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

Wandering in and About the Rain

Via Nomadic Ambience

Rain is something that can be thought of almost as an echo of itself. Like an extrovert who only exists when there is an audience to perform for, rain is not heard so much as it is heard in reaction to something: an umbrella, the ground, a window, or generally some other surface that it strikes. There is also the way rain combines with the sound of wind, and how cloud cover and other related factors can utterly alter the broader sonic environment: dulling edges, nurturing a sense of closed space, walling off further distant noises.

That’s a case made clear in this video from the always on the move Nomadic Ambience (834,000 subscribers on YouTube as of this writing), who wandered around Chicago on a rainy day and captured not just the rain as heard against the protective gear that keeps the camera lens dry, but also as it bounces off the sidewalk, and creates slick streets and shallow puddles that cars turn into sound sources as they pass by.

The video captures some thunderstorm noise, and various urban sounds, one highlight being a tour guide aboard a boat that passes under a bridge just as we, the viewer experiencing this all YouTube-vicariously, cross midway: “It’s a very well-designed building” goes the narration, before trailing off, absorbed by the whir of the rain.

Video originally posted at YouTube.

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Listening to Spies

I enjoyed Olen Steinhauer's The Tourist

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twitter.com/disquiet: Mailman, Ida, Phaedra

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating recent tweets I made 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.

▰ “If you’d prefer to wait in silence, press 4.”

▰ Waiting for the What If…? episode in which the Watcher recalls that he once, long ago, played Jean-Michel Basquiat, and that Basquiat had once, long ago, drawn superheroes.

▰ The first day of every month is when I’m reminded of how many Mailman-powered email lists I’m subscribed to.

▰ Ida WFH. Rob Walker recorded the sound of the hurricane from his New Orleans home office on August 29th:

Highlights from latest This Week in Sound issue: smart speaker surveillance, listening to gravitational waves, the $12,262 megaphone, AI crime-fighting failure, newfangled hold music, Val Kilmer’s new voice, and more.

▰ Set my Zoom background to a production still from Devs. Right now I’ll take a machine-learned dystopia over reality.

▰ Current status

(Fact check: I’m not actually watching Billions at this moment. Just mental/emotional status.)

▰ I recently bought a second 25″ screen. All I keep on it is a pair of browser windows, each a spreadsheet. It’s the best whiteboard for such things because when I want to I just turn it off (or pull up footage of someone wandering Tokyo), and I don’t have to look at the lists.

▰ Just gonna have “Phaedra” off the upcoming Amon Tobin album, How Do You Live, on repeat until the good news outdoes the bad news. So, for a while.

Technically I’m listening to Amon Tobin’s “Phaedra (People Scraping the Outside of the Building Prior to Painting Because I Need to Recharge My Noise Cancelling Headphones’ Battery Remix),” but I’m pretty sure the original is awesome, too.

▰ I can no longer hear the work being done on the building so maybe they’re taking a break but more likely I have simply, fully, willingly succumbed to this song.

▰ Perhaps you’d be astonished by how many press releases and announcements go out for singles and albums saying nothing about the music. Here’s the cover, here’s some merch (need another branded tote?), here’s a moody artist photo. Thanks for the inbox clutter. Unsubscribe. Delete.

▰ It’s a Bandcamp Friday, but rather than list a few records I recommend, or other people’s lists of recommended records, maybe I’ll recommend other people’s lists of other people’s lists of recommended records. Or, you know, suggest people read some reviews and buy some records.

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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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July 6 Golden Gate Bridge Singing

Theremin of the Gods

Today’s the loudest/clearest I’ve heard the Golden Gate Bridge singing. I heard it inside the house so I stepped outside to record. The wind, of course, is prominent, but through that wind is something like the theremin of the gods. I recorded 30 seconds.

Video originally posted to youtube.com/disquiet.

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