times commented on how much San Franciscans actually like our summer fog. So, of course, the newspaper had to go ahead and rip the fog right out from over us, by charting its reported decline. This is an anxiety-provoking article, to be sure, with some lovely descriptive material throughout:

There is little precision or pageantry to the use of the bridge’s foghorns. When the electrician on duty notes that it is too foggy to see across the mile-wide channel of the Golden Gate, the foghorns are turned on with a click of a computer mouse.

Inside a room on the south end of the bridge, Del West, an electrical superintendent, decided it was time. He warned workers all over the bridge by walkie-talkie, warned them again, then once more.

The bellow of a foghorn can be deafening, or even more dangerous, to people nearby. “It can interrupt your heartbeat,” Mr. Rosenkild said. It didn’t sound like a joke.

Mr. West clicked an icon on the computer screen that read “fog horns.” A moment later, bass tones bellowed from the belly of the bridge.

Read it in full ➔ nytimes.com

Noise pollution is cited as a key concern as e-commerce warehouses proliferate in New York City: “The Last-Mile Coalition, named for the final step of the direct-to-door delivery chain the warehouses sustain, submitted a proposed amendment to the city’s zoning rules Wednesday that would ramp up regulations for such facilities totaling at least 50,000 square feet. The proposal would also bar warehouses within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, nursing homes, public housing buildings, or any other such warehouses.” ➔ gothamist.com

Debate continues in Austin about the local police department’s acquisition of LRADs, or long-range acoustic devices, the volume of which can hit 160 decibels. ➔ austinmonitor.com

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Audio Lingo: “Bossware”

An occasional sonic lexicon

“bossware” — a subset of spyware that lets employers keep tabs on employees, including listening to them

________
Citation: science.org

Originally published in the June 6, 2022, edition of the This Week in Sound email newsletter. Get it in your inbox via tinyletter.com/disquiet.

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Audio Lingo: “Noise Floor”

An occasional sonic lexicon

“noise floor” — the volume or, more technically, the amplitude of “the sum of all noise sources and other unwanted signals within a system. This could be the ambient acoustic noise in a room, or the electrical noise in a recording system or other audio equipment.”

________
Citation: soundonsound.com

Originally published in the June 13, 2022, edition of the This Week in Sound email newsletter. Get it in your inbox via tinyletter.com/disquiet.

Tag: / Comment: 1 ]

Audio Lingo: “Eavesmining”

An occasional sonic lexicon

“eavesmining” — a “portmanteau of eavesdropping and datamining. This raises significant concerns pertaining to issues of privacy and surveillance, as well as discrimination, as the sonic traces of peoples’ lives become datafied and scrutinized by algorithms.” “[A] mode of surveillance that operates on the edge of acoustic space and digital infrastructure.”

________
Citations: stuff.co.za, papers.ssrn.com

Originally published in the September 20, 2022, edition of the This Week in Sound email newsletter. Get it in your inbox via tinyletter.com/disquiet.

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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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  • 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

  • 0561 / Samplelicker / The Assignment: Rework environmental sound recordings with Aphex Twin's new software.
    0560 / Sonic Disambiguation / The Assignment: Help the Wikimedia Foundation develop a sonic logo.
    0559 / Yes Exit / The Assignment: Compose your personal entrance and exit cues for conference calls.
    0558 / Chore Progressions / The Assignment: Use a routine activity as the map of a composition.
    0557 / Condensation Is a Form of Change / The Assignment: Interpret a graphic score that depicts four phases.

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