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

Disquiet.com Elsewhere

Satellite online social activity status report

It’s been recommended to me that on occasion I drop a note in the feed with a quick overview of where else I hang out online in public. This entry doesn’t quite count as quick, admittedly.

▰ I tweet weekdays at twitter.com/disquiet. I take weekends off. I usually note this at the end of Friday, because occasionally people get offended if I don’t reply to something on the weekend. Yes, Twitter can be a nightmare. I’ve found that with a few simple tactics, it can be quite like it was way back when. First: mute words and accounts vigorously. Second: set your location to a country where you don’t understand the language or, for that matter, the characters in which that language is written, thus rendering the toxic Trends virtually innocuous. I consider Twitter my public notebook. I’ve recently made a habit of taking much of what I post there, collating it, and summarizing it here on Disquiet.com on Saturday mornings. I’m a strong believer in thinking twice before posting. Rereading at week’s end is the bookend of that approach: reflecting back.

▰ There’s at least one new image a week at instagram.com/dsqt, and sometimes quite a few more (/disquiet is taken up by someone who hasn’t posted since around 2012, so if you happen to know how I could trade out for that address, I’d appreciate it). To a degree, I sometimes think of Instagram like how I used to have a single image taped to my locker or to the door of my dorm room. One difference: my Instagram posts are almost always annotated. They also generally end up here on Disquiet.com.

▰ I spend a lot of time at youtube.com/disquiet, occasionally posting videos, regularly updating playlists (primarily my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live performance of ambient music). My main streaming music service is music.youtube.com. It comes free with my YouTube subscription, a worthwhile expense because it eliminates ads. The streaming music service has no apparent social component.

▰ My soundcloud.com/disquiet has an almost absurdly high 10,500 followers at this point, though my sense is a lot of those are dead and fake accounts, and in any case the company’s switch from /stream to /discover as the default landing page has, in my estimation, adversely affected the service. The Disquiet Junto projects largely happen there, primarily because that’s where they began, but also because Bandcamp doesn’t have a playlist function and YouTube (in addition to other issues) makes it just difficult enough to upload audio (in contrast with video) that it’s a hassle, almost certainly by design.

▰ A lot of my listening also happens on Bandcamp, so you can see what I’m listening to at bandcamp.com/disquiet, and if we follow each other we can keep abreast of such activities. It’s low-level social, and somewhat useful.

▰ There’s a great online discussion group called Lines at llllllll.co, where I spend a lot of time. If you make music, especially if digital tools mediate your creative process, I recommend the community. The Disquiet Junto projects have for a long time been co-hosted and co-posted there, at the invitation of one of the site’s founders, Brian Crabtree, of Monome Grid fame.

▰ That about covers it. My Facebook is mostly friends and family. I find I post less about my some of my interests on Facebook than I do on Twitter. As I’ve said previously: Facebook is where you realize how little you have in common with people you know and Twitter is where you realize how much you have in common with people you don’t know. My Reddit activity is curious, yet remains cursory. There are some Slacks, in particular the Disquiet Junto one, but most aren’t public in the primary sense of the word. Likewise, I’m on some Discords, as well. Other services intrigue me, haven’t become habitual, plus Keybase and Telegram for some specific projects. Ultimately, “social” is as much a function as a foundation. If you post regularly at a particular blog, then it’s social. GitHub is social. Email is social (especially many-to-many group email lists), etc. Above are just my main hangs.

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This Must Be the Place

(Or, blogging is my naive melody)

Just a post to say yes, if you read that lengthy Twitter thread I committed Thursday evening on the hows and whys of blogging, this is that same person’s blog, which is to say it’s mine. I may collect those tweets into a post at some point. Much of it appears, if you’re looking for a handy reference, in slightly different form, in a 2019 post I wrote, titled “Bring Out Your Blogs.” I didn’t reread the post before tweeting, but it was on my mind, for sure.

Update: I did compile much of the thread into a proper post, “Q: Why Blog? A: Blogs Are Great.”

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9 Ds

A typographic tour of the neighborhood

I went for a walk last night after work, for the hour before dinner. When I got to the main drag, I found myself next to a longtime sausage shop. I was drawn to (reminded of) the typography due to my unplanned adjacency. This is some of my favorite in our neighborhood.

A short time later, another D called out to me, and I decided I’d look for Ds on my route.

This one is from a large outdoor advertisement that’s been scrawled on and ripped over and over and over again.

Many years ago, when Instagram first began, I tagged along with a group after hours, walking downtown in San Francisco, wandering around and taking pictures. (This one is from a laundromat.)

I don’t know if the person leading it was an employee, a hired hand, or a proto-influencer. The point was to encourage us to take pictures of the everyday, which I was attuned to, having grown up in a Nikon household with a basement darkroom. (Donut shop.)

I don’t know if such outreach was necessary for the then fledgling social media company, or if the outing (were there others?) was deemed successful within the company. The incident does seem like a memory from a distant and, yes, more innocent time. (Water Department cover.)

This morning, the first thing Instagram showed me was a mashup of Charlie Brown and Heavy D, the D looming large, like the overnight algorithm both got me and didn’t. And yes, it was freakish. Note to self: don’t go numb; don’t deny the eeriness. (From sticker affixed to sign.)

As for me yesterday evening, I needed the walk, the stretch, the exercise, the change in scenery, the time outside (I’m very very much a city mouse), an audiobook in my ear lending another layer to the stroll’s inputs and overlaps. (Graffiti on cover to a fire alarm.)

And even more so, I apparently needed this engagement with the written world of our neighborhood, both the seemingly semi-permanent and the presumably (though not always particularly) temporary. (Construction sign warning of work ahead.)

I didn’t intend to document these nine Ds on my walk. I just went for a walk after a particularly interior day. I think now about how Instagram’s grid didn’t so much shape as guide my route, a grid layered on the city’s grid.

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twitter.com/disquiet: WKRP, Debris, Chernobyl

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. They’re here pretty much in chronological order. Looking back at the tweets makes the previous week seem both longer and shorter than it was. The cadence is a way to map how time progressed. The subjects are another map of the same territory.

▰ 7:34am sounds: House creaking as it heats; wind outside much like a furnace itself, thought it’s anything but warm; garbage trucks peculiarly muted, dare say respectful. No birdsong, no airplane jet or motor noise. Occasional car engine, rumbling a block or so away.

▰ Small audience for this tweet, but I’d love 2021 to be the year for intriguing 1U modules

▰ YouTube’s grid of recommended videos put Steely Dan’s Walter Becker next to WKRP’s Les Nessman looking like he’s crooning: an algorithmic nightmare of a boomer concert cruise. (I’m Gen X, myself)

Better still is this Richter painting that the Facebook mobile thumbnail reduced it to.

▰ Eating ice cream and watching dan dan noodle recipe videos. G’night!

▰ Three episodes in, Debris had its first sonic clue last night, involving a phantom 2D portal (“the square”) in the middle of a field, the most interesting bit being that at first the audio was only caught on recordings, not heard in person.

▰ If you live in San Francisco and miss the Tuesday noon siren, as I do, don’t miss these Dutch air raid sirens, courtesy of Jostijn Ligtvoet:


▰ It’s unfortunate my Bluetooth headphones died barely a month after I got them, though it is reassuring that my [I’m sort of out of negative words] toward Bluetooth remains justified, but in any case the Muzak “We’re in This Love Together” hold music is textbook insult-to-injury.

▰ Can’t remember if I shared this previously, so here’s a shout-out to the excellent virtual synthesizer module developer (voxglitch) who put a request for assistance into the faceplate of of their modules.

▰ Yeah, I posted about new tracks with beats two days in a row on disquiet.com. What a weird year this is shaping up to be, huh?

▰ Today I became a dog person. (If you haven’t contributed to the 1.4 million views of this dog singing along with wind chimes, you must join in.)

▰ Very glad Mayans MC is back on television, and also somewhat distracted by imagining conversations between Edward James Olmos and Michael Irby in which they discuss their distinguished careers as space admirals.

▰ I listen to the Chernobyl score a lot, and every time it gets around to “Vichnaya Pamyat,” I think it’s a track I’d forgotten from Todd Rundgren’s A Cappella.

▰ Friends report bot-spam on their friends’ social media accounts

▰ It’s Friday, and the birdsong outside is louder than the Zoom bleed from adjacent rooms in the house, and the cray cray has (relatively) quieted in my social media feed, so I’m gonna take that as a positive sign to, shortly, begin my weekend social media fast. I enjoy yapping with folks intermittently during the day, but there is something at the end of each day, and especially on Friday afternoons when I just shut it all down, that feels quite like a holiday has begun. Especially these days when I’m at home pretty much all the time, shutting off social media feels like coming home, quieting the world, focusing. So, on that note, have a great weekend.

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twitter.com/disquiet: mesostics, bands, tutorials

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. They’re here pretty much in chronological order. Looking back at the tweets makes the previous week seem both longer and shorter than it was. The cadence is a way to map how time progressed. The subjects are another map of the same territory.

▰ Detail of an index page from a book called The Miracle of Television (1949)

▰ My main post-pandemic prediction (and this is not an original thought by any means) is there’s gonna be a lot of bands. I think everyone’s kinda got the solo act aced at this point.

▰ Fifth robocall of the day and it’s not even 1:30pm. Either Skynet is happening or the FCC is about to crack down and the robots are making as many calls as they can before the party is over. My money is on Skynet.

▰ A mesostic:

     My
    sErvice to computer
     Science
    tOday
   waS
     To teach this word to
the AI that lives in
  my Computer's dictionary

(better in fixed-width font)

▰ Looking forward to episode two of Debris tonight. That’s my gauge of a new weekly TV series: do I find myself looking forward to it, or is it something that shows up as having been recorded and I then give the latest episode a go? So far, one episode in, Debris is the former.

▰ I freely admit that when I started using Scrivener, I was overwhelmed. Funny thing: I started working in it, and finding the tools I needed, and that’s all it took. Now it’s where I do most of my writing, and even some note-taking. The more I use it, the better I use it. The single tool I use the most is the ability to divide a longer piece into subsections that can be worked on independently, and also quickly and easily regrouped with the other subsections around it.

▰ There’s a seaplane overhead, sounding like a didgeridoo with wings

▰ OK

▰ While working, I’ve been listening to John Luther Adams all afternoon, and now I’m not sure what planet I’m on. In a row today: Become Ocean, Become Desert, Become River, Ilimaq, The Place We Began. Been hours since I hit pause, and I feel like I’m just beginning to come up for air. I especially recommend Become River (symphonic), Ilimaq (augmented percussion), and Place We Began (ambient).

▰ Minecraft news you can use

▰ While working this afternoon, I’ve been listening to Jana Winderen non-stop, and now I’ve convinced myself that the next time I go outside the sound of the world will be overwhelming. I need to first re-acclimate to human-scale listening.

▰ When my love
Stands next to your love
I can’t compare love
When it’s not love

It’s not love
It’s not love
Which is my face
Which is a data center
Which is on fire
On fire

▰ Just re-watched the live video of Prince’s guitar solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” for, like, the 650th time, thanks to Ethan Hein’s expert dissection (at ethanhein.com) of another Prince solo (“Kiss”), and still the hair went up on my arms.

▰ “Stars — they’re just like us!” (From a New York Times article on how 75 different artists rode out pandemic lockdown thus far)

▰ About half my email inbox inbox is “Sorry I haven’t been in touch. During the pandemic I’ve gotten very little done.” And half is “Here’s my fifth box set I’ve released in the past 12 months. I think I’m really hitting my stride. Hope you enjoy it.” (My outbox is, in essence, I’ve managed to get everything done except my outbox.)

▰ I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a tweet with 319 likes in less than 8 hours before. That has been weird.

▰ And on that note, have a great weekend. Wear a mask, maybe two. Enjoy YouTube synth tutorials to your heart’s desire. Get fresh air (again, through a mask). Zoom friends. Read something that’s not its own light source. Give yourself and everyone around you a break. See ya Monday.

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