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 recordings

Chris Watson Brings East Africa to Santa Cruz

For 24 hours only

“What I do is trivial. We’re talking about one of the most ancient deserts on the planet. I’m sort of tinkering with aspects of that.”

Those are the words of Chris Watson, the great British field recording artist, sound artist, and musician (and long ago of Cabaret Voltaire and the Hafler Trio), whom I had the pleasure of interviewing yesterday. The occasion was an installation of his, “Namib,” named for a 2,000-mile stretch of East Africa that he visited repeatedly over the course of nearly a decade. Sounds he documented there have now been shaped into a quadraphonic exhibit, which is being shown at Indexical in Santa Cruz this Friday and Saturday as part of the label Touch’s 40th anniversary. You can read the interview at 48hills.org, which I’m always happy to write for. More details at indexical.org.

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Space Less Constrained

Saturday afternoon, April 23, 2022

An afternoon by a local lake in Golden Gate Park, traffic behind me and filtered through trees, joggers and baby carriages this way and that but not too numerous, the more prominent motors heard here not of street vehicles but of tiny little remote-controlled boats that enthusiasts bring to the manufactured water feature and race around regularly amid geese, turtles, and the occasional surface-breaching fish. The scene this past Saturday afternoon, banh mi and ebook in hand, was much more idyllic in person, I assure you. The birdsong was more prominent and diverse. The sense of space was less constrained. And the growling gusto of those hobbyist machines was significantly reduced in the context of the boats’ minuscule size.

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Current Favorites: Trumpet, Melodica, Buddha Machine

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

My weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them:

▰ There’s a new album from the late Japanese trumpeter Toshinori Kondo due out next month. It’s two CDs. One CD is all what the label describes as ambient pieces, and here’s a taste:

The second CD is a concert from 2005. Here’s a video of some of it, complete with live painting by Seitaro Kuroda. The band is Kondo (trumpet) + Bill Laswell (bass) + Hideo Yamaki (drums) + Yoshinobu Kojima (keyboards).

Kaori Suzuki’s nearly half-hour “Music for Modified Melodica” exemplifies her penchant for intensity. The overtone overload — the notes note: “Intended for hi-volume listening!” — cycles through like a massive chorus of insects with phenomenal breath control, and I mean that as a high compliment.

▰ With “Transporter,” J Butler reworks a Buddha Machine, singing bowls, and other atmospheric source material along with field recordings into something that sounds like if Brian Eno’s “Apollo” was about a walk in the forest:

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Current Favorites: Tape, Score, Wind

Heavy rotation, lightly annotated

Trying to get back in the habit of my weekly(ish) answer to the question “What have you been listening to lately?” It’s lightly annotated because I don’t like re-posting material without providing some context. I hope to write more about some of these in the future, but didn’t want to delay sharing them:

▰ As of this writing, three tracks currently preview the upcoming (May 6) release of Sanctuary, an atmospheric collection of tracks by Daou (born in Beirut, based in Paris) that all emit the melancholy warble of tape loops set on decay mode.

Isobel Waller-Bridge’s scores (Fleabag, Vanity Fair) are always worth listening to, and just check out the submerged-orchestra wonder of “The Woman Who Ate Photographs,” a cue from season one of Roar.

▰ Google Translate tells me that “lye” is the translation of “灰汁” — that’s the title of the latest snippet of transmogrified field recordings from prolific Japanese noisemaker Corruption, who here bends wind to their will.

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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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  • 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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    • 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.

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  • 0548 / Drone Vox / The Assignment: Make a drone using just your voice.
    0547 / Genre Melee / Combine two seemingly different genres.
    0546 / Code Notes / The Assignment: Make music that includes a secret message.
    0545 / Unself-Awareness / The Assignment: Learn from feedback intended for others.
    0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.

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