Disquiet Junto Project 0284: Creative Commonfield

Disquiet Junto Project 0284: Creative Commonfield
Make ambient music from the sound of clay bowls.

Step 1: We’ll be making ambient recordings this week based on source audio from the artist Chris Kallmyer. He recorded the music using bells and bowls he constructed from clay sourced on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Louis. Download the source audio from here:

Note: That file is an MP3. If you’d like to use a larger, higher-fidelity recording, I’ll have it available later today. Just shoot me an email at marc@disquiet.com.

Step 2: The goal is to make recordings that can also be played in the San Francisco gallery FraenkelLAB, where Kallmyer’s work is currently on display as part of the exhibit “Listening Is a Luxury.” I’ll be giving a talk there on Friday, June 16, and I’ll have some of the music audible in the background as well as before and after the talk.

Step 3: Among Kallmyer’s sonic objects made from the St. Louis clay are ceramic bowls. When making a piece of music from the source audio please do the following: (A) use no additional source audio, (B) aim for a sound that is just as gentle as the source audio, © consider using stereo effects to reflect the circular shape of the bowls. (Note: I might make an edit of the tracks — a ceramic chime mixtape, as it were — for the event.)

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If you hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0284” (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 following 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’s deadline is 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, June 12, 2017. This project was posted in the late morning, California time, on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Length: The length is entirely up to the participant, though roughly three minutes is suggested.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0284” 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 284th weekly Disquiet Junto project — “Creative Commonfield: Make ambient music from the sound of clay bowls. — 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 courtesy of fraenkelgallery.com and the artist Chris Kallmyer, who created the bowls and the source audio. More from Kallmyer at:


The project is now live.

I at first read this as saying to play the audio back in a new location and record the results.

But it’s not that, right? It’s: make a piece of music using only this audio. Yes?

(More interested in doing the latter, tbh)


always nice to be able to work on this as soon as the email comes through!

in audition i used doppler shift to make the sound go full circle and graphic phase shifter so different frequencies were misplaced in the stereo field

had this playing and pulled the file into ableton too - lots of slow oscilation, slow delay, huge reverb and other stereo widening stuff, had this running at different octaves

then recorded for a while: the audition file is playing from ~ the hour mark and the ableton file from the start

stereo fx more pronounced in headphones but it sounds better acousmatically i think.


This piece came together very quickly. I chose 6 random sections throughout the 97 minute source file. Each section was between 15 and 30 seconds. These were loaded into the iOS app Samplr and I live mixed the 6 tracks into what you hear. Then I turned my audio recorder on for a little over 20 minutes to capture it. This 3 minute edit is merely for the Junto. I’ll be publishing a 20 minute version in my “Ambient Rushton” podcast very soon.

I live upstream of the Mississippi River, about a mile or so from the Iowa River which is a tributary. We have a couple of natural drainage creeks running through our property that feed the Iowa River.

Other than editing field recordings, this is the first new piece I’ve made in a few months. I’ve had some creative block lately. Hopefully I can move beyond that now. It happens every so often.



When confronted with a 90 minute recording, my first thought was to hear how it sounded sped up. I time compressed it up as much as Ableton Live allowed me to, bringing it down to four minutes. I used the Beats algorithm that preserves sixteenth-note-long slices to give a chattery rhythm to the file. Then I applied some ping-pong delay for ambience and rhythm. This gave a reasonably satisfying result, but it had some long holes in it, and the delay rhythm got too same-y after a while. So I duplicated the track, reversed it, and put a different delay interval on the backwards copy. That made it thicker and more polyrhythmic.


Correct: it’s to make a piece using only this audio.

1 Like

This is a link to the high-fidelity (AIF file) of the source audio:





From the bowl sounds we create drones and then, because we want circular motion, we introduce LFO’s on a variety of things; EQ motion, FX motion, panning motion, volume motion. It really gives it some subtle variety, but in general was hoping for an even more droney thing (it didn’t work out that way unfortunately).


mixed by studio one 3.
as background, cut ambience and looped. S1filter bypass on, off to make change.
layered source audio.little EQ.
layered same audio. filter and pan effect.


Still thinking if I should leave this up. Responding to this week’s prompt, I used the Slicer function in Live + Turing Machine from http://www.encoderaudio.com/
and just let things drift with small tweaks as it went along.
Updated the file since initial post, with pitched down secondary layer




Every single noise here comes from Chris Kallmyer’s recording using bells and bowls he constructed from clay sourced on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Louis.
Precessing used: pitch shift, convolution reverb, panner/surround, infinite reverb through wah-wah pedal


The playlist is now underway:




all sounds from the original recording; processed with tape delay, glitch machine, ring modulator, stereo expansion & autopitch


I’ve EQ’d and compressed the MP3 recording, then exported it as a WAV and opened it with Phatmatik Pro – which makes short loops at points identified as transients.

Then I’ve found various loops and worked to get a sense of harmonic development, before adding delay and reverb on the buses to give a bit more shape.

As I tried different loops, I imagined myself sitting by a riverbank and listening to the lapping of the water.

When I was happy with the result, I went looking for a visual to accompany my recording and settled on combining two takes of steam rising from the rice coop near my home.


I chopped out a few minutes and worked with two main sections–one with slow bells and one with faster strikes. There are six tracks of samples with varying degrees of EQ, reverb and panning to create a sense of distance. In the middle section, the samples increase in gain and are slightly pitch-altered to create thickening. That section ends with reversed samples. The only other effect is compression on the master track.All edited in Ableton Live.


Happy Friday All,
San Luis Campanas(disquiet0284)https://soundcloud.com/user-651760074/san-luis-campanadisquiet0284

Well this weeks project started ugly. iOS does not play well with large files from others Dropbox, in fact large files in general. When download failed tried saving to Google drive, also no good and so probably the first and last time you will here me say ‘Boy, that iTunes share works well!’ Once I got he file on the iPad, I started listening in Audioshare and trimming out material that I liked. With half a dozen clips of varying length I started working in Cubasis. I ended up having six tracks but also wanted a bit of drone under, so in iPulsaret I loaded one of the bell sounds and triggered it with a C2 and a .05 ratio on playback. All sampled sounds are from the St. Louis bells and bowls of Chris Kallmyer! Track breakdown:

  1. The iPulsaret fading in towards the end, no fx
  2. Samples as played by Chris, with verb, width and bit crush ramped in
  3. First pattern of samples, light chorus and verb
  4. Second pattern with 2 delays, tape and long
  5. Third pattern, stereo cycling
  6. Forth pattern, clean
  7. Fifth pattern, the rhythm, light verb.
    The tracks were automated, some for pan and others fx.

The track title comes from the Spanish settled region in southern Colorado and is fitting in both name and sound, as this area has many Spanish style churches and the ceramic bells remind me very much of mission bells :slight_smile:


As a bit of a reaction to the massive length of the recording and as a challenge to not “do ambient” by piling on the reverb, I decided to drill into tiny sections and make something pretty tightly rhythmic and dry sounding.

Mostly I then just layered up those bits that I found looped nicely and faded them in and out. There’s some filters, and a couple of bits at different octaves. The high crackly sounds are the result of EQing some background noises from the recording to bring out the high bits, then feeding that stuff through a delay.

As a last step, I dragged down the tempo of the final piece by about 15 bpm and found it worked better like that. :slight_smile:


great work! Hokusai’s line is clearly. Also your sound…I felt japanese gentle. :grinning: