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: science-fiction

twitter.com/disquiet: Audiobooks, Cylons, Bern

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating recent tweets I made at twitter.com/disquiet, my public notebook. Some tweets pop up (in expanded form or otherwise) on Disquiet.com sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ Life these days: Walk into a store and find myself thinking, “This place is like someone took all the metaphors of online life and made them physical, right down to the ‘shopping carts.'”

▰ Sleepy. Hence: Was listening to an audiobook read by an actor with a particularly strong British accent and found myself thinking, “This really could use subtitles.” Which is, of course, a book.

▰ After much consideration, I opted not to test this. Far as I could tell, neither did the sheep on the other side.

▰ Feel a bit like a Cylon. Tom Petty’s “American Girl” came on the outdoor speakers at this cafe and I’m incapable of not singing along.

▰ That the concern is old enough that it was recognized some time ago, and that this sign was created and installed, and that it has aged this much since

▰ Excited to announce that the Disquiet Junto is again teaming up with Musikfestival Bern (thanks to Tobias Reber), the annual Swiss event. We’ll be doing three projects, music from which may end up as part of the festival. Details to follow. The first project will involve insects.

▰ Have a great weekend, folks.

  • Count how many different bird species you hear

  • Listen for repeated interstitial music in shows you binge-watch

  • Sort out a way to financially support a musician you like (buy an album or t-shirt, subscribe to a fan club, etc.)

See you Monday.

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twitter.com/disquiet: Theater Anxiety and Media Ambience

I do this manually each week, collating tweets I made at twitter.com/disquiet, my public notebook. Some tweets pop up (in expanded form) on Disquiet.com sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ The sequel to A Quiet Place, a film about a society in which survivors of a worldwide catastrophe take extreme caution whenever leaving their homes, will apparently be available “only in theaters.”

Which is to say, the bar for the cinema sensorium has been lowered as a result of the pandemic. Simply entering the movie theater exceeds whatever Sensurround had ever been hoped to accomplish.

▰ I enjoy buying downloads. I also feel a threshold-breaking new utility (app/device/service/protocol) remains necessary for doing so to become mainstream, mainstream being necessary for downloads to pass a threshold at which they will become financially meaningful for musicians.

▰ Me at 6:45am: Yawn.

Me at 7:15am: Oh, yeah, it’s May the 4th. I’ll watch Bad Batch, but it’s not like I’m gonna be celebrating Star Wars all day. C’mon.

Me at 9:00am: Oh wow, this Star Wars Biomes audio-video feature is awesome and I’m going to play it on loop until dinner!

Pretty much the only shortcoming of these Star Wars Biomes videos is they don’t entirely ditch the music. Fortunately, the environmental sound of the various locations is prominent most if not all the time.

▰ Netflix needs a third button for “I really enjoyed this and I never want to watch it or anything like it anytime again in the near or foreseeable future.” Pondering what that hand gesture is.

▰ That thing where you’re looking at Goodreads and you go to click the “Want to Read” button and, just as you do so, the advertising banner finally slides into place, thus pushing down the rest of the page, leading you to instead trigger a full-page view of the book’s cover.

▰ Really enjoyed the dense environmental sounds of Cyberpunk 2077, so rather than just watch recordings on YouTube I got a copy. Somewhere a database is registering the machine language equivalent of “This player simply wanders around town and then stands still for a half an hour.” … Somewhere another machine on the network replies, “The player’s digital signature resembles that of someone who did the same thing in Pikmin 20 years ago.” … Further down the stack comes a whisper on the wind from an ancient BASIC subroutine: “I know that kid. Used to carry a binder of floppies around with him in high school.”

▰ I think I need to add “Loitering in video games” to the Disquiet.com profile.

▰ The phrase “panting sibilantly” was one of the first descriptions in the captions for Mayans M.C. this week.

▰ And on that note, have a great weekend. Listen to one of your favorite TV shows. Admire the emotional heft of the word balloons in a favorite graphic novel. Record the outside and bring it inside. See you Monday. Or maybe Tuesday.

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twitter.com/disquiet: Museum Dreams, Lawnmower Jam, Atwood x Anderson

From the past week

I do this manually each week, collating tweets I made at twitter.com/disquiet, my public notebook. Some tweets pop up (in expanded form) on Disquiet.com sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ Weirdest side effect of getting my first shot of the Moderna vaccine on Saturday morning was that for the rest of the weekend I found myself daydreaming being in various rooms at SFMOMA.

▰ Ooh, the upcoming Disquietude ambient music podcast episode will have its first entirely original piece of music (that is, first heard on the podcast).

▰ Lawnmower jam: Saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews, Bela Fleck) noticed his neighbor’s lawnmower was in A flat, so he decided to accompany her. (Thanks, Brian Biggs!)


▰ A trick to navigating the modern internet, one that’s even more addled with targeted ads than anything Neal Stephenson imagined when the ‘net was young, is to regularly search for a few things you already own and love. Then you’ll be inundated with reminders of them.

▰ I love this detail in this piece (nytimes.com) by writer Max Gao on the upcoming Kung Fu TV series: ubiquitous actor Tzi Ma has no children, despite having “played the father figure for a bevy of Hollywood talent” (e.g., in The Farewell, Meditation Park, and the live-action Mulan).

▰ “So, 1981. We had the radio on while cooking dinner, when an eerie sound came pulsating over the airwaves.” Because we’ve been good, we get Margaret Atwood writing about Laurie Anderson: theguardian.com. “Do you want to be a human being any more? Are you one now?”

▰ I’m pretty enamored of wind chimes. As I wrote about in my book on Selected Ambient Works Volume 2: If as Brian Eno has said, repetition is a form of change, then wind chimes can show that change is a form of repetition.

▰ The first track is up on the latest Disquiet Junto project and it includes the sentence “I added a phaser effect to the dishwasher track” and this is how I know I’ve found my people.

▰ RSS 4 Life

▰ It’s cool to have some new Twitter followers following yesterday’s lengthy thread about the benefits of blogging, and I should note for the record you’re now following someone who gets excited about: refrigerators humming, doorbells, silence, TV captions, hold music.

▰ OK, have a good weekend. Listen to some poetry. Read some TV. Seek out some birdsong (while masked). And if you’ve got time and interest, play a recording of wind chimes on a speaker and record how it interacts with your own environment: disquiet.com/0484. See ya Monday.

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Volca + Brazil = Loki

Pop culture math

Apparently if you live at the aesthetic intersection of Korg Volca music equipment and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil (as I do), then the upcoming Loki TV series is for you. And, given the story line, there seems to be a bit of Time Bandits in the mix, for added Gilliam-ish goodness. And, how long until someone sorts out Volca firmware that supports video synthesis or some other visual output to make this image possible?

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twitter.com/disquiet: mesostics, bands, tutorials

From the past week

I do this manually each week, collating the tweets I made at twitter.com/disquiet (which I think of as my public notebook) that I want to keep track of. For the most part, this means ones I initiated, not ones in which I directly responded to someone. I sometimes tweak them a bit here. Some tweets pop up on Disquiet.com sooner than I get around to collating them, so I leave them out of the weekly round-up. It’s usually personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud. They’re here pretty much in chronological order. Looking back at the tweets makes the previous week seem both longer and shorter than it was. The cadence is a way to map how time progressed. The subjects are another map of the same territory.

▰ Detail of an index page from a book called The Miracle of Television (1949)

▰ My main post-pandemic prediction (and this is not an original thought by any means) is there’s gonna be a lot of bands. I think everyone’s kinda got the solo act aced at this point.

▰ Fifth robocall of the day and it’s not even 1:30pm. Either Skynet is happening or the FCC is about to crack down and the robots are making as many calls as they can before the party is over. My money is on Skynet.

▰ A mesostic:

     My
    sErvice to computer
     Science
    tOday
   waS
     To teach this word to
the AI that lives in
  my Computer's dictionary

(better in fixed-width font)

▰ Looking forward to episode two of Debris tonight. That’s my gauge of a new weekly TV series: do I find myself looking forward to it, or is it something that shows up as having been recorded and I then give the latest episode a go? So far, one episode in, Debris is the former.

▰ I freely admit that when I started using Scrivener, I was overwhelmed. Funny thing: I started working in it, and finding the tools I needed, and that’s all it took. Now it’s where I do most of my writing, and even some note-taking. The more I use it, the better I use it. The single tool I use the most is the ability to divide a longer piece into subsections that can be worked on independently, and also quickly and easily regrouped with the other subsections around it.

▰ There’s a seaplane overhead, sounding like a didgeridoo with wings

▰ OK

▰ While working, I’ve been listening to John Luther Adams all afternoon, and now I’m not sure what planet I’m on. In a row today: Become Ocean, Become Desert, Become River, Ilimaq, The Place We Began. Been hours since I hit pause, and I feel like I’m just beginning to come up for air. I especially recommend Become River (symphonic), Ilimaq (augmented percussion), and Place We Began (ambient).

▰ Minecraft news you can use

▰ While working this afternoon, I’ve been listening to Jana Winderen non-stop, and now I’ve convinced myself that the next time I go outside the sound of the world will be overwhelming. I need to first re-acclimate to human-scale listening.

▰ When my love
Stands next to your love
I can’t compare love
When it’s not love

It’s not love
It’s not love
Which is my face
Which is a data center
Which is on fire
On fire

▰ Just re-watched the live video of Prince’s guitar solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” for, like, the 650th time, thanks to Ethan Hein’s expert dissection (at ethanhein.com) of another Prince solo (“Kiss”), and still the hair went up on my arms.

▰ “Stars — they’re just like us!” (From a New York Times article on how 75 different artists rode out pandemic lockdown thus far)

▰ About half my email inbox inbox is “Sorry I haven’t been in touch. During the pandemic I’ve gotten very little done.” And half is “Here’s my fifth box set I’ve released in the past 12 months. I think I’m really hitting my stride. Hope you enjoy it.” (My outbox is, in essence, I’ve managed to get everything done except my outbox.)

▰ I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a tweet with 319 likes in less than 8 hours before. That has been weird.

▰ And on that note, have a great weekend. Wear a mask, maybe two. Enjoy YouTube synth tutorials to your heart’s desire. Get fresh air (again, through a mask). Zoom friends. Read something that’s not its own light source. Give yourself and everyone around you a break. See ya Monday.

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