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.

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Duets with the Golden Gate Bridge

Nate Mercereau becomes one with the hum

Perhaps you’ve heard the news about the how the Golden Gate Bridge here in San Francisco, where I live, has taken to singing. Repairs to the bridge led to a unique teachable moment about the physics of sound: high winds cause it to drone mellifluously (or annoyingly, according to some locals, though not me) all around the city. The drone is hard to capture because, by definition, it happens when the winds are themselves making noise. The bridge also sounds different depending on where you are. I’ve posted footage from my backyard, not that my cellphone captured anything remotely like what it is like to stand there. It is truly alien, the thermin of the gods.

Much as nature abhors a vacuum, alien music abhors isolation. And thus the Golden Gate Bridge has drawn to it some local musicians. This isn’t the first track I’ve heard in which someone tries to play along with the bridge, but it’s certainly among the most beautiful. Nate Mercereau, as I learned in a news story in yesterday’s issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, has recorded a four-song EP, Duets, on which he plays live along with the bridge. There’s also a video, shown up above, in which he sits perched in the Marin Headlands with the bridge in the background. As Mercereau told the Chronicle’s Aidin Vaziri, “It’s the largest wind instrument in the world right now.”

The video opens with an extended sequence of the bridge on its own. Nearly a minute passes before Mercereau, eventually seated on a stool behind a battery of pedals, begins to intone slow, aching tones that meld beautifully with the bridge itself. He is careful to keep the playing subtle, quiet. It never threatens to overcome the bridge. Instead, it flows in and out of the underlying hum.

The playing on the Duets EP pushes a little further. On “Duet 1,” the guitar sounds at times almost like a flute. On “Duet 2,” a more full-bodied part suggests some hybrid of violin and saxophone. On “Duet 4,” Mercereau posits drones that sit in contrast with the main source audio. Throughout, the bridge just sings on. Perhaps when Mercereau is done, another musician will take his seat on that stool.

This is the latest video I’ve added to my ongoing YouTube playlist of fine live performance of ambient music. Video originally posted at youtube.com. More from Mercereau at howsorecords.com, instagram.com/natemercereau, and twitter.com/natemercereau.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0498: Sonic Entomologist

The Assignment: Create a new hybrid insect from the sound of two different insects.

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, July 19, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 15, 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 0498: Sonic Entomologist
The Assignment: Create a new hybrid insect from the sound of two different insects.

This project is the second 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” (“swarms”). 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.

Step 1: You will be playing mad scientist this week, or at least sonic scientist. Put that hat on.

Step 2: A large number of insects were invented for the previous project in this series. Many of them were made available for download and subsequent remixing. Check them out here:

https://we.tl/t-dWFMGwmyad

Step 3: Choose two insects from the ones available in Step 2. Imagine a hybrid of the two insects, created in a laboratory.

Step 4: By combining the sounds of the two insects selected in Step 3, record the sound of that hybrid you imagined. What does it sound like? Is it a refined creation, or a Frankenstein nightmare? Is it better, stronger, faster, or prone to mutation and ill health?

Background: There will be public display cases at the festival, and we will 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 “disquiet0498” (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 “disquiet0498” (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-0498-sonic-entomologist/

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, July 19, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0498” 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 498th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Sonic Entomologist (The Assignment: Create a new hybrid insect from the sound of two different insects) — at: https://disquiet.com/0498/

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-0498-sonic-entomologist/

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

https://flic.kr/p/7Syf86

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

. . . Read more »

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Disquiet Junto Project 0497: Benjamin’s Glass

The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica

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, July 12, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 8, 2021.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0497: Benjamin’s Glass
The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica

As the 500th Disquiet Junto project approaches, we’re revisiting some of the earliest projects. This was the third project, back in January 2012. Note that unlike later projects, it wasn’t listed as a series of steps:

This project is in honor of Benjamin Franklin, after whose Junto Society our little group was named. In an effort to expand and refine the glass harp, Franklin developed his own lathe-like glass harmonica, which he called the “armonica.” Marie Antoinette took lessons on it and Beethoven composed for it, but Franklin’s invention proved expensive and fragile, and it had a limited lifetime. And it may have given its frequent users lead poisoning.

You are not being asked to build a Franklin armonica. But like Franklin, we are going to expand on the glass harp. In our case, we are going to do so digitally.

You’re being asked to use the more common instrument, the glass harp. That involves the familiar “rubbing the top of a wine glass that has water in it” approach:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_harp

The Junto assignment is to record a live performance on the glass harp, and to employ live processing in the performance. There should be no post-production. And there is no length limit for the piece, though I would suggest that anything over 15 minutes may limit the size of your potential audience.

There is additional information in the project’s original post, which is from January 30, 2021:

http://disquiet.com/0003

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0497” (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 “disquiet0497” (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-0497-benjamins-glass/

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 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, July 12, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 8, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0497” 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 497th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Benjamin’s Glass (The Assignment: Pay tribute to Benjamin Franklin and his armonica) — at: https://disquiet.com/0497/

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-0497-benjamins-glass/

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

https://flic.kr/p/bgtGiv

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

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July 6 Golden Gate Bridge Singing

Theremin of the Gods

Today’s the loudest/clearest I’ve heard the Golden Gate Bridge singing. I heard it inside the house so I stepped outside to record. The wind, of course, is prominent, but through that wind is something like the theremin of the gods. I recorded 30 seconds.

Video originally posted to youtube.com/disquiet.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0496: Isolation Room

The Assignment: Create new music around one strand of something you made in the past.

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, July 5, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 1, 2021.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0496: Isolation Room
The Assignment: Create new music around one strand of something you made in the past.

Step 1: Think of something you’ve recorded in the past that you want to revisit.

Step 2: Isolate one part of the original recording. The optimal option, though by no means the only approach, is something that runs for the length of the track, such as a a rhythmic element or a specific instrument. It’s certainly understandable if the isolation effort isn’t clinical. Other remnants of the source audio are fine.

Step 3: Compose a new track around the material isolated in Step 2.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0496” (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 “disquiet0496” (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-0496-isolation-room/

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 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, July 5, 2021, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, July 1, 2021.

Length: The length of your finished track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0496” 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 496th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Isolation Room (The Assignment: Create new music around one strand of something you made in the past) — at: https://disquiet.com/0496/

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-0496-isolation-room/

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

https://flic.kr/p/7S3zqm

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

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