My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

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What’s in a Name?

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

In Grant Morrison’s comics, even the tiniest thing is extravagant — unfolding in hyper-dimensions to reveal internecine complexities of psychedelic detail and epic ramifications — and this was apparently the case as early as his first serialized series. (This panel is from the first collected edition of Zenith, with art by Steve Yeowell, from characters designed by Brendan McCarthy. I’m catching up with very early Morrison comics, thanks to a friend’s recommendation. I’ve read much of what came after Flex Mentallo, but I’d never read Zenith, which was serialized in 2000 AD beginning in the summer of 1987.)

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Safe Harbor

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

When the crackdown got serious on peer-to-peer sharing, the peers went underground, and then underground some more. Hardware saw a resurgence in pass-around thumb drives loaded with chunks of cultural history, but wifi connections to the disparate network remained the preferred mode, albeit with heightened attention to security and privacy. The peers forsook all but the most rudimentary forms of sharing. Nothing was left to the servers of publicly traded companies. Nothing passed through software certified by the app stores baked into the firmware of mobile phones. Nothing was posted without being cleaned of all but the most essential metadata. Caution was taken, in particular, regarding which internet service providers were truly data-agnostic in their functioning, and safe harbor was marked in public spaces with a simple but effective graffiti.

What Sound Looks Like: An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.

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What Sounds Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

If you’ve ever been required to read contracts on a regular basis, you may know this feeling. The feeling: each paragraph, each sentence, each clause, sometimes even each word feels on its own like an individual vestige of an individual previous incident. The document in front of you is a clot of those numerous and varied incidents, all metastasized amid what was once likely a quite brief, concise, and even innocent document. The innocence was lost in a lengthy sequence of events that required clarification and amendment, and clarifications of amendments, and amendments of clarifications. Certainly some of the initial text reflected actual forethought: someone had considered a misreading of intent (how the spirit might be failed by the letter), and made sure to write — to embed — the specific meaning into the document. But that’s not the feeling you have. The feeling you have is where the scent of some previous incident rises from some bit of language, and with it the full sense memory of that incident you had not, yourself, actually been present for. And when you lift your face up from the contract, you face the real world, and in the real world there are similar clarifications and amendments, some providing helpful orientation, others downright dispiriting in that they evidence fully how sometimes even the most obvious thing needs to be written out in capital letters and affixed with a messy glob of tape.

What Sound Looks Like: An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.

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Rhythmic Segmentation

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

Unlike at clock shops in movies, in this tiny, one-person clock shop the majority of the clocks that tick are blissfully still. But enough are ticking to provide a nice quiet rhythmic segmentation of each second. I’d love to record this place in the middle of the night.

What Sound Looks Like: An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.

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What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

“Ethics being Smiley’s own choice for the least alluring doorbell he could think of.” That’s from early on in John le Carré’s novel A Legacy of Spies. A longstanding safe house has survived decades of political turmoil both within and beyond the halls of Britain’s intelligence operations, and the location is now being investigated by a new breed of officious bureaucrats who are congenitally blind to any shades of moral gray. The label of the doorbell is a coy attempt by Smiley — George Smiley, le Carré’s spymaster character — to hide in plan sight, to have a doorbell that no one would in their right mind ever elect to touch.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.

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