I've had some weird coincidences recently. Last night's took the cake. About to watch Only Murders in the Building, I first watched a brief Michael Mann interview, during which was a Last of the Mohicans clip — only for Martin Short to then say the same line in the OMitB episode.

Details at disquiet.com/0554.

Deadline: Monday, August 15, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are.

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Disquiet Junto Project 0554: Cage Chord

The Assignment: Riff on a chord by John Cage.

This project is the third of three that are being done in collaboration with the 2022 Musikfestival Bern, which will be held in Switzerland from September 7 through 11. The topic this year is “unvermittelt,” which is a little tricky to translate. Literally it’s “unmediated,” but it can also mean “sudden,” “abrupt,” or “immediate.”

Step 1: Consider this chord:


If MIDI is of use to you, here is a link to the chord in a MIDI file:


Step 2: You might read up a bit about the source of the chord, the piece “Organ²/ASLSP” by John Cage. Cage desired the piece to be played “As Slow As Possible.” Currently it is being performed in Halberstadt, Germany, on a special organ that will play it for a total of 639 years. It’s been going for 21 years so far, and is at this moment playing the above chord. Read up here:


Step 3: Produce a loopable drone (duration between one and three minutes) of your own based on that chord.

Note: Submitted drones will be sequenced into one large drone piece to be played at the Cage Room, a pop-up workshop and exhibition space of the festival at Progr, Bern, Switzerland.

Very fun project tomorrow. To prep, listen to this. (Instructions via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto on August 11.) It's another collaboration with Musikfestival Bern, thanks to Tobias Reber. Select submissions will be played at the festival.


You’re traveling for a few weeks without a guitar. How do you best practice guitar (other than locating a loaner)?

Speaking note sequences out loud?
Disecting chords?
Watching tutorials?
Reading theory?

Ideas welcome. Thanks.

Thinking about diminished chords for too long has diminished my brain. Generally speaking the more complex chords look like chemistry symbols to me, but the slash-zero as half-diminished chord in the thick handwriting of the Real Book makes me think about the runes in an old Tolkien paperback.

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A few years ago I made this flow chart of which Mastodon posts end up in which timelines!

So, you can see how each instance will have a different local timeline, and even a slightly different federated timeline - and you can see why the federated timeline moves so much faster than the local one, too.

This is why it's important to boost good posts and use hashtags - the fediverse is fragmented and harder to search by nature.

[ #mastodon #meta #tootorial #howto #mastopedia #mastotip ]

Just finished reading Blindsight by Peter Watts. In it, a post-human spaceship crew is on the verge of first contact. And just to make matters more complicated, the ship is sentient and the person in command is a vampire. This is so-called "hard" sci-fi, but unlike a lot of hard sci-fi that's really just arcane jargon en masse, this is actually hard (as in difficult), in that the technical matters are connected to what it means to be human — heck, to be alive.

I've listened to these conversations (1966-67) between John Cage and Morton Feldman numerous times. I feel like I had a PDF of the transcripts once upon a time, but no longer. Finally scored a paperback copy.

When projects go out on time, tracks start getting produced earlier, meaning there's a playlist earlier. This is the start of four-plus days of folks recording in a steady tempo but breaking it on occasion (interpreted as they choose).


The drum tests all echo like John Bonham at the far end of a dusty Valhalla hallway, and the vocal mic checks suggest Yoko Ono leading a Fluxus reunion at the edge of the Grand Canyon. Tomorrow begins three straight days of verse/chorus/verse monotony, but today is enjoyable.

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I live close to Golden Gate Park. The best part of the Outside Lands Festival is Thursday, when the bands tune up, as they are doing now. It's a popular-music rendition of one of Christopher DeLaurenti's orchestra tuning recordings: bits of riffs as the sound system gels.

It's satisfying to play a guitar chord where you use your thumb, wrapped around the neck from behind, on the low E string as part of the fingering.

There's a new @DanielLanois record due out in September, its title (Player, Piano) featuring an attention-getting comma.


1. Working on "Someone to Watch Over Me."

2. Thing I said in guitar class: "I think I'm feeling like the second half of 'Flowers for Algernon' today."

3. Also: We're at the point where guitar chords look a bit like chemistry symbols.

4. George Gershwin was a genius.

End of of the weekend, edge of the world.

(Photographed yesterday evening.)

My Instagram feed is filled with flyers, mostly hand-drawn, for concerts that list the date but not the year and the address but not the city.

(I’m guessing this is not some next-generation UX testing and, instead, merely a personalized reflection of my past browsing.)

Pioneering statistical data analysis takeaways of BBS discussions by people talking about recording their own electronic music:

1% gear someone made
2% money someone was(n't) paid
7% music someone made
15% gear someone used
25% gear someone wants
50% pictures of gear

The word "blindsight" finally appears in Peter Watts' novel of that name about 45% of the way through, sort of how the term "termination shock" appears roughly 50% of the way through Neal Stephenson's novel of that name. I've seen other examples, but that's the one on my mind.

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