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.

tag: remix

Buddha Machine Variations No. 40 (MBP BMV VCV)

A series of focused experiments

Been a while. This is a new entry in the occasional Buddha Machine Variations series. The previous one was about 10 months ago. This was a test run of something I’ve never done before: recording video straight off my laptop (a MacBook Pro), bypassing the microphone in favor of the internal sound. Oddly, such a routing isn’t an immediate option within macOS Monterey, so I had to use a third-party tool, in this case Loopback from Rogue Amoeba. Recorded in QuickTime. Edited in iMovie. Cover image in InDesign. The source audio is one of the tracks from the original Buddha Machine, created by the duo FM3. It’s been looped and processed in VCV Rack (this is the Pro edition, but there’s probably nothing going on in this patch you couldn’t do in the free edition, except a few of the modules may have had a fee associated with them). In any case, this was more a proof of concept, or of several concepts: (1) could the routing work, and (2) would this all happen without the new laptop’s fan turning on. In both cases: yes!

Video originally posted at youtube.com/disquiet. There’s also a video playlist of the Buddha Machine Variations.

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Disquiet.com 25th Anniversary Countdown (5 of 13): Our Lives in the Bush of Disquiet

An archival ambient advent calendar from December 1st – 13th, 2021

Just shy of 10 years after I founded Disquiet.com, I did something here I hadn’t done before: rather than write about music and sound someone produced somewhere else, I published music that I myself had assembled.

In 2006, Brian Eno and David Byrne posted (for free download) stems from one of my favorite albums of all time, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and asked people to remix them. I listened to what people had posted and I found nothing that was particularly appealing. Most of the tracks just slotted the provided raw material above rote 4/4 percussion. So, I sent the Eno/Byrne project news to some friends and musicians I corresponded with, and I asked if they’d participate. The response I got back was, in essence, uniformly: This is cool, but the tracks showing up on the official website leave a lot to be desired. So, I told everyone I’d post the results of their work on Disquiet.com instead. A dozen musicians participated, resulting in this collection:

  1. “Help Me Help Me” – AllThatFall
  2. “If You Make Your Bed in Heaven” – Roddy Schrock
  3. “Leftover Secrets to Tell” – Pocka
  4. “Secret Life Remix” – Stephane Leonard
  5. “The Black Isle (Byrne/Eno Remix)” – (dj) morsanek
  6. “Hit Me Somebody (Help Me Somebody Remix)” – MrBiggs
  7. “Being and Nothingness (A Secret Life Remixed)” – john kannenberg
  8. “Somebody Help Us” – My Fun
  9. “Hey” – Mark Rushton
  10. “My Bush in the Secret Life of Ghosts” – Prehab
  11. “Not Enough Africa” – Ego Response Technician
  12. “Helping (Help Me Somebody Remix)” – doogie

This was almost a year before SoundCloud launched, so the natural place to post the music was the Internet Archive, the offices of which are about a mile from where I live. (The offices are actually a block from where I lived when I first moved to San Francisco in 1996, but the building wasn’t the Internet Archive then. It was a church.)

It’s hard to describe what a transformation this collection was both for this website, and for my sense of how I relate to and communicate with musicians. In the following years, I’d release a series of other such compilation albums, largely inspired by the work of Hal Willner, and eventually I’d open up the format (moving from narrow commission to open call), resulting in the Disquiet Junto music community.

More details, and all the audio, in the original post. And major thanks to Brian Scott of Boon Design (boon.design) for the gorgeous cover.

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Disquiet.com 25th Anniversary Countdown (2 of 13): LX(RMX)

An archival ambient advent calendar from December 1st – 13th, 2021

Disquiet.com 25th anniversary countdown, day 2 of 13. In 2012, I had the pleasure of engaging eight musicians to explore the sounds of Lisbon, Portugal. These were: Steve Roden, Robin Rimbaud, Pedro Tudela, Kate Carr, Shawn Kelly, Marielle Jakobsons, Paula Daunt, and João Ricardo.

The project was done with an old friend of mine, Jorge Colombo, the phenomenal illustrator, photographer, and designer, to accompany an exhibit of his at the time. In the spirit of Fernando Pessoa (whose The Book of Disquiet provided the name for Disquiet.com), who wrote under (from within) numerous different heteronyms (or authorial identities), each participant did two tracks: one under their own name, and one under their pseudonym.

The result was this album:

They all worked from a single shared audio source: an ambient soundtrack of field recordings of urban Lisbon created by Elvis Veiguinha for Jorge’s installation exhibit.

More details at disquiet.com/lx-rmx. Design by Brian Scott of Boon Design.

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Night After Night

A remix by Van Stiefel

One of the great internet pleasures is to have your music reworked, all the more so to find that someone has taken one of your guitar loop experiments and expanded it to a nearly 30-minute amalgam of coded glitch refraction and improvised soloing. This reworking is by the saintly and enviably talented Van Stiefel.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/vanstiefel. More from Stiefel, a professor of music composition at the Wells School of Music of West Chester University of Pennsylvania, at vanstiefel.com.

And here’s my original, by way of comparison:

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芽菜 Glitch

A secret recipe, apparently

I’m not entirely sure how or when precisely this glitch occurred. It was sometime yesterday shortly after I uploaded a series of camera shots of the dan dan noodles I made for dinner. This resulting image just popped up in my camera’s photos, and I noticed it this morning, though I do now have some vague memory of it having appeared briefly on my screen yesterday. It’s a mystery.

I think of this as “happenstance glitch,” because it happened by accident and isn’t (to my knowledge) repeatable. I would have said “true glitch,” but the word “true” would get me into trouble The idea of “true” plays into matters of authenticity and purity, and that’s not my intention. I just mean to distinguish, not prioritize, actual accident from the aesthetic impression of accident. Then again, perhaps what happened here is, somehow, reverse-engineerable, and if someone knows how to accomplish this, that’d be cool (not the end result specifically, but in the “what happened on my phone when I uploaded to Instagram” sorta way). Like, could I do this regularly if I chose to?

I watch a lot of YouTube videos in which expert video game players traverse unmarked borders beyond the game designers’ intention and explore artifact territories not in the official game. No doubt this glitch image of my bowl of noodles is simply a glitch, an error from which I happen to derive pleasure, though I do like the idea that perhaps there is a nascent or discarded-experiment glitch filter in Instagram that I somehow accessed by accident. I don’t have difficulty imagining that Instagram might, someday, add a “glitch filter” to its toolkit. Maybe they’ll title it Akihabara or Darmstadt.

There is an additional layer of irony here. Making dan dan noodles at home was a big deal for me. It’s one of my favorite dishes, Chinese or otherwise, and being able to prepare it at home from (relative) scratch by following a recipe was a remarkable feeling, not just how the end result tasted, but also how the various phases of preparation, especially in terms of smell, registered. (By “relative” scratch I mean that I didn’t, you know, actually pickle my own mustard greens. I just bought pickled mustard greens, which I now know are called ya cai, or 芽菜.) It is ironic that while I was documenting one favorite flavor, the glitch — another favorite flavor — surfaced, and it has a recipe I do not know how to access.

PS: Odder still, there is now a second glitch of the same image on my phone, and even though they appear in reverse order chronologically, I believe this one is a glitch of the one up top, resulting from when I posted the “original” (humorous word in this case) to Instagram.

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