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

Disquiet Junto Project 0494: Insect Menagerie

The Assignment: Record a 20-second clip of the sounds of an insect that you yourself have invented.

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, June 21, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 17, 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 0494: Insect Menagerie The Assignment: Record a 20-second clip of the sounds of an insect that you yourself have invented.

This project is the first 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” (“swarm”). 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.

There is just one step for this week’s project: Compose the sound of a single imaginary insect. The duration of the recording should be 20 seconds.

Background: There will be public display cases at the festival, and we may 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 “disquiet0494” (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 “disquiet0494” (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-0494-insect-menagerie/

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, June 21, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 17, 2021.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0494” 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 494th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Insect Menagerie (The Assignment: Record a 20-second clip of the sounds of an insect that you yourself have invented) — at: https://disquiet.com/0494/

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-0494-insect-menagerie/

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 dr_relling, and used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license allowing editing (cropped with text added) for non-commercial purposes:

https://flic.kr/p/6RPmAq

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

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Reviewing Jennifer Lucy Allan’s The Foghorn’s Lament

For The Wire


I love when I get to write in this typeface. My review of Jennifer Lucy Allan’s splendid new book on the history of the foghorn, The Foghorn’s Lament, is out in the latest issue of The Wire magazine (issue number 448, June 2021, the one with Van der Graaf Generator on the cover, appropriate since her book includes a bit about Michael Faraday).

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The Hitman’s ASMR

Video game ambience and not


Hitman 3, the latest from the long-running video game series, counts Dartmoor in England among its numerous international locations. A gamer ASMR account on YouTube has set out to produce documents of each of the settings, this one moving from graveyard to abandoned conservatory of flowers to the interiors of a grand home. (There’s also another video up already for an Italian locale.) Notable in the game is that because of its remote places, in contrast with, say, largely urban fare like Grand Theft Auto and Cyberpunk 2077, when voices are overheard, as they are here, they don’t pass as background noise. They stand out like fluorescent paint might against a sodden British hillside.

Video originally posted to YouTube.

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twitter.com/disquiet: Museum Dreams, Lawnmower Jam, Atwood x Anderson

From the past week

I do this manually each week, collating tweets I made at twitter.com/disquiet, my public notebook. Some tweets pop up (in expanded form) on Disquiet.com sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ Weirdest side effect of getting my first shot of the Moderna vaccine on Saturday morning was that for the rest of the weekend I found myself daydreaming being in various rooms at SFMOMA.

▰ Ooh, the upcoming Disquietude ambient music podcast episode will have its first entirely original piece of music (that is, first heard on the podcast).

▰ Lawnmower jam: Saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews, Bela Fleck) noticed his neighbor’s lawnmower was in A flat, so he decided to accompany her. (Thanks, Brian Biggs!)


▰ A trick to navigating the modern internet, one that’s even more addled with targeted ads than anything Neal Stephenson imagined when the ‘net was young, is to regularly search for a few things you already own and love. Then you’ll be inundated with reminders of them.

▰ I love this detail in this piece (nytimes.com) by writer Max Gao on the upcoming Kung Fu TV series: ubiquitous actor Tzi Ma has no children, despite having “played the father figure for a bevy of Hollywood talent” (e.g., in The Farewell, Meditation Park, and the live-action Mulan).

▰ “So, 1981. We had the radio on while cooking dinner, when an eerie sound came pulsating over the airwaves.” Because we’ve been good, we get Margaret Atwood writing about Laurie Anderson: theguardian.com. “Do you want to be a human being any more? Are you one now?”

▰ I’m pretty enamored of wind chimes. As I wrote about in my book on Selected Ambient Works Volume 2: If as Brian Eno has said, repetition is a form of change, then wind chimes can show that change is a form of repetition.

▰ The first track is up on the latest Disquiet Junto project and it includes the sentence “I added a phaser effect to the dishwasher track” and this is how I know I’ve found my people.

▰ RSS 4 Life

▰ It’s cool to have some new Twitter followers following yesterday’s lengthy thread about the benefits of blogging, and I should note for the record you’re now following someone who gets excited about: refrigerators humming, doorbells, silence, TV captions, hold music.

▰ OK, have a good weekend. Listen to some poetry. Read some TV. Seek out some birdsong (while masked). And if you’ve got time and interest, play a recording of wind chimes on a speaker and record how it interacts with your own environment: disquiet.com/0484. See ya Monday.

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Soundbites: Halo Sound Design, Emotion Detection, Noisy Jobs

Recent reads (etc.) on sound

These are the sort of items I’d usually put in the This Week in Sound email newsletter (tinyletter.com/disquiet), but I’ve been super busy, too busy for a new issue, and so at a friend’s suggestion I am initially noting some here.

The team behind the audio for the Halo video games share process in an advance peek at Halo Infinite, due out later this year. It’s packed with interesting details, such as how the relative proximity of gunfire wasn’t a sufficient filter in earlier games, leading to innovation this time around: “The new Halo Infinite audio system detects all gun sounds frame by frame, and prioritizes them in a threat order to decide output sound volume for each gun.” To a degree this is a matter of noise and confusion reduction, and of audio as an informative aspect of user interface. It also maps to hearing’s role in self-preservation. Likewise, ambient noises are adjusted in-game to make them more lifelike: “A variety of factors feed into this system, combining gameplay states, time of day, location tracking, timers, and more, all working together to bring the environment to life. This gives us the ability to create a dynamic mix of ambient sounds that remains compelling and immersive the entire time you’re playing.”
https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/news/inside-infinite-march-2021

And you have to check out video of the destruction of an old piano done as part of the sound design effort:


Molly Moser reports on how high-speed frame-by-frame records of hummingbirds flying helped sort out how they emit their trademark hum. The tiny birds yielded terabytes of data: “Higher harmonic content throughout the wing stroke, they explain in the paper, results in a ‘buzz,’ while equivalent first and second harmonic content makes hummingbirds ‘hum,’ and dominant first harmonic content results in the softer ‘whoosh’ of larger birds.”
https://www.osa-opn.org/home/newsroom/2021/

The digital civil rights group Access Now expresses concern that Spotify’s reported “mood-recognition features” could lead to “misgendering” and “discrimination,” reports Lilia Dergacheva. This is based on a patent “to detect emotion, age and gender using speech recognition algorithms.”
https://sputniknews.com/science/202104021082522962-spotify-reportedly-asked-to-ditch-bid-to-predict-mood-gender-over-discrimination-privacy-concerns/

People who require computers to speak for them deserve their own individualized voices that reflect “who they really are” — that’s the subject of a podcast episode from the Index Project featuring Rupal Patel, found of VocaliD. https://theindexproject.org/stories/podcast-restoring-lost-voices

Grant Suneson of MSN Money’s 24/7 Wall Street lists the 25 jobs most likely to damage your hearing. Musicians rank at the bottom of the list. Higher up are surgeons, shoe and leather workers, gaming (aka gambling) service workers, and, at the top of the list, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/careersandeducation/these-24-jobs-could-ruin-your-hearing/ss-BB1feUL4

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