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: TV

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: Doppler Cycling, Avril Livecoding, Car Alarms

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.

▰ I ask myself, “What will I reward myself with if I don’t look at Twitter or Facebook all weekend?”

On Monday, I understand that the true reward is that I didn’t look at Twitter or Facebook all weekend.

▰ Doppler effect in full effect at the track in Golden Gate Park, various cyclists flying by with their individual soundtracks blaring, varying speeds allowing for occasional generative mashups as the after-work crew gains in number.

▰ Hyperlocal breaking news, but Sichuan Home on Geary in San Francisco now makes its own sausage. With respect to the vegans who may stumble on this tweet, the image is at instagram.com/dsqt.

▰ Prepping for one of the best cultural holidays of the year, Eric Ducker notes the 20th anniversary of Aphex Twin’s “Avril 14th”: nytimes.com.

▰ Witness in all its monospace beauty as Lil Data brings Aphex Twin’s “Avril 14th” to life one typed character at a time: twitter.com/lildata. The source code (in TidalCycles) is at github.com/jarmitage.

▰ Phase 1: I was definitely not expecting an acoustic guitar Misfits campfire singalong on Mayans M.C. this week.

Phase 2: And even that didn’t prepare me for the GG Allin campfire singalong that came later in the episode.

▰ #protip You can mute (and even block) every account whose advertisements pop up in your Twitter feed. (I can’t imagine this option won’t go away at some point, so enjoy it while you’ve got it.)

▰ Car alarms never actually stop. They simply pause before starting again.

“If two analyses done in the 1990s still hold, 95 to 99 percent of all car-alarm triggerings are literally false alarms.”

If I can sort out which car it is, I’m going to print out this Ilana E. Strauss article and put it on the windshield: theatlantic.com.

I believe the end of this particular car alarm scenario will resemble the end (spoiler!) of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, when the entire neighborhood lines up to destroy the car in question.

Car alarms are, in effect, a weaponized rendition of John Cage’s 4’33”. Rather than frame silence with a mime-like depiction of the formal structure of a piano recital, one demarcates its temporal and qualitative boundaries with annoying, thoughtless, grating, high-volume bleats.

I’ll say, on the ninth or tenth round of the alarm going off since 5:57am today, I’ve come to admire the professionalism of whoever devised the horn. It cuts through walls, glass, bone, and the comfort of one’s own living space. Someone got a PhD in acoustics of crying babies.

At this point, much of this block must now be deep in some sort of shared hyperspeed PTSD, as we all await the inevitable return of the car alarm going off. Before, there was silence when the alarm stopped. Now there is just a premonition of noise.

9:42: I’m working from home, and I’ve got a ton to do, and some calls, but I guess I’ll just keep live-tweeting this car alarm from the comfort of my couch until someone sets the vehicle on fire.

11:32: Interesting. The car alarm has not sounded again since 9:42. Likely the car has been moved and is mundanely terrorizing another neighborhood.

1:31pm: The car alarm has returned. Someone finished their errands, apparently. They forgot to purchase earmuffs for the rest of us.

It’s 7:39am the next day and there’s been no alarm since my previous tweet in this thread, but I recognize that the dense electronic signal ecology of modern life in combination with the fragile ego circuitry of car alarms means simply tweeting this may set it off again.

▰ Having the cover of your current book as your Kindle’s lockscreen will be great. But since getting what you’ve wanted is rarely enough, now I’ll want a quick process to turn the Kindle lockscreen into a to-do list, calendar, or some other single-page document.

▰ Perhaps not all of my confusion is the result of pandemic brain:

The Last of Us
Among Us
Them
Us
This Is Us

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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: Avril Fools, Redesign, Alias

From the past week

I do this manually each week, collating 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 (in expanded form) 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.

▰ Pretty much the only good thing about April Fools’ Day is it means we’re 13 days from “Avril 14th” Day.

▰ 2020: Hell is a message board debate

2021: Hell is a Discord debate about a Slack channel debate about a message board debate

▰ Guitar pedal manufacturers need to send more of their demo pedals to people who don’t actually play guitar. Case in point, Emily Hopkins. (For the record, I am taking guitar lessons, so in no way am I suggesting myself as a recipient.)


▰ It shouldn’t go without saying how different each platform is. A valuable exercise, even a creative pursuit: post one slightly involved item to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and as a blog post and a podcast bit. Different formats, requiring platform-specific approaches. I regularly use Twitter as a public notebook. My disquiet.com posts and podcast essays and longer pieces often first take root here. Not only here. Much of it is the result of a good walk, but here, too.

▰ It’s fine, though disappointing, if there’s no Alias reunion for the show’s 20th anniversary, but could we at least get a remix EP of Michael Giacchino’s main title music? (Or maybe it was JJ Abrams who composed the theme, as a friend reminded me. In any case, yes, a remix collection, please.)

▰ Oh, cool. There is going to be a second season of Gentefied.

▰ “Waiting for cache”

▰ Redesign of Disquiet.com underway with help from some friends. Cleaner read, less cluttered, better organization.

▰ Watching a friend’s new picture book for kids (and adults with excellent taste) take shape, and wondering if people who make colored pencils sometimes look at a book and recognize their tools in the mix the way someone who makes a synthesizer module might hear it in a track.

▰ Finally watched Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You last night, and (1) I liked it a lot a lot a lot, and (2) this morning I learned that the two main characters from Your Name have cameos in it, and (3) I haven’t committed Makoto Shinkai’s name to memory so I cut and pasted it.

▰ Progression:

:)
LOL
ALOL
AALOL
AAALOL
AAAALOL
AAAAALOL

A = “actually”

▰ Honk if you’ve been listening to a lot of Karen Dalton since this week’s episode of Mayans M.C.

▰ My main pandemic food observation is cayenne is good on everything, especially vanilla ice cream, especially if you toss in some roasted peanuts. That is my final statement of this week. Have a wonderful weekend, or best you can. Complicated times, so don’t set the bar too high.

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