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: 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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twitter.com/disquiet: Slough, pentatonic, Stravinsky

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, especially these days, when a week can feel both like a year and like nothing whatsoever has happened or changed.

▰ Yes, I’m enjoying the new Mick Herron novel, Slough House (seventh in the Slow Horses series).

▰ Close-up of the speaker grate on the back of a battery-operated alarm clock. The speaker grate is 7 millimeters in diameter. (Insert grating joke here.)

▰ As someone who lived in New Orleans for four years, I appreciate that Mutable Instruments released a new module named Beads on Fat Tuesday.

▰ Today in guitar class pentatonic education. (Jeff Rona joked in reply: “A potentially great companion to my upcoming book ‘5 Things I Like About the Pentatonic Scale'”)

▰ Alternately alarmed and amused by (while also trying to focus on some still hazy metaphorical meaning to) the idea that it is mid-February 2021 and my phone claims to not recognize this word

▰ Nothing says “frictionless user experience” like a button that reads “Sign up with SAML SSO”

▰ 8:12am sounds: hour and a half in, the house still creaking as it warms; mechanical whir in the distance; interior echo of something a neighbor has dropped; white noise of cars passing in opposite directions (clearly one ignored the stop sign); hum of refrigerator two rooms away

▰ That moment when you’re using an online tool to sign something and the automated signature looks like Ralph Steadman scribbled it while under the weather

▰ “Random method generates the same numbers” is my kinda first thread to read on a music message board in the morning over coffee

▰ Today I learned that the modernist squiggle that’s always featured on the cover of the journal Perspectives of New Music was a scribble by Igor Stravinsky. (And they all look like Alexander Girard sketches to me.)

▰ Favorite Yoko Ono factoid: she was apparently Kobo Abe’s translator the first time he visited America. Happy 88th birthday to her.

▰ The new TV series Debris (starting March 1, at least in the U.S.) looks like someone sneaked in at night and asked me while I was sleeping what I wanna watch once a week. Which means that like Counterpart, Intelligence (the one with Ian Tracey), and Travelers it’ll have a short run. Maybe it’ll last as long as Fringe, which it most resembles.

▰ Just proofread some liner notes I wrote. Very excited for when this physical object is released into the world.

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twitter.com/disquiet: Dilithium Resonance, Zoom Practice

From the past week

I do this manually each week, collating the tweets I made at twitter.com/disquiet 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. It’s usually personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud, and yow what a week this has been.

▰ “Sound is a mechanical wave. Its energy travels through a medium. … His scream must have travelled at the resonant frequency of dilithium’s subspace components.” (The Star Trek: Discovery finale wasn’t entirely my thing, but it still had my number.)

▰ Whatever happens today, at least my laptop no longer beeps every time I plug in my phone or iPad. (Or, that’s the highlight of the week, and it’s all downhill from here.)

▰ I’ve learned many things about myself during pandemic shut-in life, and key among them is that I’m way more into Miss Marple than into James Bond.

▰ “The sonic scale of interstellar turbulence.” I truly have no idea what this means (nature.com), but it is my favorite clause of the week so far. I believe this explains is a bit more. I could also be entirely wrong: nature.com.

▰ The good news: there will be a new season of Schoolhouse Rock.

The bad news: due to current events, it will be rated R.

▰ I sure miss in-person guitar class, but it’s sure nice to be able to, the second Zoom class is over, use my phone to record myself playing certain sequences before I forget them entirely.

▰ “Sorry, I need to listen to this document right now.” (Thing I just heard myself say.)

▰ Seems sorta personal. I might prefer a one-on-one session.

▰ RIP, Salvador Lopez Monroy, founder of the Mission District’s El Farolito. The morning after we moved back to San Francisco after 4 years in New Orleans, we knew exactly where to go. We drove straight to El Farolito and ordered more food than we could finish.

▰ Reminder of the bliss of setting your Twitter location to a country where you don’t know the language (bonus points if you appreciate the characters’ aesthetics). The social media equivalent of working in a coffee shop where everyone’s chattering but you don’t understand a word.

▰ Current guitar class homework

▰ Send communications between Annares and Urras with ease

▰ Today’s home office tip: an old Lego box makes a good caddy for cables, notebooks, and other doodads.

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