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


Finally making it. Should be a great evening.

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 look just below the image’s center you’ll see dots, four small indentations in the painted exterior wall. They’re at odd geometric relations with each other. Several subsets of the dots suggest the beginnings of a square, but all together any hope of true squareness collapses, like a cardboard box after the rain. At some point in the past the doorbell was modernized. The doorbells were, plural, that is, since both a knocker and a twister greet visitors. The long-gone upgrade was likely battery operated, since there is no fifth hole for wiring, though perhaps wiring explains the asymmetric lower right. This upgrade, like so many doorbell improvements, came and went and left a reminder that it had failed. The plaster and paint expose the difficulty in righting the wrong. Take a moment to zoom in on the uneven surface, with its stuffed moats and hardened streams, the topology of domestic futility.

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


It’s comforting when Scholastic, the elementary school paper of record, is aligned with one’s household curriculum. Inside is a full spread on seasonal weather sounds, including foley instructions for simulating Mother Nature: “Do you want to make a sound like hail? Tap your fingers on the floor or table.” The back page introduces the useful term “onomatopoeia,” and asks young readers to single out examples from the sentences in which they appear. This is a nice contrast with a music textbook we encountered a year or so back. It sought to distinguish musical sounds from noises. Why introduce judgement and hierarchy at such an early age?

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


Evidence of last week’s trip to Florida. I eavesdropped on the birdwatchers, paying special attention to how birdcalls helped them in their identification practice. Even this second-hand, scattershot, half-heard information woke me up to the environment.

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


Doorbells are generally buttons to be pushed, rarely if ever pulled. Sometimes these buttons are illuminated, though generally not. The ones that are illuminated don’t merely help guide the visitor’s finger; they also surface the fact of the electricity that mediates the interaction: that the bell, like the light, is the result of the AC power of the building into which entrance is being requested. Doorbells replaced knockers, the non-electrified notification system of banging a small hard object connected to the door by a hinge. Not all non-electric door-announcement systems are knockers, however. Some ring bells as the result of a spin, bringing to mind bicycle bells. The question is when these spun doorbells originated. Are they a mechanical means to accomplish a post-electric entry sound, or are they a pre-electric premonition of the now common doorbell?

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