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 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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What Sound Looks Like

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

I pushed this button. Nothing happened. I wondered what I did wrong.

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

If you arrive at the farmers market late, you can hear the sound art.

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


This little gadget is the Pisound, which I spent much of yesterday building under the guidance of a far more informed and experienced friend. Its existence is predicated on the Raspberry Pi, an inexpensive bare-bones computer, around $35, that is used widely in education and by tinkerers/makers. The Pisound is a sound card that attaches to the Raspberry Pi and turns it into a full-fledged media device, with an emphasis on high-grade audio processing. The Pisound is capable of serving many purposes, including a networked audio player. What I’m most interested in is its ability to serve as a programmable musical instrument, such as an effects pedal of infinite possibilities. After we got it set up yesterday — the Raspberry Pi organization is based in the U.K., and Pisound arrived from Lithuania — my friend showed me how a single line of code could transform my inbound electric guitar signal into an outbound warble that sounded like we had captured Angelo Badalamenti’s spirit in one tiny little semi-opaque box. Anyhow, yesterday was day one. Actually, the first thing we did, even before the guitar processing, was to drop in one of Fredrik Olofsson’s mini-compositions that come in the form of Twitter-sized bits of SuperCollider code. Makes me want to get a second PiSound and make a music box of generative compositions. I’m looking forward to exploring this thing more as the summer progresses.

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


I couldn’t live here, but it’s sure cool to visit. The clock repair person says, understandably, that he keeps most (not all, but most) of the (many many) grandfather clocks turned off.

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