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.

tag: current activities

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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twitter.com/disquiet: Slough, pentatonic, Stravinsky

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.

▰ Yes, I’m enjoying the new Mick Herron novel, Slough House (seventh in the Slow Horses series).

▰ Close-up of the speaker grate on the back of a battery-operated alarm clock. The speaker grate is 7 millimeters in diameter. (Insert grating joke here.)

▰ As someone who lived in New Orleans for four years, I appreciate that Mutable Instruments released a new module named Beads on Fat Tuesday.

▰ Today in guitar class pentatonic education. (Jeff Rona joked in reply: “A potentially great companion to my upcoming book ‘5 Things I Like About the Pentatonic Scale'”)

▰ Alternately alarmed and amused by (while also trying to focus on some still hazy metaphorical meaning to) the idea that it is mid-February 2021 and my phone claims to not recognize this word

▰ Nothing says “frictionless user experience” like a button that reads “Sign up with SAML SSO”

▰ 8:12am sounds: hour and a half in, the house still creaking as it warms; mechanical whir in the distance; interior echo of something a neighbor has dropped; white noise of cars passing in opposite directions (clearly one ignored the stop sign); hum of refrigerator two rooms away

▰ That moment when you’re using an online tool to sign something and the automated signature looks like Ralph Steadman scribbled it while under the weather

▰ “Random method generates the same numbers” is my kinda first thread to read on a music message board in the morning over coffee

▰ Today I learned that the modernist squiggle that’s always featured on the cover of the journal Perspectives of New Music was a scribble by Igor Stravinsky. (And they all look like Alexander Girard sketches to me.)

▰ Favorite Yoko Ono factoid: she was apparently Kobo Abe’s translator the first time he visited America. Happy 88th birthday to her.

▰ The new TV series Debris (starting March 1, at least in the U.S.) looks like someone sneaked in at night and asked me while I was sleeping what I wanna watch once a week. Which means that like Counterpart, Intelligence (the one with Ian Tracey), and Travelers it’ll have a short run. Maybe it’ll last as long as Fringe, which it most resembles.

▰ Just proofread some liner notes I wrote. Very excited for when this physical object is released into the world.

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twitter.com/disquiet: captions, envelopes, dentists

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.

▰ Protip: When garbage trucks noisily come by in the morning, just pretend you’ve taken shelter from violent robots patrolling the streets

▰ Spoken: “pièce de résistance”

Automatic caption: “P.S. dude assistance”

(Admittedly, Brian Cox’s accent can be a bit strong when he wants it to be)

▰ Got the new Mick Herron novel, Slough House, today, the day of its release. The first of the three novels I’m currently most looking forward to this year, the others being the end of The Expanse trilogy of trilogies (Leviathan Falls, from the duo who write under the name James S.A. Corey) and the final Jade trilogy book (Jade Legacy, from Fonda Lee).

▰ I stand with Soseki.

▰ Maybe it’s me, but this seems like a trick question

▰ Current sounds, 7:40am: chirruping of birds celebrating the sun that just rose over nearby buildings, laptop fan whirring under pressure of several dozen open tabs, rattle of skateboarder enjoying a street devoid of traffic, occasional creak from house as it warms

▰ Today’s guitar class homework

▰ I know I’m at home on the web when I go to a message board I participate on regularly and see a new thread titled “Envelope Problems.”

▰ Went to the dentist, one admirably steeped in pandemic precaution.

  1. Yes, there was an instrumental version of a Steely Dan song playing upon arrival.

  2. Yes, the increased presence of whirring HEPA filters made me drowsy.

  3. And yes, if my parents are reading: no cavities.

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twitter.com/disquiet: Marple, McEnery, Herron

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.

▰ Waiting for Mick Herron’s new Slow Horses book, I’m reading his earlier Zoë Boehm series. His ear was already active: “That was a thing about headphones: they made you over-ready to respond; compensating for the fact that you’d voluntarily cut yourself off from communication.” (That’s from the second of Herron’s Zoë Boehm books, The Last Voice You Hear.)

▰ Ezra Pound: The artist is the the antennae of the race.

Gerhard Richter: I saw out-of-focus Zoom calls coming way back when.

▰ Oh, good, there is an animated GIF of how The Expanse depicts shipping containers in space. (Warning: vertigo-inducing.)

▰ 2020: buying each other’s Bandcamp releases

2021: compensating¹ each other for expertise and time

¹Again, trade/barter factors in, certainly

▰ Not sure if this is proof Twitter’s algorithm doesn’t particularly get me, or proof Twitter is trying to convince me Twitter’s algorithm doesn’t particularly get me.

▰ Watching Miss Marple episodes, now fully convinced she’s way more interesting than James Bond, and enjoying guest appearances by familiar actors. Last night’s was the mother lode. First, Dan Stevens ejects from a Luftwaffe plane. Then Richard E. Grant (!) appears in the credits. Then (!) Ruth (!) Wilson (!) appears in the credits. And as I’m settling into the episode, assuming this is already an embarrassment of riches beyond compare, the director’s name appears: Nicolas Winding Refn. I’ve been joking for a while that the next Marple remake needs to make good on the sheer amount of violence that surrounds her, and go with something like Miss Marple: Death Magnet as the title. Clearly, Nicolas Winding Refn is already primed to direct such a thing. Oh, and another doozy: Shortly after the opening of the episode (“Nemesis,” the version with Gwendolyn McEwan), Marple gets her instructions from a benefactor who sends a solicitor with a gramophone and a record, on which he has recorded himself telling her what to do. Cold War Mission: Impossible. (All of which said, I kinda prefer the eerie and impenetrable interiority of Joan Hickson’s Marple over the socially intelligent busybody McEwan’s pursues. Next up: Julia McKenzie.)

▰ RIP, Paul McEnery

▰ Realized the last show I saw live in person was, I believe, back on January 30, 2020, so it’s officially been a full year. I miss running into people more than I miss concerts, or more to the point, part of the point of concerts is running into people.

▰ Remains convinced the best way to read cyberpunk is via text-to-speech

▰ (I always think of it as Janacek Flow)

▰ I laughed harder at Peaches/Clarissa saying “hi” to Holden toward the end of the season finale of The Expanse than I have at anything else in a long time. (I’m all caught up on the books and the show, and the new book isn’t due out until October, apparently.)

▰ This bears repeating:

  1. Not every meeting needs to use its entire allotted time

  2. Stop five minutes or so early to recap and plan what’s next

  3. End a couple minutes early so everyone can get on to what’s next

▰ Honk if you’ve pasted your laptop’s clipboard just to see what’s in it because you don’t remember what or when it was you most recently cut/copied in the first place

▰ The living room faces south. This is San Francisco, so the sun comes through the fully drawn bay window shades from the east. The light, yellow with brighter if muted center, has the artificial uniformity of a movie set. All I hear: light traffic, house creaking as heat kicks in.

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What Twitter Hears at 2am (California Time)

A scheduled experiment

Nearly three dozen people replied to a tweet of mine while I was deep asleep. This was by design. I set a tweet to appear at 2:00am on Friday morning, and checked the results when I woke. I’ve sent variations on this tweet in the past, but never with such a strong result.

The tweet read:

I’m asleep. This is an automated tweet at 2am, California time. Please reply, if you have a moment, and let me know what you hear right now. Thanks.

I chose to send it at 2am, thinking since that was 5am on the East Coast, therefore in the United States a relatively smaller percentage of the population would be awake and online. I wanted to optimize for people elsewhere on the planet to reply. There were some local insomniacs in the mix, nonetheless.

Below are the results, in the order they appeared in my Twitter feed. Where individuals’ locations were identifiable, I include them parenthetically. Some folks actively named their location. When I do this again in the future, I may ask people to say where they are, and I may send it at 1:30am. The final of these appeared 24 hours after the rest of them.

▰ The cat snoring.

▰ The washing machine downstairs. Light rain. Traffic on the road outside. Birds shouting about sex/boundary disputes.

▰ Tinnitus (Sydney, Australia)

▰ Rain

▰ A tap running (Berlin)

▰ it’s noon in london, zone 2. i hear the white-noise generator i use 24/7. i hear a lack of truck reversing signals, shout-talking. not even any bangs and crashes from above. i can hear low-level traffic noise outside & know that its been raining from the swishing sound of tires. … windows open, add seagulls, a distant siren and a few human voices (London)

▰ HEPA and fridge duet.

▰ Coffee machine and rain

▰ The air purifier trying to keep us safe.

▰ Tinnitus, a washing machine, a sleeping dog and the next door but one shooting hoops. (Manchester)

▰ Tinnitus. Breeze. (Istanbul)

▰ It’s half past noon here in Berlin. I hear clicking coming from the radiator and muffled radio voices from across the hallway.

▰ Cat complaints (Hudsonville, Michgan)

▰ Rain (Loomis, California)

▰ 10:00am GMT. Birdsong, chickens scratching for food. The creak of my footsteps on the shed floor. New Madlib x Four Tet album on low volume. (Nottingham, England)

▰ The gentle rumble of slow traffic in the distance, the occasional drops of water dripping from a leaky gutter, birds calling to one another, my partner chopping fruits for her porridge in the kitchen, and now my fingers typing on the keyboard. (Bristol, England)

▰ It is a little after 5a, and I just woke up. I also have no idea who you are, but @brainmage reached out, so now I am. I hear ‘Chicks on Speed’ on my spotify (Philadelphia)

▰ My computer fan. Waiting for a student to log on and present their work for their mid-year assessment. (Staffordshire, England)

▰ It’s 11:32 a.m. here and I’m wearing headphones while not listening to anything. I hear my fingers on the keyboard and a faint ringing in my ears. Nothing else, which is nice. (Glasgow)

▰ Beethoven Sonata 29 – Adagio Sostenuto (headphones ‘cos the fam’s in bed). Outside: a ton of crickets on this warm damp night. We had a month’s worth of rain today! (Melbourne, Australia)

▰ The sound of me eating a sandwich. And the tram 7 passing on the tracks in front of my apartment. (Brussels, Belgium)

▰ traffic
an electrical hum that i think is the fridge
upstairs neighbours doing something that’s resulting in some kind of scratching dragging sound
my own v faint tinnitus
birds (small corvids im pretty sure)
a dog barking (medium to large)
a car door closing (maybe blue? [Thinking face emoji])

▰ sounds of cars passing by in d distance, soft taps of my fingers on d touchscreen keyboard of my phone, quiet airflow in d buildings ventilation system, movement now and then from my upstairs neighbors, my soft breathing, and quiet pondering bubbling in my stomach. all so gentle (Sweden)

▰ Dishwasher and howling wind. (Connecticut)

▰ The gentle pulse of my wife’s CPAP machine. (Shepherdstown, West Virginia)

▰ Watching a movie just after 11pm, sounds of cars on a highway in Utah coming out of the Genelecs and a cat chirping for attention (New Zealand)

▰ Sound of hearing system in my house. Ears ringing. (Charlottesville, VA)

▰ It’s 11.19 AM on Friday morning. The hum of my laptop’s fan is slowly winding down after disconnecting from the day’s first Zoom meeting. Outside, silence, cut across the middle by bus tires on water, then silence again. And birds. (Biel, Switzerland)

▰ the whirring univent fan in my office

▰ Got it at 10:30 EST. We were out of power for 4 hours tonight, so I’m hearing lots of waking up- radio, kitchen timer, me and the kid watching LOL music videos (Gainesville, FL)

▰ computer hum, radiator tinkles, wind, cars in the distance (Boston, MA)

▰ 6:38 AM – the buzzing of my heater, my stomach rumbling, my fridge humming, and that’s it! Love how quiet and still it is.

▰ It’s Friday, 01/29/21 2:48 AM PST. Water dripping rhythmically from a gutter just outside my bedroom window. (San Francisco, CA)

▰ I hear the sound of Reverse Osmosis by Kevin Drumm playing through laptop speakers (a dense spectrum of harmonic frequencies); the tapping of my fingers on the laptop keyboard writing this; cars passing at the end of road infrequently; the family next door shouting at each other. (Nottingham, UK)

▰ 10am, Friday. Sounds: My kids playing at the end of the house, radio 4 (talk radio) from the other room, a distant aeroplane and the occasional bird chirping… There is also a low hum from our biomas unit. (Norfolk, Europe)

▰ dim humming of fridge in the distance (California)

▰ I’m a day late – but it’s the morning and I hear bread being kneaded… slapping hard against the mixer bowl, the slight wavering whine of the motor accompanying!

The full thread is at twitter.com/disquiet.

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