Year: 2012

Retrospective Reflector [Disquiet0051-audiojournal]


This is my 28th submission to the Junto. This is a mix of my work for the Junto and singles and demos I’ve released (and one not) this year. Thank you to everyone in the group for your generosity, friendship and acceptance. And a special Thank You! to Mark Weidenbaum of, for dreaming up this amazing opportunity to learn and grow as a musician, songwriter, sound artist and general noisemaker.

These are just stitched together, eq’ed and compressed a bit for volume stability.

Jan: nearly there (alprazolam dream #76c) [disquiet0004-mfischer]
Feb: Nowhere Man (cover) [Unreleased]
Mar: Manhattan Bridge Train [Disquiet0011-motoring]
Apr: Jack Kirby’s 99th Dream [disquiet0014-oumupo]
May: sliver of sky [disquiet0019-rojiura]
Jun: the rime of the ancient pacific garbage patch [disquiet0026-composting]
Jul: The 12th Step [2012a]
Aug: friction and the flame [disquiet0031-onomatch]
Sep: The Know It Alls At Bloomingdale’s [disquiet0037-asrealasitgets1]
Oct: AustinTown (inst.) [disquiet0042-naivemelody]
Nov: crystalline sky grace [disquiet0044-sandy2012]
Dec: Crystal Never Hurts [rough mix 2012b]


This week’s project is a sound journal, an audio history of the past year. You will select a different audio element to represent each of the past 12 months of 2012. You will then select one five-second segment from each of these audio elements. Then you will stitch these dozen five-second segments together in chronological order to form one single one-minute track. There should be no overlap or gap between segments; they should simply proceed from one to the next.

These audio elements will most likely be of music that you have yourself composed and recorded, but they might also consist of phone messages, field recordings, or other source material. These items should be somehow personal in nature, suitable to the autobiographical intention of the project; they should preferably of your own making, and not drawn from third-party sources.…


i shot @averagecabbage shot me

[RFG_gallery id=’1′]

Upon landing in sayulita, mx’s international surfport for new years 08/09 and clearing a sleeping customs canine, @AverageCabbage and I had twin parallel urges to explore the airfield until the other 1/2 of our galactic retinue arrived on a later flight. So we devised a plan to avoid security (i.e., gave our assigned driver a nudie) and slipped off behind the terminal.

We first came to an annex building, a 15×15 foot shed with a single window and a screen door. Notebooks climbed to the ceiling, the air was dark and the light dank. Flight logs and maintenance records were strewn everywhere and covered in old-vine cobwebs. A dust, colored like Mrs. Dash, aerosoled in the vacuum release of our opening the door.

We found nothing seductive, so we continued on and absconded behind the shed through some brush that required the use of Adam’s machete. We came to a clearing. On the far end were two wrecked planes. The near one was in better shape, at least for touching (you know, no snakes). I snapped this shot of him on the wing of the plane using his iPhoney 1.0 for his lake-roohm blogge:

His lake roohm one day will be part of the MOMA’s permanent collection and will also be on an iPad next to Archie Bunker’s chair in the Smithsonian. I did a fake lake roohm response to his Lake Roohm, too, for some megameta-dissonance. And thus we live.

crystal never hurts

a rock/pop song sneaks out from behind an ambient intro. what you never know never hurts.
– :^D

crystal, I was truly blessed by that
necklace prism rainbow
splashed across your breast.

now look at the sky we made
and all the stars we named
they’re just goodbye songs.

what you never know never hurts
if we never meet again, rest assured.
don’t waste time between the lines
of everything you learned.
what you never know never hurts.

that was the best of me
back in two thousand three.
shelter + safety.
i believed we’d have

a life beyond the rave.
we could curtain the world away.
but nothing works that way.

what you never know never hurts
if we never meet again, rest assured.
don’t waste time between the lines
of everything you learned.
what you never know never hurts.

#TheMexicanTaxi: Behind The Mexican Doctor


– 4:52 am, 29 December 2008

– 00:10.00 – i filled-in as director of fliptography for the pivotal shot of the doctor’s entrance

– director david tuohy planted his elbow in a bowl of oranges to make an articulating tri-pod for his fliphand. genius!

– adam made everyone call him Jesus (using spanish pronunciation: “hey-‘seuss”) and he called me “spaceman” so he wouldn’t break character.

Cassette Kirtan [disquiet0049-deckduet]


Contact mic’ed a microcassette recorder (my only current working tape deck). Measured 86.48 BPM using the manual tempo tap on a Line6 POD-XT. Meditated over the lulling beat with a guitar. Pickups were thrown out-of-phase and then the guitar signal was sent through delay, auto-swell and phaser. There’s also a Paulstretched A-chord strum (24x) behind the track.

Dedicated to all my (patient) ashtanga teachers through the years.

Rig: Olympus Pearlcorder S950 Microcassette Recorder, K&K Electric contact mics, Jolie (custom Gibson ES-335 Dot Reissue), Paulstretch (Windows standalone), Ibanez DMD2000 Digital Delay, Line6 POD-XT (phaser, auto-swell and “analog” delay), djembe loops, tamborine

Step 1: Record the sound of your tape deck in play mode. Make note of the rhythm inherent in your tape deck: at what BPM does it progress?

Step 2: Create a short new piece of music — simple, atmospheric, lightly rhythmic — that has the same BPM as the tape deck.

Step 3: Make a recording that combines your new piece of music and the sound of the tape cassette deck at close to equal volume. Almost certainly, the rhythm of the deck and the rhythm of your composition won’t match up exactly. (You can accomplish this in one of two ways. You can simply combine the two recordings into one — or, more complexly, you can record your track to a cassette and play it back on your deck, in order to record the music and the deck simultaneously; adjusting the volume in this scenario will be complicated, but the rhythmic discrepancies might end up with more nuance.)


More on this 49th Disquiet Junto project at:

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


22 November 2012

Infinite Destination | 2010
Long Road Ahead | 2009
ok | 2010
Echo Lake | 2007
Words Of Release | 2009
Dream #3: Austin | 2011
Zipline | 2010
Windfall | 2004
Sayulita | 2010
Always In The Sky | 2011

Bandcamp | FreeMusicArchive

cover photo by Westy Reflector of “Untitled” by Drew Barrymore (sharpie and prismacolor markers with scotch tape on matchbook cover, 2009)


wrote this in 1996 on a chicago to peoria drive.

shirley got electricity back in 1939
kept the milk from spoiling and rotting right there on the vine
just so happened when i drove through
shirley said she didn’t but i knew that she knew
all that power wasn’t flowing through the lines

normal had its heyday back in 1945
almost ½ the town had made it back ½ alive
and there was a house or two for every boy and girl
they had all just beaten back the enemy of that world
and all that government money made it easy to survive

the straightest shot became a straighter line
when 66 became 55
you can see it every time you go for a drive
66 became 55

mclean didn’t care for kennedy back in 1959
still, they circled chicago with a highway and called it the dan ryan
shirley & normal thought they’d never need another road
‘cause they said that 6 lane highway could carry any load
and shirley and normal forgot what it meant to stop at a light

66 became 55

they put a cyclone in the center of town
they fought for all those parking spots from miles around
seventy-five feet high and a mile and a quarter around
all that light, all that color, all that sound

now shirley went all l.a. and normal wants to be las vegas
so jackpot boats float down the river where huck finn said “big jim saved us.”
and there is a coin or two for every girl and boy
if you think you earned it, it could not have been a ploy
you know that story. it’s old. ’cause history never changed it

the straightest shot became a straighter line
when 66 became 55
you can see it every time you go for a drive
hey, 66 became 55

66 is off to the side
because it’s the service road of 55
½ the town
is ½ alive

Stand Up, Sherlock [disquiet0045-sherlocksawyer]

Dance break!

Kinda off my beaten path, so have a laugh with me on it. Did not use a guitar this time (honoring a promise to @all-n4tural).

Sentence 1 (from Tom Sawyer):
“I dare you to step over that and I’ll lick you ’til you can’t stand up.”

Sentence 2 (from Sherlock Holmes):
“A shadow of a doubt as to my conduct would bring the matter to an end.”

Resulting Sentence:
“I a-dare you to step over that wood [sic] shadow, and I’ll lick you ’til you can’t stand my conduct up, as to bring the matter of a doubt to an end.”

Linguistic license was taken with the word “would” to use it as its homonym “wood.” Then I collected a bunch of drum, bass, elec piano, turntable & synth loops hanging out in my “Drive H:” and kitchen-sinked them.

First, select one sentence from two different pre-existing spoken sources and combine them in any manner you wish into one sentence, using the entirety of both sentences.

Second, add an underlying sonic bed — a musical score — to lend dramatic tension to the newly created sentence.


The source audio for this project is the public domain LibriVox recordings of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. ; ;

More on this 45th Disquiet Junto project at:…45-sherlocksawyer/

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

crystalline sky grace [disquiet0044-sandy2012]

Still a bit shellshocked here in Brooklyn, NYC. While wrestling with a few other concepts in the last couple days, Amazing Grace kept floating in the air. I believe in forces greater than myself, but I am not religious so much as spiritual. That is, I don’t believe these forces around us act with intention. Sandy didn’t “do” anything to us. She becomes, however, like every disaster, man-made or otherwise, an unwitting catalyst of grace, a measure of everything we “do” for ourselves and each other. The sky was so blue today. Crystalline.

Guitar: Jolie (cherry-red Gibson ES-335)
Amp Modeling: Line-6 POD-XT (setting: “Insane,” described as a “Dual Rectifier on 10 being used as a preamp for a Soldano.”)
Pedal: Ibanez Screamer
Software: Sony Acid 7.0, Paulstretch for Windows, Audacity for Mac

All sounds other than the guitar were derived from the shared recordings by Michael Raphael detailed below (fuzz distortion and Paulstretch harmonics were the key ingredients).

Create an original track that makes a transition from stormy to placid over the course of its duration. Your track should open fiercely and then slowly give way to calm. You can use additional instruments of your choosing, but the original field recordings should serve as source material both for the stormy and for the placid portions of your track. In other words: the calm part of the track should be built in large part from audio of the storm.


The source audio from the 2012 storm Sandy was documented by Michael Raphael, an SFX recordist who maintains the field recording blog Fieldsepulchra at His sound effects can be found at Rabbit Ears Audio:

More on this 44th Disquiet Junto project at:

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

kamikuma: remixes of The Know It Alls

kamikuma (natalia kamia), one my fav soundclouders, hails from Gothenburg, Sweden. “anything can be translated” says her profile, but let the mystery be for while and just absorb her work. she creates space within and around her sounds, which is a high calling, and results often in tracks that are as exhilarating as they can be challenging. she surprised me with remixes using my field recording of the bloomingdale’s flagship store on 59th street and lexington avenue in manhattan. the original field recording follows her notes below.


Collage Westly-Reflector, The Know It Alls At Bloomingdales/DEADWOOD, Big Sizes Only,samples. Mechanic beats made of samples from Westy-Reflector’s track and Post by Lem Hertihy, cut up and sped up. All the sources in disquiet 0037 As Real As It Gets.

Cut and paste, loops.

More on this 43rd Disquiet Junto project at:…43-dazzledmachine/

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:

This Disquiet Junto project was done in association with the exhibit As Real as It Gets, organized by Rob Walker at the gallery Apex Art in Manhattan (November 15 – December 22, 2012):


Contemplating the machinery at a distance with a fascination of a voyeur.

I made two tracks – the first one is a hiphoplike cut and paste.This one is employing the natural groove of Zedkah’s track, with a mechanic beat at a low volume and panned away. It is more like a shopping reverie.

Sources: Zedkah, Penguins, Sweets, Fish, Trousers 0038; SIGHUP, Cashiers, Loblaw St. Clair…0037 (sample), collage Westy-Reflector, The Know It Alls…/DEADWOOD,Big Sizes Only-0037; mechanic beat made of cut up/sped up samples from Lem Hertihy, Post and Westy Reflector, The Know It Alls…0037.

More on this 43rd Disquiet Junto project at:…43-dazzledmachine/

More details on the Disquiet Junto at:


AustinTown (inst.) [disquiet0042-naivemelody]

The instrument I have played for the longest time is a 1965 Framus 5/59-525 Sorella thinline. My dad bought it for $12 at a garage sale in 1982 and told me, “Make this sound like you mean it and we’ll see about getting you a nicer guitar.” Despite her given name, I call her Stella (though she’s not to be confused with Framus’s same-era Stella archtop line). Through the years, she fell into a state of unplayability, so in 2003 I brought her to Paul Schwartz of Peekamoose Guitars (, who plugged it in, laughed his ass off and said, “Why not? Let’s make her sing again.” Paul took a couple months and reworked her into a ridiculous time warp. The wiring needed some updating, but the pickups, fretting, sunburst finish, inlays, etc are all still original. The bridge, also original, is not fixed to the body, so if she’s strummed too hard, the intonation goes all over the place, but that’s part of the charm. Tonight, I plugged Stella into a Line-6 Pod-XT emulator of a ’64 blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb and put a slight plate echo on the affair for the tone here.

The instrument I have played for the least amount of time is my iPhone AniMoog app. I always wanted a Moog and for $9.99, I’m carrying one around in my pocket since about May. I’ve used it in some other Junto projects and also in a track I recorded this past summer called “The 12th Step.” Still just scratching the surface of it, though, and really just jabbing at it, hoping my fingers don’t hit too many keys. The iPhone is okay for typing language, but it’s a terrible musical keyboard. On the other hand, there’s something about being restricted to 2 octaves and 1 hand that heightens the naivete, so it seems to fit the assignment.…