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.

tag: current activities

twitter.com/disquiet: Breakfast and the WebEx Soundmark

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating recent tweets I made at twitter.com/disquiet, my public notebook. Some tweets pop up (in expanded form or otherwise, which happened several times this week) on Disquiet.com sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ A sunny-side-up egg over a piece of jalapeño cornbread is not a bad way to start the week.

▰ Taking momentary break from Sounds “Я” Us coverage to confirm, yeah, the smell of fire is with us, this now being what what has come to be called “fire season.” Not sure if the nearby Pacific Ocean breeze is keeping it inland or saving us from the worst of it.

▰ New-to-me pandemic soundmark: Waiting to be the last to sign off of a Webex meeting, so you can enjoy the cascade of beeps as others exit before you.

▰ When the owner of the banh mi place recognizes you despite your mask and absurdly long pandemic hair a year-plus since you were last there

▰ And on that note, have a great weekend, folks.

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A Pox on the Inbox

PR at scale


If I haven’t replied to your request for coverage, this screenshot from Gmail is why. I do want to hear your music — but I also want to hear other people’s music, and the less time I spend in correspondence, the more time I can spend listening. Thanks.

I set up filters in Gmail by email account (labels and PR firms, and for some artists, too). They’re in declining order of likely interest. I have them automatically bypass my inbox.

And to further clarify: No way I’ll read them all. I take a peek in declining order, and occasionally clean them out. I search for “http://bandcamp.com/yum” and mostly pay attention to level 0 and 1. A search in others (“soundtrack,” “ambient,” etc.) might yield something.

Not shown, simply because it’s much further down in the list of my email folders/labels: the 11,811 that automatically bypassed my inbox because they’re from Bandcamp.

I feel bad about complaining, because there’s tons of great stuff in there. As burdens go, it’s an embarrassment of riches. What’s not great is (1) people who re-add me to their subscriptions lists after I unsubscribe and (2) people who check back repeatedly.

What’s also sometimes burdensome is the natural sympathy one acquires for musicians who put all their time into releasing albums and tracks, only for them to face so many hurdles for it to get much an audience.

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twitter.com/disquiet: Voice Recognition, Robot Dreams

From the past week

I do this manually each week, collating tweets I made at twitter.com/disquiet, my public notebook. Some tweets pop up (in expanded form) on Disquiet.com sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ I didn’t tweet that much this week, but I did ride my bike for the first time in a long time, so I may live longer and tweet less per week, yielding the same number of tweets in the end as if I’d lived shorter and tweeted more. Or something like that.

▰ Turning my phone’s alarm off isn’t easy, yet once in a while I manage to do it with no memory of having done it. Today I woke a half hour late when a robot called to renew some insurance policy I don’t actually have, which in the past would itself have been a dream narrative.

▰ These not uncommon words seem to be black diamond ski slopes for voice-recognition systems:

“midst”
“amidst”

After I mentioned this, a friend asked why didn’t I just say “amid.” It’s a valid question.

▰ I’ve never actually played Cyberpunk 2077, but I’ve spent an enormous amount of time with YouTube videos of its ambient street noise playing on loop.

▰ These are among the quotidian sounds being turned into music so far in the week’s Disquiet Junto project (disquiet.com/0487). The project was inspired by the carillon, which some 500 years back “instrumentalized” the common bell by letting you plan them, each bell with a different tune.

  • staircase creaking

  • elevator recording “ruined” by RF interference

  • coffee grinder

  • spring peepers (frogs)

  • door leading to a small room

▰ And on that note, have a great weekend.

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Ambience v Ambiance v ?

The barometer over time for words about atmosphere

  1. I would have thought it the opposite (ambiance > ambience).

  2. I would have thought “ambience” on the rise in particular the past few years.

  3. Maybe Google’s Ngram is looking at different sources than I am.

  4. If these two are on the decline, what is on the rise?

. . .

Braulio Agnese noted for me the relative prominence is flipped in Google Trends.

. . .

A friend, Jimmy Kipple, suggested “chill,” and that seems like a good bet, even more right than I’d imagined.

Chill is the word (is the word, is the word that you heard)
It’s got a groove, it’s got a meaning
Chill is the time, is the place, is the motion
Chill is the way we are feeling

. . .

Another friend, Robert Boyd, had a good call: “vibe.” On the one hand, “vibe” is lower than “ambient” or “chill.” On the other, “vibe” is a much closer synonym for “ambience” and “ambiance,” and its rise aligns with their decline. (Vibe’s overall rise in the Ngram, it should be noted, begins almost exactly with the launch, in 1993, of the magazine Vibe.)

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twitter.com/disquiet: The Skateboard and the Human Seismometer

From the past week

I do this manually each week, collating tweets I made at twitter.com/disquiet, my public notebook. Some tweets pop up (in expanded form) on Disquiet.com sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ Someone rides a skateboard down the block weekday mornings around 7:15am. It’s such a beautiful sound, almost always entirely alone in the serene quiet, the cars still dormant. I imagine its rider, heading likely to a job, and I enjoy the clatter of wheels on pavement equally.

▰ Why didn’t anyone tell me the new Godzilla vs. King Kong movie features a young deaf actor whose character, acting as a human seismometer, recognizes the vibrations of Godzilla arriving long before the actual alarms go off?

▰ There are things I wish would happen, and among those is a subset are things I kinda expect to happen, and one is that online crosswords will let us enter words in two colors: black if we’re certain, and a second if we’re uncertain.

▰ Good time to play Prince’s “Baltimore”:

▰ Recent but Tired: Taking comfort that the majority of concerts I attend are usually below 25% attendance.

Upcoming(ish)* Wired: Being part of as many of those 25% audiences as possible.

*Pending, you know, a whole lotta tier-based variables

▰ TFW you think spellcheck is broken or paused because nothing in the document is underlined but it’s simply because nothing in the doc is misspelled

▰ Q: What’s the plan for the upcoming 500th consecutive weekly Disquiet Junto project?

A: I’m not sure one project can properly note the collaborative effort represented by the 500th project. So, we’ll probably celebrate the 500th project for the next 500 weeks until we hit 1,000.

▰ vertiginous
existential
condensation
verklempt
wherewithal

^ Words patiently awaiting their emoji

▰ Out loud I say, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

In my head I say, “The Falcon and no, not the Snowman, yeah the Winter Soldier — hope no one caught that pause.”

▰ One of these has arrived (barter for a writing project) and I am stoked.

▰ And on that note, have a great weekend.

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