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: Tokyo, Simulacrum, Greenacre

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating most of the tweets I made the past week at twitter.com/disquiet, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up sooner in expanded form or otherwise on Disquiet.com. I’ve found it personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud. This isn’t a full accounting. Often there are, for example, conversations on Twitter that don’t really make as much sense out of the context of Twitter itself.

▰ You could tell the first episode of Tokyo Vice is a Michael Mann production just by listening to it. The mix of ambient score, traffic noise, and the sound of occasional human gestures in the scene in the first episode when the police and reporters document a dead body is exceptional. The term “master class” has been degraded beyond rehabilitation. This is Mann in full control.

▰ The 1-star Yelp reviews of hotels in Manhattan are often a riot. So many noise pollution complaints, as if it’s specific to a given hotel.

▰ It’s enough to make you think we live not only in a simulacrum but one trying to evade our awareness of it if high-grade consumer text-to-speech would rather hear two bits of nonsense than acknowledge the existence of the word simulacrum.

Why I recorded myself saying this sentence: I was recording myself right after waking. The broader subject was how I’d lifted my phone a split second before the phone’s morning alarm went off. The original subject was the eerie synchrony. Then text-to-speech leveled-up the eerie.

▰ One of my favorite little parks in Manhattan, Greenacre on 51st, though I do wonder how loud this fountain’s substantial roar is in the neighboring apartments. I believe the water is turned off over night, when the park’s fortress-grade gate is shut. Here’s some video: instagram.com/dsqt.

▰ Alarms getting old never gets old

▰ The hotel alarm clock features a vestigial organ of the digital revolution.

▰ According to Gustave Flaubert (according to novelist Julian Barnes), trains in mid-1800s France were Web 2.0.

This is from Flaubert’s Parrot, the ninth novel I’ve finished reading this year. Loved the first third. After that it gets especially collage-like.

▰ RIP, actor Michel Bouquet (b. 1925), whose work I first encountered thanks to the great film Toto the Hero (Toto le héros), which also introduced me to the music of Charles Trenet.

▰ The sound my phone made when an alert this morning about the Brooklyn shooting popped up was like six cups of coffee in a split second.

▰ Thursday was Avril 14th. Celebrate accordingly. I did a quick thread of recent covers of the Aphex Twin song: twitter.com/disquiet.

▰ Thing I just discovered: if you hit your YubiKey at an inopportune moment during a call it sends out a peculiar, alien screech.

▰ On the flight Thursday evening back to San Francisco from New York, I used my excellent noise-cancelling headphones to muffle the weapons-grade drone of the airplane — and I then found myself, instinctually, pumping white noise into my ears so I could concentrate on work.

▰ And on that note, have a good weekend, or best you can.

  • Listen to two records at once.

  • Use IMDB to trace the work of a sound professional from a TV show you enjoy.

  • Sell some old LPs you no longer like. Trade them for something new.

See you Monday. Or maybe Tuesday.

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twitter.com/disquiet: Teen Wolf

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating most of the tweets I made the past week at twitter.com/disquiet, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up sooner in expanded form or otherwise on Disquiet.com. I’ve found it personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud. This isn’t a full accounting. Often there are, for example, conversations on Twitter that don’t really make as much sense out of the context of Twitter itself.

▰ Safe to say my parents’ records did have an influence on me:

And yes that’s a slide projector, for added ’70s feel, holding up the LPs in the rear.

▰ That thing where you find a typo in your tweet so you confirm no one has liked it yet and then you delete it and (re)tweet it.]

▰ A touching memorial for Tom Moody (hashtag: netart 8bit ogblogger) by Cory Arcangel: artforum.com. Moody was an early Disquiet Junto member. He played at the concert we did for Rob Walker’s 2012 Apex Art exhibit. Some of the old internet died with Moody last month. And here’s an obituary for Moody: artnews.com. And Gene McHugh on Moody: rhizome.org. And remembrances: rhizome.org.

▰ Big memories: “Cult heroes: Thin White Rope were scorched, alien, hostile” at theguardian.com by Graeme Thomson. Thin White Rope were a constant presence when I lived in Davis and Sacramento, working for Tower’s Pulse! magazines. In fact, I got my room at a house in Davis when TWR’s drummer vacated it to go on tour. They did my favorite Can cover ever, “Yoo Doo Right.” (Via Marc Masters)

▰ Briefly in New York, thus back in my childhood bedroom. My dad made these narrow shelves for me a million years ago, back when dial-up BBS was social media. These shelves fit behind the door, and they’re the depth of a paperback book. Of which I had many. Floor to ceiling.

▰ Oh yeah

▰ Not sure why voice recognition is much better on the iPhone than the iPad, but:

“Link weenie link weenie and clams are us for dinner oh my god. Clamor sauce.”

I do have that mess to thank now for the phrase “clamor sauce.” Seems like a great term for failed voice recognition.

▰ I’ve been publishing something or other since I entered 10th grade in 1981 and joined the school newspaper, and I still find that the phrase “full bleed” (in printing terminology) makes me palpably uncomfortable.

▰ What you find in the basement when your dad taught high school biology:▰

▰ Watching the Ken Burns Ben Franklin documentary, hoping for some OG Junto info. Ended up watching the second episode first. That’s after the Junto, but it had this tasty sonic bit, Franklin on the rattlesnake:

“One of those rattles singly, is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen together, is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living.”

▰ Thank you, Zoom, for reminding me every time I cough (I caught a bad cold) that I have my mic muted.

▰ Been quiet on Twitter ’cause I’m on Long Island with my parents (and a bad cold). Last time here, I heard trains from the top of the hill, which I don’t recall from childhood. This time I noted these beautiful wood floors used to be carpet. Totally changes things for the better. Of course by “quiet” I don’t mean “silent,” and of course in the general course of life, “silent” doesn’t mean “silent,” either.

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twitter.com/disquiet: Calix, Jeck, HVAC

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating most of the tweets I made the past week at twitter.com/disquiet, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up sooner in expanded form or otherwise on Disquiet.com. I’ve found it personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud. This isn’t a full accounting. Often there are, for example, conversations on Twitter that don’t really make as much sense out of the context of Twitter itself.

▰ Haven’t stayed in a hotel in many months. Diggin’ the subtle HVAC. The drone is comforting: the breath of a benevolent entity. And there’s the street noise of a true metropolis. New York isn’t quite back to being the city that never sleeps but it still stays up past its bed time.

▰ RIP, Garry Leach (b. 1954). Miracleman (né Marvelman) blew my mind once upon a time.

▰ It was from Stephan Matthiew that I first learned of the death of musician Philip Jeck (b. 1952): twitter.com/stephanmathieu.

▰ This is just terrible, terrible news. RIP, Mira Calix (b. 1970). I can’t imagine Warp having become the Warp it is without her.

▰ First Oscar-winning movie in which a prominent character wears a King Crimson Discipline t-shirt?

▰ Got a new thumb drive. Stuck it into my laptop. It helpfully includes examples of MP3s and JPGs, and MOVs, oh my — I suppose in case you’re not sure what such things are. Continuing my Gen X habit of currently naming all my digital gadgets after William Gibson material, this thumb drive is now called Overdrive.

▰ A request from Nicoles Robson, PhD researcher at Queen Mary University of London, to take part in her next study: “Exploring the Experience of Listening to a Spatial Sound Art Installation”: twitter.com/nicolesrobson.

▰ Madrona Labs’ Randy Jones reports on the noise of his new Mac Studio: twitter.com/madronalabs.

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twitter.com/disquiet: Spatial Audio, Ghost Buds

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating most of the tweets I made the past week at twitter.com/disquiet, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up in expanded form or otherwise on Disquiet.com sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud. This isn’t a full accounting. Often there are, for example, conversations on Twitter that don’t really make as much sense out of the context of Twitter itself.

▰ The strange thing about “Spatial Audio” when using these earbuds with this laptop is that half the time I think the sound is coming out of the laptop, and I have to take out an earbud to confirm.

▰ Watched a brief video about phase-shifting sine waves that used an oscilloscope to illustrate what’s happening, and for a moment I mistook map for territory — it felt like the screen had tapped into the Matrix and was showing the underlying code of reality. (And I need some tea.)

▰ If nothing else, sending out a weekly email newsletter about sound is a great way to find out which academics are on sabbatical (and have turned on their out-of-office auto-reply).

▰ When ye old violin shoppe has so much inventory that it’s hanging from the recesses of the ceiling in a hallway. Which is to say: absolutely beautiful.

▰ There was Continuum, and then there was Travelers — is there another (more recent) fun Canadian time travel TV series?

▰ Rented a tiny office to get outta the house. I bring my laptop. Desk has two 24″ screens. When the laptop isn’t connected, it’s a generic space; when plugged in, the visual zone is flooded with information, the room with light. Simple activation, yet the transformation amazes me.

▰ Not sure exactly what’s going on, but I suspect urban infrastructure Wordle

▰ Today I learned a bird can slouch. Photographed at the Oakland Museum of California. I must have stared at it in the slouch position for five minutes before it utterly transformed, looking like an entirely different bird.

▰ “ghost buds”

When you’ve been on so many consecutive calls that you think you still have earbuds in when you actually don’t. (Related: Those voices in your head are actually voices in your head, not a call or an audiobook.)

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The Future of the Past

Sci fi during the Bicentennial, and other '70s treats

I didn’t say “stoked” in the ’70s, but I’m stoked to be part of Hilobrow.com’s “Kojak Your Enthusiasm” series on TV shows “of the cultural era known as the Seventies.” My piece on Ark II, a short-lived Saturday morning sci-fi treat, will be online soon(ish).

Other contributors include Lucy Sante (Police Woman), Douglas Wolk (Whew!), Peggy Nelson (The Bionic Woman), Kio Stark (Wonder Woman), Carl Wilson (Lou Grant), and Vanessa Berry (In Search Of…). There are 25 in all. Full list at Hilobrow.com.

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