Thanks for having me!

Sara and I often listen to spoken word when going to bed. Laurie Andersons Heart of a Dog is a recurring theme, but mostly it’s podcasts: We’ve gone through P2 Fågel and Klassiska Podden a couple of times, and the weekly Quirks and Quarks is in rotation as well. I’ve been listening to Q&Q for a couple of years, and enjoy the formulaic setup of the show – brief interviews with interesting scientists and related professionals, all hosted by the affable Bob McDonald. Despite some jarring choices in sound design, it’s pleasant enough to fall asleep to and the segments short enough that you might learn something before drifting off – do lobsters feel pain? Is there a sugar conspiracy?

Because the show is so formulaic, I was curious what it would sound like if we’d only hear the welcome and thanks of guests on the show. The idea is that there is content even in this – by Bobs tempo, timbre and accentuation – and I’m curious to hear what non-listeners hear in the exchanges.

So here are all the guests introduced by Bob McDonald at Quirks and Quarks the first half of 2018. I’ve excluded segments where people aren’t introduced (cold opens and collages), and normalized the audio. There’s no noise reduction for the different sources, and I’ve kept the intervals between Bob and the guests as is – silence is another signal, after all.

Perhaps the idea is all nonsense, but I found it to be interesting nonsense nonetheless. This was a much quicker exercise than other found audio stuff I’ve done – like Appropriate Christmas – but at least I can check one experiment off my list of silly things to try.

Preface: The Suffering

As a teenager I would listen to Frispel, which was broadcasted on P3 Sunday evenings. It was a pre-taped one hour experimental show, mixing fact and fiction, and focused a lot on creating an interesting atmosphere. Once it was cancelled, I wouldn’t find anything like it until Radiolab many years later, or perhaps some of the odder This American Life episodes. I still have a soft spot for radio turntablism stuff – and the movie Lucky People Center International is one I revisit every couple of years because of the tight editing and rhythm — so this weeks project was a short attempt to create an atmospheric clicky ambient thing, on the subject of suffering.

The music is all fiddled in Reason and the samples are from a lecture with Yo Hoon, available here. The track is finished as it is now; but I hope to return to the topic. Many years ago I did an ambient sound work called Appropriate Christmas which combined 2400 christmas songs into one long meditation, and in keeping with doing things for holidays, I’ll try to look into the nature of suffering and do a longer piece on it in time for easter.

Being a lapsed catholic the subject matter might not surprise anyone, but at least I’m not doing “guilt.” Yet.

Delinquest: And then gone
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2014: the year or fulfilment-or-bust.

A week or so ago I had a coffee with Jonas who once again graces Göteborg with his presence, and proposed something quite akin to a new years resolution: Start and finish one thing each week. What the thing would be is unspecific, but I imagine that an essay, a finished portrait or a DIY pre-amp, all would qualify. The point is that ever since I started working almost full time at Akademin Valand last spring, my free time has been spent tending to my FPS-hand, liver or occasionally the 3D printer. Most projects I come up with are either poorly defined or so broad in scope that they never move beyond the doodle-and-rambling stage.

Starting the previous week, I resolved to get one thing done by Sunday night, and deliver it regardless if it’s as polished as I’d like. I’m going to use the blog to keep me honest, and so, with less than one hour to spare, I present to you the latest VECKA7 track.

Born a car [Delinquest remix]
[audio:|titles=Born a car|artists=Delinquest]

VECKA7 is the sort-of-band a couple of us started last year, and the above track is my mix of the materials we recorded two months ago. Our other songs are up on and unless there’s opposition from the other members this mix will end up there as well — I’m hoping that each of us will do their own mix of the source material, which could be interesting.

I don’t know yet what I’ll try to accomplish next week, but I’ve put in in my calendar so will come up with something…

Reading the city. Dancing in the streets.

Exactly what common ground do the modular megastructure of Plug-In City and the instrumentalized cityscapes of Civilization share? Both of these frameworks propose that urban growth is an algorithmic or procedural operation whereby “the city” (rather than a singular edifice) embodies the essence of Le Corbusier’s technophilic proclamations that architecture should function as a “machine for living”.

→ Serial Consign, Greg Smith: Urban screens: The schematic city in gaming and architectural representation

Schmidt has uncovered a vast and beautiful temple complex, a structure so ancient that it may be the very first thing human beings ever built. The site isn’t just old, it redefines old: the temple was built 11,500 years ago—a staggering 7,000 years before the Great Pyramid, and more than 6,000 years before Stonehenge first took shape. The ruins are so early that they predate villages, pottery, domesticated animals, and even agriculture—the first embers of civilization.

→ Newsweek, Patrick Symmes: History in the Remaking

The first of two fingernails found at the site suggests Ötzi may have been ill. Characteristic lines across the nail suggest his immune system was compromised three times in the months prior to his death. The second nail has yet to be analysed.

→ Cosmos, John Pickrell: Who killed the iceman?

In his spare time Professor Nas is a magician. The magic he’s working for the car companies is to devise the right voice to make driving safest, certainly, but also a voice that gives the car a character that you like, so it seems like your friend, or the other half of your driving team; You and the car. As he puts it: A team-mate bucks you up when you’re down, A team-mate takes over when you need it to take over, and people looove team-mates.

→ BBC, From Our Own Correspondents, Steven Evans: Future of back-seat drivers

[audio:|titles=Future of back-seat drivers|artists=BBC – Steven Evans]

Music appreciation day in Gothenburg.

Petter has a taste in music. I’m not saying it’s always good, but he is a man of tastes. This taste brought us to the balcony of Henriksberg — a place for unpleasant young people, people who view of the harbor, and those who are there for the bands. We were there to watch the duo Civil Civic from Autralia, and I just noticed a writeup of their experience here: The Civil chronicle #6.

Somehow that blogpost forgot to mention the sauve and strapping young men who bought t-shirts after the excellent show, but perhaps they were thinking of other things. I look fetching in my t-shirt though. I recommend that you go to their MySpace and have a listen. You can buy their albums for any amount, which is neat since they’re a live act and not another guy with a laptop. (I’m not putting down people with laptops, just saying that a band with instruments and amps has more at stake than a midi-keyboard and a pirate copy of Cubase)

They’re an independent band and seem to put a lot of effort into the whole band experience thing which I understand the kids enjoy, as should you.

[audio:|titles=Less Unless|artists=Civil Civic]

Following Civil Civic, an even more party hardy band came on. Their music doesn’t carry well in a non-live setting, but the duo Fucking Werewolf Asso from Gothenburg kicked an excellent amount of arse. A drummer was exacting revenge on his drums for some past transgressions by beating the fuck out of them, and the bespectacled singer with Eraserhead hair stod with hand on hip, spewing awesome into the microphone over chiptune loops. If you get a chance to hear them, I wholeheartedly encourage you to go.

The main act was another local band with a punny name: Fulmakten. It’s a very style-conscious ensamble, and that’s the extent of what they had to offer. They were mimicking Swedish 80’s music so well they sounded like a generic tribute band, and I don’t think that was intentional. What little personality they had was contained in the splendid afro and facial hair of the singer. Then again, if you’re ever organizing a live roleplaying event which takes place thirty years ago on a cruise ship between Sweden and Finland, and are looking for that special blend of blandness, you’ll squeal in delight.

As a side note. With my 32:nd birthday out of the way last Monday, I’m wiser, closer to death, and have an updated list over who will get Christmas cards. Some will regret their lackadaisical approach to important dates.

Happy midsummer celebration, be careful out there!

Editing the point of view.

A couple of months ago there was a outrage and general brouhaha over an how ACORN — an organisation which helps underclass folk in US with getting bank loans and such — supposedly was advising a pimp & hooker couple on how to start a child prostitution business. It turned into a giant shitstorm, and it’s only now that the dust has settled and the source material has been examined that a more true version of the story is emerging.

→ MSNBC: Rachel Maddow explains how Fox News bought and sold the ACORN story. [Via Media Matters]

“This place,” says Bahram, shouting somewhat, it’s amazing. You can’t imagine! The schools, the hospitals, the way they live! And nothing is done by hand, even the baking, even cleaning the street. They have these little carts, just press a button. The police, they smile at you and say “hej.”

→ From our own correspondents, Monica Whitlock: Adjusting to Swedish life after the Andjian massacre

[audio:|titles=Adjusting to Swedish life after the Andjian massacre|artists=BBC, Monica Whitlock]

I do not want to prescribe a means of viewing images of Fabienne’s death. I am interested in informing the public about the photographers who witnessed and recorded the event.

Prison Photography, Pete Brook: Fabienne Cherisma [via A Photo Editor]

But what makes it all such good fun is the element of surprise. No matter how much you practise or prepare, many of your best mammal behaviour shots will be of moments you hardly remember – because they happened so fast. These are the ones that make all that effort worthwhile.

→ BBC Wildlife Magazine, Mark Carwardine: Mammal Behaviour [scroll down for individual PDF]

Fabbulousness and the taste of masses.

Bruce Sterling allowed Starship Sofa to podcast his novella The Kiosk the other day, and it’s two hours well spent if you’re in the least interested in the (possible) disruptive tendencies of fabbing and rapid manufacturing. Go listen to it before it disappears, then come back here. (You can skip the first ten minutes to get to the story)

Skip the first ten or so minutes, which are of more interest to sci-fi people rather than you, and take notes on which predictions you agree with. Having listened to the story, I had to remind myself that rapid prototyping is still in its infancy and not a foregone conclusion, lest I give up on it in favour of something more bleeding edge.

Change begins with you and your cellphone.

Ring signals intended for cellphones capable of using mp3-files; Submit yourself and your surroundings to what I present to you here. Download, load up and get down, with the following sound:

Download all of the sounds in one, handy, 1.5 MB file: Ring signals 2 (Previously)

How would you like it?


You shine… (hearing voices remix)


Pscha — guide to Polish pronounciation.


Vocabulary extension: Abash.


P.M means after lunch.


20 second attack and fade.


[The] Sound [It makes] as you move across the room is important. Also: Hair.

Adam Lisagor, better known as lonelysandwich in the podcast You Look Nice Today, has started a new fashion blog with Jessy Thorn of Sound of Young America, and it seems to be designed with me as it’s target audience. It’s called Put This On: A web series about dressing like a grownup, and it doesn’t focus as much on trends as just general hints on how to approach clothes if you want to pass as an adult. Since I’m going through some sort of sneakers & synthetic pants phase at the moment, I think it might be time for me to move to something a bit more snappy. I don’t know if “adult” is what I’d call it, but anything that would make me look more serious is in the right direction. I already have the dour face going for me, now I’d need some attire to go with it.

Also, hair! I’m going to get my hair cut next week and this time I don’t want to say “oh, just make it spiffy” so I’d like som advice on style. Please suggest haircuts which would suit me. If no-one posts anything I’m going with “asymmetric punk” and where do you think that will get me? Smoking crack on the tram, that’s where.


During the diving course this past summer we got the Garrett Hardins The Tragedy of the Commons to read and ponder. This years Nobel laurate of economy, Elinor Ostrom, won the prize partially because of work she did that contradicted the “tragedy” part of Hardins theory. She’s interviewed over at Planet Money and gives a brief introduction to her research. It’s odd that it’s taken until now for market economists to realise that there might be other forces at work than “rational free agents” or that such agents always constitute the lowest — and most flexible — denominator in economic systems. Has anarchism really gone so out of fashion that no-one reads Kropotkins theories on mutual aid anymore?

If you fancy listening to something interesting today, perhaps to brighten yet another day at the office, you could do much worse than to check out what Steven Stein has done: He took a crapload of preachers and put together an hour of ambient fundamentalism. It’s lordtacular! Go listen here: DJ Steinski Presents: Southern Preachers On The Radio. Via WFMU

Sibiria: A show about nothing.


[audio:Sibiria_2000_A_Show_About_Nothing_128kbps.mp3|titles=Sibiria: A Show About Nothing|artists=Mateusz Pozar]

Ten years ago I studied “Creativity and Innovation” in Karlstad. The extracurricular activities were more interesting than the studies; We got the student radio going and and had some five shows running each week. I had my own hour, Sibiria, which was patterned on the public radio show Frispel, a brilliant experimental weekly run by Fredrik Grundel at P3. Frispel was a freeform show which mixed samples and spoken content with music and effects, and it was original for it’s time. (If anyone has backups of those shows, please let me know. They’re difficult to get your hands on)

Out of the twenty or so shows that I did, I only have backups of two. A show about nothing came about when I didn’t have any ideas about what to do, and just ended up using bits and pieces I’d accumulated: A friend talking about light beer, the kings new years eve speech, computer game samples, and a whole bunch of audio effects. (I think I did it all using SoundEdit 16 with VST plugins which kept crashing)

This show was made almost ten years ago, so the music and aesthetics are a bit dated. Lucky People Center International had just been produced and I might have seen it by the time I ran Sibiria. For what it’s worth it’s a mostly well edited — occasionally slow going — hour of random stuff. If you wish to download a better quality version, right-click on the following link: Sibiria_2000_A_Show_About_Nothing_192kbps.mp3

(Thanks to Arne-Kjell for providing the MiniDisk player required to save the shows from bit rot)