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

The Weather’s Onomatopoeia

Via Julian Barnes in Flaubert's Parrot

Still deep into Julian Barnes’ Flaubert’s Parrot, which arrives at some spirited onomatopoeia. We’ve long since recognized a bird that does the rare thing: repeating human speech. Now the weather engenders something like the sounds of birds themselves.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0523: Chill Communication

The Assignment: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something with it.

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, January 10, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 6, 2022.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0523: Chill Communication
The Assignment: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something with it.

Welcome to a new year of Disquiet Junto communal music projects — in fact, to the 10th anniversary of the Disquiet Junto. This week’s project is as follows. It’s the same project we’ve begun each year with since the very first Junto project, way back in January 2012. The project is, per tradition, just this one step:

Step 1: Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it.

Background: Longtime participants in, and observers of, the Disquiet Junto series will recognize this single-sentence assignment — “Please record the sound of an ice cube rattling in a glass, and make something of it” — as the very first Disquiet Junto project, the same one that launched the series back on the first Thursday of January 2012. Revisiting it at the start of each year since has provided a fitting way to begin the new year. By now, it qualifies as a tradition. A weekly project series can come to overemphasize novelty, and it’s helpful to revisit old projects as much as it is to engage with new ones. Also, by its very nature, the Disquiet Junto suggests itself as a fast pace: a four-day production window, a regular if not weekly habit. It can be beneficial to step back and see things from a longer perspective.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0523” (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 “disquiet0523” (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 track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0523-chill-communication/

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

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #DisquietJunto 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.

Step 8: Also join in the discussion on the Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to [email protected] for Slack inclusion.

Note: Please post one track for this weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, January 10, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, January 6, 2022.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you. It should likely end before the ice melts.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0523” 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 523rd weekly Disquiet Junto project — Chill Communication (The Assignment: Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something with it) — at: https://disquiet.com/0523/

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-0523-chill-communication/

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The View from Silverview

Reading a final novel

Yes, I’m enjoying the new John le Carré novel, his last. Much of it explores personal, bureaucratic, and political nihilism, in between moments of contrasting (alternately hypothetical and idealized) bliss.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0501: PKD Playback

The Assignment: Record the sound of a Martian daydream, interrupted.

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, August 9, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 5, 2021.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0501: PKD Playback
The Assignment: Record the sound of a Martian daydream, interrupted.

Step 1: Early on in the Philip K. Dick short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” a man name Quail has a daydream interrupted. He dreams of visiting Mars, but then reality intrudes: “the daylight, the mundane noise of his wife now brushing her hair before the bedroom mirror — everything conspired to remind him of what he was.” As the reader will learn, Quail has in fact already visited Mars, subsequent to which his mind was wiped free of the visit. His daydream at the start of the story is as much a remnant memory as it is a wish to be fulfilled. Keep this scenario in mind, and maybe read the short story.

Step 2: Record the sound of some realistic-feeling alien landscape, perhaps Martian, and then at the very end of the recording have real-world sounds appear to break the spell.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0501” (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 “disquiet0501” (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 track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0501-pkd-playback/

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

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #DisquietJunto 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.

Note: Please post one track per weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, August 9, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 5, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you, with or without the Martian time-slip.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0501” 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 501st weekly Disquiet Junto project — PKD Playback (The Assignment: Record the sound of a Martian daydream, interrupted) — at: https://disquiet.com/0501/

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-0501-pkd-playback/

There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to [email protected] for Slack inclusion.

The image associated with this project is used via NASA/JPL-Caltech:

https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/jpl/perseverance-s-left-navcam-views-ingenuity-during-its-third-flight

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Disquiet Junto Project 0499: Out of the Landscape

The Assignment: Record a piece of music in which a sound emerges from a field recording.

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 26, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 22, 2021.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0499: Out of the Landscape
The Assignment: Record a piece of music in which a sound emerges from a field recording.

Major thanks to the work on Golden Gate Bridge music by Mahlen Morris and Nate Mercereau in inspiring this project’s approach.

This project might prove among the more complicated ones, or I may be mistaken. I’ve written a short version of it, and I’ve written it as a longer, step-by-step procedure.

This is the project in one sentence: Add a subtle sound to a preexisting field recording of a soundscape, have that sound slowly gain prominence, and then let it disappear, leaving nothing but the original field recording behind at the end.

And here is the project as a series of nine steps:

Step 1: The goal is to record a piece of music in which a sound emerges from a field recording of of a soundscape. Please read these instructions through closely before proceeding with the project.

Step 2: Locate a field recording of an environment. It could be urban, rural, industrial, domestic, whatever you might choose. A recording with slight variations over time would be beneficial but isn’t necessary. You should, again, read through the instructions in full before determining what field recording you want to work with. You might use a preexisting one, or record a new one.

Step 3: Select a roughly five-minute, continuous segment of the field recording from Step 2. Set it to fade in at the start and out at the end for about 5 seconds each, so it neither starts nor ends abruptly.

Step 4: Listen closely to the field recording. Play it on repeat a few times and think about its tonality, its component parts.

Step 5: The goal for this project is to now introduce a sound at the very start of the field recording that is imperceptible as being an addition. It should fit in so well that the field recording still sounds like a field recording. Plan for this addition to play for roughly 15 seconds before doing anything further with that sound.

Step 6: Now, around the 15-second mark, have that additional sound very slowly make itself more apparent. By 30 seconds, it should have risen in prominence and stand out and somewhat apart from the original field recording.

Step 7: For almost the entire remainder of the piece, have that additional sound do more. Have it morph and vary, and continue to stand out and apart from the field recording, though make sure the field recording is still audible.

Step 8: Around 45 seconds before the end of the piece, have the additional sound slowly return to its original state, as it was at the opening, when it was indistinguishable from the field recording. By the time the piece is about 30 seconds from the end, it should sound as it did when the piece started.

Step 9: When the piece is 25 or so seconds from the end, suddenly mute the additional sound. It should disappear entirely, so that for those final 25 seconds (well, 20, and then the piece will fade out for the final 5 seconds), we hear the unadorned original field recording for the first time.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0499” (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 “disquiet0499” (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 track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0499-out-of-a-landscape/

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

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #DisquietJunto 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.

Note: Please only post one track per project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, July 26, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 22, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you. Around five minutes is recommended.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0499” 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 499th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Out of the Landscape (The Assignment: Record a piece of music in which a sound emerges from a field recording) — at: https://disquiet.com/0499/

Major thanks to the work on Golden Gate Bridge music by Mahlen Morris and Nate Mercereau in inspiring this project’s approach.

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-0499-out-of-a-landscape/

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

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  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of Disquiet.com.
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly (aaassembly.org) at Gray Area (grayarea.org).
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at oup.com.)

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

    Recent Projects

  • 0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.
    0543 / Technique Check / The Assignment: Share a tip from your method toolbox.
    0542 / 2600 Club / The Assignment: Make some phreaking music.
    0541 / 10BPM Techno / The Assignment: Make some snail-paced beats.
    0540 / 5ive 4our / The Assignment: Take back 5/4 for Jedi time masters Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 544 consecutive weeks to date.

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  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

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