Disquier Junto Project 0416: Time Laps

Hello from San Francisco. The year is almost over. Next week will be the last Disquiet Junto project of 2019, and then a whole new year begins. Speaking of time, it’s our subject this week.

Thanks, as always, for your generosity with your time and creativity.

Disquiet Junto Project 0416: Time Laps
The Assignment: Improvise successive layers, each time reversing the previous layer.

The project is intended as a series of live improvisations, but certainly interpret the instructions as you see fit.

Step 1: Record a short piece of live, improvised music.

Step 2: Reverse the audio recorded in Step 1.

Step 3: Record a live improvisation on top of the reversed audio that resulted from Step 2. (Do this by listening to and responding to the playback in real time.) Then flatten the two layers into one layer.

Step 4: Reverse the combined audio (both layers flattened) resulting from Step 3.

Step 5: Record a live improvisation on top of the reversed audio that resulted from Step 4. (Do this by listening to and responding to the playback in real time.) Then flatten the two layers into one layer.

Step 6: Reverse the combined audio (both layers flattened) resulting from Step 5. This is your finished piece (unless you’d like to do additional layers, continuing the flip-flopping, for as many times as you’d like).

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0416” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0416” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:


Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #disquietjunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, December 23, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, December 19, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0416” in the title of the track, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, post one finished track with the project tag, and be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: Consider setting your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 416th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Time Laps / The Assignment: Improvise successive layers, each time reversing the previous layer:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:


There’s also a Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

The project is now live.

Listening to a lot of Sonny Sharrock, James Blood Ulmer etc lately, which sort of inspired this–three layers of the same guitar, completely dry. A wonderfully disorienting exercise!


I didn’t completely follow the directions. I was worried that if I improvised and so on that I would just end up with a big smear.

So, what I did was take my 0415 project and applied a analogous process to the directions given. Anyway, I’m working on expanding that piece and wanted to play with it a bit as an exercise. So that’s my little excuse for not following the rules.


I cannot believe the timing of this. I was making my own foot controller so that I could play guitar and manipulate Ableton’s looper audio effect at the same time … and about an hour after I’d just assigned the reverse looper function to one of the footswitches, Marc’s email arrived.

I recorded this track live in one take - layering volume swelled guitar, reversing, octave drop, layering, reversing… - although it was my fifth or sixth attempt to get things sounding OK. The only thing I did after recording was to lightly EQ and select where to fade the track. My rig is a bit crackly and noisy, so eight or so layers of that and things get pretty creaky and crumbly. I happen to like it.

Now, before you all get excited and ask whether you can order this mysterious pedal from me, you better take a look at the design:

For those of you who want to laugh some more at this “pedal”, feel free to check out:


Since recording is not a possibility for me, I replaced the recording instruction with writing. The flute begins with a theme, then that theme is played in retrograde while the oboe offers its own theme. As the clarinet enters with its theme the flute repeats what it has already played and the oboe begins a retrograde of its theme. Finally the bassoon enters as the oboe replays what it has played and the clarinet plays a retrograde of its theme.

To break things up an interlude is presented, which is then played in retrograde. Following this the bassoon plays a retrograde of the clarinet’s theme, accompanied by the clarinet playing the interlude theme. This idea is repeated as the clarinet, oboe and flute play retrograde themes of other instruments and the piece finally ends.

Much easier is simply listening to the piece for what it is without the distraction of the explanation.

Retrograde was written for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon.

The score is available at http://bit.ly/38YgJMX


I tackled this project by using apeMatrix to record and reverse layers of mirack and ruismaker noir patches. The patches were mostly little generative sequences and I improvised by tinkering around with the virtual knobs. I kinda got lost with all the reversing and overdubbing and have lost a few hours on the sofa happily prodding away at my MaxiPad.


Layers of bass guitar recorded into Ableton Live.

I bent the rules a bit as I didn’t flatten the layers, but looped and mixed them


i used piano genie and just played around
lost count of how many times i reversed it
a bit of reverb and slowed down too


Are you a masochist who wants to endure the horrible pain of standing on lego pieces while performing? xD
This is really cool though - I’ve tried using the Ableton looper a few times and while I like it, the fact that ordinarily you have to use your hands to control it really puts me off using it more. Great solution you’ve got here :smiley:

A haunting and meditative track btw !


I began making this on a train with just my OP-1 - since that has the ability to reverse tape, flatten tracks to one layer easily etc I decided it was a great opportunity to use just one device.

I had a vague idea I wanted to manipulate voice in some way towards the end. So, for the first few layers I focused on just getting an ambient foundation with some percussion in the background somewhere.
My process was basically: improvise while recording to tape, hold reverse and record to album, resample back to track. Add layer. Repeat.
The initial layers I quickly realised sounded pretty much the same reversed as forward (and going through the OP-1 compressor again and again did other weird things to the sounds).
So using a voice was quite essential for me to really get the sense that I was actually doing something interesting with the guidelines this week… and well you’ll hear the result of that :smiley:
Flattening everything to one layer means it becomes a bit of a wall of sound, with nothing going on to utilise the full stereo-width unfortunately - so its a bit in your face. The waveform is just one giant block.

There’s some annoying crackling / popping going on at times, which is I think due to the fact I had a dangling line in cable still attached while I was recording and possibly still had it set to record the input.


The playlist is now live:

I’ve been away for a while. Anyway, here’s mine:


Just realized that I misspelled “Disquiet” in the title of this thread. I’d change it, but I think that’d change the URL.


Thank you for yet another fine challenge!

For this, the main synth is my magic Prophet 6 - with added rhythmic elements and drenched in reverbs from the new (free) Raum VST from Native Instruments.

The title is, of course, a nod to the inspiration for the starting arp’s, as well as, well, the season.


I have a small buchla system which is just a 258, a 292 and a doboz TSNM 4U. I started with a drone with some FM from a single oscillator. Then I played some “bongos” just pinging the gates on the second pass. Then a bass, then finally a “train whistle” with both osc.

All of the audio was fed through the mixer on my Paia 4700, then into VCV Rack utilizing Valley Plateau, NYSTHI Master Recorder, Simpliciter for flip flopping and Chronoblob for some delay.



This week’s prompt was almost algorithmic (improvise; reverse; improvise; merge; reverse; improvise; print). And I found myself in a hectic holiday season with a reduced set of gear (an electric guitar, digital piano and laptop). And I thought to myself that the trick here will be leaving enough space in the mix as you reverse and print and reverse and print to leave you with enough room for those layers.

And of course time matters too. A steady pad backwards is just a steady pad. An attack will sound like a swell.

And finally, I wanted to make something with some motion.

So this week I turned on the metronome to 5/4 160bpm and kinda played that electric guitar a bit like a bass, but a bit not, and then reversed it and layered on a piano played a bit like a piano but a bit like a clav, and turned it around, and that reverse piano sound just made me happy. I think second or third take on most everything and I left some of the slop in there. And finally I mentally time traveled back to the late 70s, whipped up an interesting bright synth lead on surge, played a little theme, and this week’s tiny item ends up complete: “In Time With Space (disquet0416)”


hello all

much fun indeed
improvised on pedal organ
then electricity guitar
then acoustic bass
and then drums
did a bit of reversing along the way
a bit of tweaking at the end
and hey presto


The Junto feels rushed again this week, but it was good to explore reversing parts.

I used drums that I’d recorded earlier as the starting point, reversed them for the electric ukulele.

Then reversed them again to play the bass, before adding the guitar to the reversed track.

Along the way I struggled to stick to a fairly simple chord progression.

A few takes were required to ensure I stayed in key, then it was a challenge to match the video.

(It’d be good if Ableton enhanced their video handling in the next version of Live so that it could reverse video as well as audio.)


This started with a couple of square wave tones from the Korg Monotron Delay; improvising with the cutoff and feedback knobs (and at one point, accidentally, the LFO interval). I improvised against the reversed first track with my electric guitar through some distortion, a phaser and a reverb. This was then reversed and accompanied by a piano-like patch on the Arturia Pigments synth. At the end I couldn’t help but Paulstretch the reversed result (again, half speed being the best speed even if slightly against the rules…).