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. • 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

Lunchtime White Noise Source

An ongoing series cross-posted from

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Some Memories of Media, Part 1 (Slight Revision)

Note on notes

This is just a note, for anyone who primarily reads via RSS, that the post I made yesterday, “Some Memories of Media,” underwent some minor revisions this morning.

Tag: / Leave a comment ] novels, HVAC, pencils

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating most of the tweets I made the past week at, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up in expanded form or otherwise on sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ “Things never sounded like what they were: guns, fire. Everything terrible sounded much more innocent.”

I finished Alison Stine’s novel Road out of Winter. I read too many books where plot takes precedence and there’s barely a memorable phrase. Stine layers description meaningfully. The above is a good example, in that the narrator (on the road during anarchic societal breakdown following intense climate change) herself employs description to communicate, not just to set to scene but to connect back to earlier moments in the telling.

▰ “I think it’s gonna be a long long time”

Nothing like being trolled by hold music.

▰ Quality customer service from Empress Effects:

▰ Only upon returning home did I fully appreciate how friggin’ loud the hotel’s HVAC was.

▰ Hears sound from other room.

Thinks, “Huh, I don’t listen to a lot of music with singers, but that sounds pretty great.”

Goes into room.

Learns the “singer” I heard was, in fact, an electric pencil sharpener.

▰ I’m fairly certain Silverview is the first John le Carré novel with a smiley face emoji in it. (As someone replied via Twitter, we’ve moved from George Smiley, who first appeared exactly 60 years ago in Call for the Dead, to a smiley face.)

▰ This week’s Disquiet Junto project is about, in a sense, serial composition, though not in the sense that we generally mean serial composition (that is, not in the Schoenberg sense). Instructions went out, as always, via

▰ Thanks to my friend Bart Beaty for having alerted me to this. I love when an Onion headline is arguably even more interesting when you get past the humor: “Composer Surrounded by Discarded Sheet Music Suddenly Perks Up at Sound of Rhythm of the City” (

▰ It’s barely rained in years here.

I’ve watched endless hours of YouTube videos of people walking around in the rain over the past few years.

It’s raining right now.

So, somewhere in the back of my head, I feel like there’s a large YouTube video shoot going on outside.

▰ Four albums you were obsessed with in high school: King Crimson’s Discipline, Fun Boy Three’s Waiting, Violent Femmes’ debut, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light. Limiting to four was hard ’cause I was so obsessed. The pool for obsession was small compared to today. Those are what came to mind before bed. I slept on it before posting. Also: Let It Be, Double Fantasy, Face Dances, Security, Mr Tambourine Man, 90125, and on and on.

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Hotel Drone

Somewhere in the South Bay

I think that I shall never hear a drone album as beautiful as the HVAC ambient environmental sound of a hotel room in the morning before the world has woken.

The beauty isn’t merely the drone, isn’t merely the combination of foundational hum, its origin untraceable, and more device-specific sounds, like the rumbling churn of the air vent.

It isn’t merely how the passing traffic, both air and street, adds drones to the drone, in turn creating moiré patterns of drone variations: rich, seemingly uniform, yet endlessly shifting and changing.

It isn’t merely how the drone changes as you move through the hotel room, how slight shifts in the micro-geography of the space alter the balance of tonal elements, sometimes subtly, often evidencing sharp contrasts.

It’s how the drone is still, for all its components, a single drone, one that is thick yet ether-thin, transparent yet utterly blanketing.

Tag: / Leave a comment ] Construction, Surveillance, Dings

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating most of the tweets I made the past week at, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up in expanded form or otherwise on sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ The air strike LARPing is over, right?

▰ Colleague on conference call: Are you working from the library?

Me: Oh, this is the dining room.

▰ I’m not not working at this moment. I’m simply sitting here while the electrician drills lots of holes in our house and there’s only so much power of concentration that I possess.

▰ The electricians are pulling a Marathon Man on the front entrance to this building. Zoom picks up the noise of the drilling and pops up a “Playing music?” window.

▰ Second day of electrical intervention action in the building has begun. The drilling left me frazzled beyond description last night. Let there be light, indeed.

▰ Just two paragraphs into the new John le Carré novel, Silverview, the spymaster’s final, published the week he would have turned 90, and someone is “jabbing” a doorbell and all is right in the world, except of course the world of these characters. The Le Carré is the first of five new fictions I’m blocking time for between now and year’s end (also: James S.A. Corey, Mick Herron, Fonda Lee, Neal Stephenson), though often the most enjoyable work is by people I’ve never read before, like Alison Stine’s Road Out of Winter, which I’m currently mainlining.

▰ Russian military veteran and charity fundraiser

French resistance fighter and politician

Ukrainian-born Macedonian handball player

Spanish paleontologist

The biographical haiku of Wikipedia’s daily notable deaths list are a morning staple. Coffee, oatmeal, mortality.

▰ You’re welcome to hold for a human, or to spend the next ten minutes helping train our nascent voice AI menu system.

▰ I will not play-by-play the electrical work being done in the building, but I will say that as someone who can nap to Einstürzende Neubauten, this is testing my capacity for noise.

▰ There are days when I think the results of a search return on Duck Duck Go are really a complicated form of psyops trolling. Here’s a good example. Note the top return versus the actual query.

▰ Society will get to that four-day work week, but the fifth day will be all mandatory software updates, and it’ll run into unpaid overtime.

▰ I’ll keep clicking on articles about strange radio signals with names like ASKAP J173608.2-321635 until the Galactic Federation arrives to tell us to get our act together: (Oh, and A$KAP J173608.2-321635 is my new instrumental hip-hop DJ name.)

▰ Whew, industrial strength vacuums are pretty much on par with incessant drilling. TIL, and so forth.

▰ Forgive me for being new to a half-decade-old clip that’s been watched half a million times, but I love how Keeley Hawes mentally rewinds the audio of her Lara Croft panting and gasping, and recognizes which cue went with which move.

▰ I’m intrigued when decades-old guitars are listed as blemish-free or near-blemish free. I don’t know how a guitar can be played for that long without dings. I bought mine used because of the dings: so I wouldn’t be able to tell my inevitable dings from the ones I inherited. And no, dear Algorithm, I’m not in the market for a guitar. I’m still in nuptial bliss with the one I got five years ago. (I don’t doubt they’re blemish-free and I don’t doubt they’ve been played. I just don’t live a ding-free life, myself, apparently.)

▰ Was working to complete something urgent, and when I came out of the time-sensitive myopic focus, I realized I was picturing, and hearing, the whole time Debbie Allen and her stick from Fame.

▰ I love when Zoom hears the carpenter’s drill two rooms away and asks if I want to adjust my microphone settings for music playing.

▰ “It lasted too long to be a sonic boom signature.” Reports of a loud noise over New Hampshire and into Massachusetts. Also the tantalizing: “NASA did not immediately comment on Tuesday.” The current suspect is meteor explosion:

▰ I recognize that I still tweet as if everyone has a reverse-chronological timeline. I realize that lots of people, consciously or unaware, have an algorithmic Twitter thing going on. Sorry if my “imminently” and “momentarily” are in fact your past tense.

▰ “the security devices contributed to harassment”

The headline is a little confusing, but the gist is that a judge (in the U.K.) “ruled that the video and audio captured” by the widely used IoT doorbell constitutes an illegal infringement:

▰ A $35 million UAE bank swindle employed a deep fake voice (“deep voice” in this article’s parlance, apparently not meaning you sound like Orson Welles) to emulate the account’s owner. It’s a “We need your Apple ID” spam phone call on an epic scale:

▰ My weekend will begin in 154 words. I don’t need to write that many. I need to trim that many. The words in this tweet don’t count. In any case, have a great weekend.



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