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.

tag: IFTTTgram

What Sound Looks Like

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


Excavated some cassettes of turntablism music (turntable as instrument) while cleaning out some of my old boxes this past weekend. Back then, around 1996 and 1997, when these were released, turntablism was often documented and circulated on cassette. These days, 20-plus years later, a lot of my listening is manipulation of the cassette tape itself, as well as digital approximations of tape manipulation. Some of the turntablists whose work is shown here have long since left traditional turntable vinyl behind and now use computer software that turns the turntable into a tactile controller for audio files.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
Tag: / Leave a comment ]

What Sound Looks Like

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


Repetition is a form of change.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
Tag: / Leave a comment ]

What Sound Looks Like

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


It’s time to learn to solder.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
Tag: / Leave a comment ]

What Sound Looks Like

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


Urban neighborhoods that serve as homes to multiple immigrant communities can have a stoic quality to them. This isn’t always the case, but cultures that are vibrant unto themselves can take on more of a remote cast when coming into ongoing mutual contact. There is a level of communication, of connection, that entrenched cultural distance fails to afford. This is true of spoken language and body language alike. In a dense city, such myriad disconnections can result in faces that are doubly blank: failing to read others and resisting being read. You may see a Russian Orthodox priest eating a burrito, or a sushi chef checking out Hollywood blockbusters at the neighborhood library; these individuals are, however, members of groups that live alongside each other and, yet, apart from each other.

This doorbell is from the front gate to a multi-unit apartment building in just such a neighborhood. The doorbell bears the aspect of a place that has more urgent things to be attended to than its outward appearance. The doorbell buttons have long since been bleached by the elements of their associated apartment numbers. Presumably the units run in descending columns from left to right. Presumably as well, the one button that lacks a label was at some point replaced — due to wiring complexities or sufficient landlord laziness, for which there is an admittedly low threshold — by the larger plastic device to the left. It stands there with a simple message for anyone who tries to catch its gaze: “I have things to get done; announce yourself, or move along.”

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
Tag: / Leave a comment ]

What Sound Looks Like

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


A small piece of paper hangs on the wall in a stairwell at an elementary school. The official document lists, in grid form, much like a test or a textbook, a handful of guidelines for students. Several of these rules touch on sound — about receiving and producing sound, about paying attention, and about making noise. A key word, not surprising given the academic setting, is “quiet.” The most interesting of the guidelines is this correlation, not between sound and volume, or instruction, or reception, but a more complicated connection between the sound of active feet and the side effects of that activity. There are stages of learning in elementary school. Double-digit addition comes after single digits. The ratio of pictures to words in books flips as time passes. This concept, that quiet feet will be patient feet and that patient feet will not make dust clouds, is a next-level association. It’s arguably more complex, that is, than the idea that washing your hands will make it less likely you’ll take ill. For very young students, the “quiet feet” line is more likely to be received initially as an axiom than as a causal instruction. For students of sound, however, it’s precisely the kind of secondary connection that we should keep our ears out for.

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.
Tag: / Leave a comment ]