Disquiet Junto 0258: Sonic Climate

Disquiet Junto Project 0258: Sonic Climate
Express your local weather in sound.

Step 1: The Junto is international, with participants all around the globe. For some it is winter, for others summer. Winter, in turn, means one thing in one place, and another elsewhere. Same for summer, and everything in between. Think about your climate this time of year, and the sounds associated with that climate.

Step 2: Record a short piece of sound that expresses your local climate this time of year.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Per the instructions below, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0258″ (no spaces) in the name of your track. If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to my locating the tracks and creating a playlist of them.

Step 2: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 3: In this discussion thread at llllllll.co please consider posting your track.

Step 4: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 5: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This project was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, December 8, 2016, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, December 12, 2016.

Length: The length is up to you, but three to four minutes sounds about right.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0258” 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: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 258th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Sonic Climate: Express your local weather in sound” — at:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:

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

Image associated with this project is Rebecca Siegel, used thanks to a Creative Commons license:



It’s December in Iowa and we just had our first snow, around 3 inches, but part of it melted before the temps plunged so the landscape is streaked with white.

My house has a decorative rock driveway, which I find very beautiful most of the year but is ridiculous in the winter. You cannot shovel a rock driveway like you do concrete or asphalt. You definitely can’t use a snow blower! I use an aluminum roof rake to drag the snow (and some rocks) to each side of the driveway. It doesn’t take very long to do, but when I’m finished it always looks like an incomplete job.

“Frozen Rock Driveway” is a combination of various new sounds, mixed together. All pieces were originally created using the iOS app Samplr.


winter! in tokyo.
oh, i want to go somewhere warm place.



For this track I used the BBC’s weather forecast (9 December) for my local area (Liverpool) as my template. The track photo above gives some clues!

  • I divided the track into 24 bars (hours) and set it to 30 bpm so that it lasted just over 3 minutes.

  • I then used the weather for each hour to determine the choice of instruments. Alchemy was my main synth and I selected presets with ‘rain’ or ‘cloud’ in their description.

  • Wind speed and direction drove a white noise ‘wind’ pad in terms of its velocity and panning respectively.

  • Light clouds triggered a higher melody line, dark clouds brought in a bass line.

  • Light rain brought in one ‘rain’ line, heavier rain added an additional texture.

  • Different pads were used for daytime (after sunrise and before sunset) and night.

  • The percussion was randomly generated (using P22 text-to-speech) from the text of the forecast itself.

The sequence of 8 notes used for the melody, bass, pads, etc. was derived from the word ‘DECEMBER’. The notes D, E, C suggested D minor to me (particularly as the weather’s pretty grim at the moment). The letters M and R gave A# and G by cycling through the Dm scale to the 13th and 18th notes. The B was an accidental, but seemed to sound ok. So the sequence of notes is: D, E, C, E, A#, B, E, G.

At least if you think the track sounds awful, I can always blame the weather!



it’s been a funny winter oscillating between freezing and mild. everyone keeps saying its gonna be a cold one but at the moment it’s…nice. except i can’t experience it as warm - it’s that perception of getting colder , expectation., like the same temp in march would be warm. and it looks frosty in a way. also i’ve got a sense of foreboding which is interacting.

i wanted to express this feeling. i chose my mountain dulcimer as sound source. the instrument contains for me the bipolar sense of weather from US film/tv tropes of it either being freezing snow or californian sun. also a reference to political foreboding (the dulcimer comes from the german zither)

i recorded the dulcimer close mic’d thru lots of guitar fx, playing desolate to warm
mangled this with lots of icy reverb and echo, to get the sense of winter echoing.


my track:


These last few days, beginning of December, almost winter in Paris, we had a beautiful sunny weather that lasted for a whole week (and going). Sunny and cold (for Paris standards, as Marc points in his introduction, this could be considered an indian summer in Detroit or Moscow). Some get a kick of summertime and heat, but for me nothing compares to winter days, with cold air and blue sky, mild sun shining. That’s my own personal adrenaline shot.
The low side here: we have a pollution crisis; cars are restricted, public transport free. You’re supposed to feel the intoxicating affect of the small particles in your nose and eyes and throat. But I can’t help it; I go maniac, ridiculously happy.
So I got a request to make an instrumental track reflecting that contradiction: beautiful weather spoiled by pollution. The track accepted had a nice soft sytnh sound with glitches and noises breaking the beauty.
But I prefer this, my first option. Perhaps due to an overdose of noise with last week’s junto, I couldn’t quite go for noises to spoil this one. All I could do is adding some synth sparkles. But it was refused: there’s not pollution! Too nice! too naive!!
So here’s for you, my innocent take on the sunny side of Paris. I know that “Sonic Climate” calls for a more ambient approach, but I couldn’t’ help it, I’m too maniac for ambient, let’s go naive while we can…
Take a deep breath, feel the cold air needles in your lungs, face the blue sky and go!
Quoting Miles: “It’s sweet…like candy”

Wurlitzer 200
Assorted synthesisers, arpeggiators and string samples


It’s snowing here too, first snow yesterday haha.


Definitely F’ed it up a bit, new version updated. Had clicking sounds in it lol.

1: Snow is slower rain. Rainfall stretched/slowed.

2: Steps in snow, reeverbed.

3: A snow level from a video game.

They come together to create this little atmosphere piece.

All done in Audacity.



The beautiful season of autumn should be a favorite time of the year for everyone. The leaves change color from their ubiquitous green to a panoply of exceptional variations that can be appreciated by anyone with eyesight.

But in the back of my mind is foreboding, the knowledge that it will be many months before I will be able to leave the house without protection from the cold, the possibility that the snows will force the constriction of movement within the confines of my house, and the surety that my hands will be cold for the next several months.

Just as we are bound to the confines of the three spacial dimensions, we are also confined to the temporal dimension. Whereas these are not restrictions that we may necessarily embrace, there is a requirement that we accept them. So we grit our teeth and move forward as best as we can.

The music is scored for Celesta, Crotales, Vibraphone, Violin, and Wood Blocks and is available at glsmyth.com/music/.


Today it was cloudy, windy and mild for the season. It had 11 °C (52 °F)
so i took an eleventh chord (at least i hope so) and looked for bouncy
things in ableton.
I found the bouncy chords arpeggiator, dirty
bounce (audio effect rack/mixing & mastering), instruments are
GitProc and Mt Dill Wah Organ



Very glad you could join in.

1 Like

This past week we’ve had some pretty intense fog in Norfolk, UK. One day in particular I don’t think it cleared at all during the day. Walking in the damp air, smells and sounds were very different. Distant objects were unseen and unheard. I only existed in a small grey space. It should have been claustrophobic, yet the emptiness seemed vast.
Occasionally muffled sounds would emerge along with dark grey shapes.
By the next day, my world had been returned to me. It seemed loud and bright and frightening.



It’s winter at Suss Müsik headquarters; today is the first truly cold day of the season. The first evidence of winter is usually the hollow sound of the wind blowing through our chimney and rattling through the studio ductwork. The greenery outside has begun its period of dormancy, the colorful vibrancy of fall replaced with a neutral thicket of browns and greys. We may get snow tonight.

WInter coincides with the holiday season. Bells can be heard ringing through the streets and there’s a sentimental magic to the air. After the holidays, an abyss takes over where sunlight is scarce. Those who embrace the festivities of December will isolate themselves come January, especially when winter storms are fierce and roads are impassable.

An aside: Suss Müsik recalls spending time in the farthest reaches of the north, where the construction and logging industries come to a halt between November and April. Unemployment in those parts is rampant during the cruel winter months. People exist in quiet desperation, waiting in solitude for the spring thaw with only cabin fever and a bottle of Thunderbird for company.

For this short piece, Suss Müsik attempts to channel three elements of the winter season: the first breaths of an early snowfall, the Yuletide celebration, and that moment of terror when the walls close in. A simple piano motif builds upon a bed of mallet percussion and ceramic flute, followed by an insistent beat topped with fuzzy bass and snarky guitar feedback.

We didn’t intend to make such a dark piece, but the muse goes where it goes. The piece is titled Weltschmerz, a German word that describes the melancholy feeling of being disconnected from the physical world.

Featured are the beautifully spatial tones of ceramic artist John Kulias playing a homemade Native American flute. Check out his work at http://meadowlarkflutes.com/ and he has a YouTube channel where you can see his wonderful playing.


The weather here today is usual for December in the UK- white-grey skies, gentle rain with occasional heavier showers, cold and damp. Many would find this weather depressing - but there is an inherent beauty to it, that I have a soft spot for. And it makes you appreciate the warm lights of home all the more. So, back to basics this week for me, with a piano improvisation. To make it sound more wintry, I rolled off a lot of the high end and boosted the bass of the piano, added a touch of very long (20 second) reverb which had most of the bass rolled off, and played large sections with the una-cordo pedal down to dampen the sound further. My first take got me pretty damned close to where I wanted to be, but I recorded it too hot and it distorted in an ugly digital way. The second take, as is often the case, was lacklustre but I found a few more thematic ideas in it, and this was my third take which I feel captures the mood.



16 tracks/acts so far in the playlist:




Rain Rain and Horse
With a Bassline By Wüst :wink:


This week’s effort is a collage of the same field recording mangled in different ways, a base drone, and the whole thing fed through a feedback network:



Winter is finally arriving in Maryland. This piece reflects the chill I feel is settling in. Primarily derived from scanning and modulating the wavetables in a Waldorf NW1, then some granular processing via an Audio Damage Grainshift. I apologize for the extra lengthy piece. This is the original form, and it didn’t work(to my ears) when I tried to edit it in length.



My local weather is cold at the moment, but the climate in general is disturbingly warm and getting warmer all the time. Beats, guitar and horn stabs come from “Kool Is Back” by Funk Inc. Vocals are Ella Fitzgerald singing a Cole Porter song. And I included a slowed-down BRAAAM from the Inception trailer, so I can incept you with my anxiety about climate change and maybe some activist fervor too.


While the term “climate” prompted me think of the weather, I was reluctant to take that direction.

“Climate” reminded me of Junto 106, where the rise and fall of the temperature over 24 hours became a graphic score. Aside from thinking the cool change that arrived around the time of Marc’s email could be signified with a drop in rhythm or pitch, I didn’t have too many ideas.

In the end I used both a drop in rhythm and pitch in my track but, while googling a definition of “climate” I’d been struck by the term “mileu” and it’d resonated with my reflection on the year that has passed.

The Christmas party at work on Thursday prompted me to think about my first year working in a museum and also I’d been playing on an old organ that I wanted to incorporate. So I started looking at the videos I’ve shot on the iPhone that came with my job and thinking how to make a song from a variety of animal and industrial noises.

Like @saintcloud observed, cicadas are a feature of the Australian soundscape. Their pitch rises and falls with the temperature. This week I read they can be as loud as 120 decibels. And I heard them for the first time this week too, although it was a lower pitch than the recording I have on my phone.

The video shows where many of the sounds originate. The emu makes a very deep gulping sound that might not be easy to identify and I don’t know the species of the other bird. The sound of a steam whistle is heard during the shot of the horses, while the cicadas were among the white cypress pines. You also see and hear the steam machinery shed.

While remixing landscapes has been a part of my music for a while, it was good to have musical instruments to work with in this track. You can hear horns, high hat and kick drum from a recording of Griffith’s town band, and I guess the cowbells can be considered here too. There’s also a bell from an old sulky, as well as my son operating a water pump.

The cicadas are gated in places to sound like a high hat and one of the blacksmithing loops is repitched for a similar effect. Most of the loops have been EQ’d to remove lower frequencies, except the kick drum is only low frequencies. The loops have also been gated.

This is the first time I’ve remixed recordings made on an iPhone and the higher frequencies started to become a problem when I added compression. My ears are still ringing but a bit of de-essing took care of them in the end.

You can see more of the Museum on Instagram and I’ve written a bit more on my blog here.