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: field-recording

Disquiet Junto Project 0498: Sonic Entomologist

The Assignment: Create a new hybrid insect from the sound of two different insects.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, July 19, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 15, 2021.

Tracks will be added to the playlist for the duration of the project.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0498: Sonic Entomologist
The Assignment: Create a new hybrid insect from the sound of two different insects.

This project is the second of three that are being done over the course of as many months in collaboration with the 2021 Musikfestival Bern, which will be held in Switzerland from September 1 through 5 under the motto “schwärme” (“swarms”). For this reason, a German translation is provided below. We are working at the invitation of Tobias Reber, an early Junto participant, who is in charge of the educational activities of the festival. This is the third year in a row that the Junto has collaborated with Musikfestival Bern. Select recordings resulting from these three Disquiet Junto projects will be played and displayed throughout the festival.

Step 1: You will be playing mad scientist this week, or at least sonic scientist. Put that hat on.

Step 2: A large number of insects were invented for the previous project in this series. Many of them were made available for download and subsequent remixing. Check them out here:

https://we.tl/t-dWFMGwmyad

Step 3: Choose two insects from the ones available in Step 2. Imagine a hybrid of the two insects, created in a laboratory.

Step 4: By combining the sounds of the two insects selected in Step 3, record the sound of that hybrid you imagined. What does it sound like? Is it a refined creation, or a Frankenstein nightmare? Is it better, stronger, faster, or prone to mutation and ill health?

Background: There will be public display cases at the festival, and we will set up motion triggers that cause an insect sound to occur when people pass by. We will do so with signage explaining that it documents experimental insect life. The participants whose work is included will be listed by name.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0498” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0498” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your tracks in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0498-sonic-entomologist/

Step 5: Annotate your tracks with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #disquietjunto and #musikfestivalbern so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, July 19, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track should be 20 seconds.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0498” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is always best to set your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 498th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Sonic Entomologist (The Assignment: Create a new hybrid insect from the sound of two different insects) — at: https://disquiet.com/0498/

Thanks to Tobias Reber and Musikfestival Bern for collaboration on this project. More on the festival at:

https://www.musikfestivalbern.ch/
https://www.instagram.com/musikfestival_bern
https://www.facebook.com/musikfestivalbern

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0498-sonic-entomologist/

There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this project is by Nick Southall, and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:

https://flic.kr/p/7Syf86

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

. . . Read more »

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twitter.com/disquiet: Cameo x Patreon, CDs x R2D2

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) on Disquiet.com sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ My favorite morning sound remains the ice cubes clinking/fizzing in my coffee. I have a new one too. I hooked up a CD player/recorder so it’s always connected to my laptop when I’m at my desk, and in the morning when I turn everything on it emits delightful “R2D2 wakes up” whirs.

▰ Cameo, but 45-minute (real-time) music lessons from as wide an array of musicians as one could hope for. More like Cameo x Patreon.

▰ “Your pinky is like your secret weapon.”

(Thing I heard myself say in guitar class.)

(Lest there be any confusion in the matter, I am the student.)

▰ I find that music-making tools I’m drawn to are often those with active communities online. I then wonder what connection there is between building a community and building an instrument beyond both expressions including the word “build.”

▰ This week, Disquiet Junto participants share a protip and make music as an example (disquiet.com/0495). These are some of ’em:

  • dragged mics
  • notepad miniatures
  • enforced re-use
  • over repetition
  • trying new things
  • wind organs
  • excising perfectionism

▰ And on that note, have a good weekend. Get fresh air. Listen as you do so. Thank someone who made the past year livable. Re-read a favorite book while focusing on a stylistic element or secondary plot. See you Monday, or maybe Tuesday.

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Mount Brunswick Hike Footage

And the sonic culture of YouTube forest walks

When I posted my two-minute footage of a recent redwood forest hike, I mentioned how YouTube is full of far longer journeys. I wanted to share another example of what I’m talking about. This video (not by me) is an hour straight (with a tiny bit of editing) of a walk at Mount Brunswick in British Columbia. The location is beautiful, and the footage fairly high resolution, as high as 1440, which isn’t 4K but will certainly do. Right from the start, the videographer’s footsteps are plainly evident. When walking, one isn’t quite aware of such sounds, because our brains largely blank them out, as they do any repetitive noise that should be ignored in favor of chance sounds that might provide evidence of danger or other reason for alert, if not alarm. That’s evolution for you. By 15 minutes in, the hiker’s breath makes itself heard, and by halfway through, that panting is almost as loud as the footsteps. While the footage remains breathtaking at times (take a look at the view at 50:01), we’re also plainly aware of the effort required to share it with us — it is breathtaking, quite literally, and anything but blissful. At times, the hiker pauses to look around, and in those moments birds might be heard cawing, but for the most part, the panting and foot stseps are our accompaniment. The video is titled “Mount Brunswick Virtual Hike No Music No Talking,” but of course humans can be present, can be heard, even when they’re not talking. I’m not posting this mention here as a critique of the video. Quite the contrary, it’s absolutely gorgeous, a generous act on the part of the individual who posted it. I am registering it as an interesting aspect of the culture of posting nature walks and, by extension, city hikes — that even when there is no talking, it is not as if the world beyond our own presence simply fills the sonic void.

Video originally posted at youtube.com.

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Redwoods Trail (June 2021)

I am not frequently in the wilderness.


This is an experiment that occurred to me to undertake as I walked through a forest three hours north of San Francisco. I was in the redwoods the week before this one, staying in a small cabin to mark the start of summer, or something close to the start of summer. Clearly marked hiking trails behind and all around the cabin made for easy ventures out. The lines of these trails crisscrossed each other at junctures useful to gauging and adjusting one’s itinerary. It was hard not to photograph things, so striking was every direction and every stage of one’s depth of field, from the densely layered beauty of the widely varying greenery, to the markings of horseshoes in the dusty trail, to sudden glimpses of the broad ocean, to the occasional bird, though these were more heard than seen.

I am not frequently in the wilderness. When I am at my desk, I frequently have running on a second screen footage from one or another YouTube account, generally someone’s point-of-view wandering through a city, and sometimes amid a more rural environment. This is adjacent viewing, something that provides a vantage on another place, something that feeds the imagination.

While I stood there in the forest looking ahead at the trail, it occurred to me to do the same. I just had my phone with me, and an old one at that. I set it to video mode and took one step after another forward. I was not about to endeavor to document the hour-long meanderings that my favorite YouTube accounts feature. I just wanted a sliver of the moment, a few minutes. Each step took me further along. The sounds of my feet became more evident to me, because I was aware they were being recorded. The forest ahead brought details into focus out of what, moments before, was just a thicket. Eventually, after two and a half minutes, I stopped mid-trail, did a sweep of the area, and stopped recording. And eventually I returned home, home to the city.

The whistle-like presence of a bird, the rough noise of the microphone responding to a slight breeze, the crackle of a dry twig — each element came into greater focus when I had returned to my desk and was viewing the moving image on the same screen where I normally have YouTube running. I confirmed my own wandering as akin to the ones I so often appreciate vicariously. And so I uploaded it, and jotted down these notes. I don’t foresee myself making many of these — there is only so much time for so many pursuits — but it was useful to share my walk, to experience the layering of memory and moment, to put myself in the footsteps of those who do, to aim my lens in a similar direction, to hear my own footsteps as I have heard theirs.

Video originally posted to YouTube.

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Hoth on Earth

Under the ice in a Michigan winter

Rob Byers placed a microphone beneath the ice, and found laser beams. Not actual ones, but what could easily be mistaken for such a thing. The battle beneath the ice, as recorded in northern Michigan earlier this year, sounds like an epic fight on Hoth. “A drop in temperature causes a frozen lake to sing through the winter night,” writes Byers of the audio. “The piece starts underneath the ice, recording laser-like sounds with a hydrophone. At 2:15 it transitions above the ice to hear the groans and moans of the shifting ice. Listen for a neighbour’s response.” The streaming file isn’t embeddable, so head over to fieldrecordings.xyz for a listen.

More from Byers at robbyers.com and twitter.com/RobByers1.

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