Disquiet Junto Project 0289: Ancient Artifacts


Long, long, long time ago, before men or women could make instruments, they captured Water Bears and put them in an aquarium(yes, back then they were capable of making aquariums). This song is pre-ancient instrument time! It’s a bunch of Water Bears communicating in an aquarium… probably about Soundcloud :wink:

Have a nice day,



The nature of the instrument captured in this recording can only be speculated upon as this is the only known record of its existence. Carbon dating of a core sample from the sands of time from which this was recovered place it a few centuries prior to Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville’s recording of ‘Au Clair De La Lune’. My best guess is that it was hand-cranked, hollow-bodied, and would need to have been roughly the size of a piano to produce the levels of resonance that we can hear. The crank probably operated a pinned barrel which would pluck a series of lamellae and raise levered hammers which would then strike a length of bevelled woodblock upon their release. It is perhaps more interesting to question how this recording came into being, since sound recording technology was not even a thing when this recording was made. Imagine that!


For the moment, Audiomack appears to be the best (or least worst) alternative to SoundCloud. We haven’t tried it but it seems to have the same features: sharing, reposting, playlists, etc.


i would not want to claim that SoundCloud has a great interface but i really don’t like the appearance of any other audio hosting service but bandcamp at all right now. they all look like tacky sales places with lots of glitz and such. and somehow the visual appearance is important for me. having a nice looking, customisable artist page makes all the difference.…….problem with bandcamp is that i would not want to upload too many raw sounds and experiments on there. it feels it is more for properly finished and executed sounds. but that’s just my brainworms on this subject……never mind.


Completely agree. The only problem, as you mention, is that Bandcamp is more for “proper” releases, like albums and EP-length singles. For uploading a single track, SoundCloud is perfect. YouTube might be a passable substitute, only because it’s possible to embed content into other sites and posts. Of all the alternatives out there, Audomack seems to have the most potential although it is somewhat high on glitz and gimmick.


Thanks. For anyone who wants to talk this SC/Bandcamp/DIY planning through in the specific context of the Junto, we’ve got a good conversation going on the Junto Slack, but certainly no pressure to add another social network to your diet. I wonder about Bandcamp and non-proper (to use @SussMusik’s term, which I agree with) releases? Would it be possible to create an “album” titled, say, Sketches or Junto Projects, and just add to it every time you do something that isn’t “proper.” Essentially it’s an album that just keeps growing.

All of which said, Bandcamp’s lack of multi-artist playlist support makes it difficult to consider as a full replacement for SoundCloud.


I’d like a good alternative discussion board that allowed for proper threading so that replies went to the right comment.


That’s one of the topics under discussion. We’re plotting a potential (lots of planning involved, and it’s all far from certain) standalone Junto site. For now we’re mostly looking at what’d be the necessary components, and then at available technologies.


Me playing a strange woodwind instrument - a Kaossilator vocoder-preset - with a microphone during an Ambiosonics live jam two years ago. (You may find recent Ambiosonics tunes in Soundcloud under “Ambiosonics”)
There were lot´s of questions about that sound.
Did a research and found out that it comes close to the voice of a Heckelphon. An forgotten instrument form the last century.
Nice example for the Disquiet Junto project "ancient instruments"
This is what Wikipedia says to the Heckelphone:

"The heckelphone (German: Heckelphon) is a musical instrument invented by Wilhelm Heckel and his sons. The idea to create the instrument was initiated by Richard Wagner, who suggested at the occasion of a visit of Wilhelm Heckel in 1879.[1] Introduced in 1904, it is similar to the oboe but pitched an octave lower.
The heckelphone is a double reed instrument of the oboe family, but with a wider bore and hence a heavier and more penetrating tone. It is pitched an octave below the oboe and furnished with an additional semitone taking its range down to A.[2] It was intended to provide a broad oboe-like sound in the middle register of the swollen orchestrations of the turn of the twentieth century.[citation needed] In the orchestral repertoire it is generally used as the bass of an oboe section incorporating the oboe and the cor anglais (English horn), filling the gap between the oboes and bassoons.[citation needed]

The heckelphone is approximately 1.3 m (4 ft 3 in) in length, and is quite heavy: it rests on the floor, supported by a short metal peg attached to the underside of its bulbous bell. An alternate second bell, called a “muting” bell, is also available, which serves to muffle the instrument for playing in a small ensemble. This arrangement is unique among double-reed instruments. It is played with a large double reed that more closely resembles a bassoon’s than an oboe’s reed.[citation needed]

Smaller piccolo- and terz-heckelphones were developed, pitched respectively in (high) F and E♭, but few were made, and they were less successful than the baritone-range instrument.[3]

The first use of the heckelphone was in Richard Strauss’s 1905 opera Salome.[citation needed] The instrument was subsequently employed in the same composer’s Elektra, as well as An Alpine Symphony (though this part frequently calls for notes that are below the range of the heckelphone),[citation needed] Josephslegende and Festliches Präludium. It was adopted as part of the large orchestral palette of such works as Edgard Varèse’s Amériques (1918–1921) and Arcana (1925–1927), and Carlos Chávez’s Sinfonía de Antígona (1933). Aaron Copland’s Short Symphony (Symphony No. 2, 1931–33) calls for a player to double on cor anglais and heckelphone, but a cor anglais may be used for the entire part if a heckelphone is unavailable…"


Disquiet Junto Project 0289: Ancient Artifacts

Step 1: Imagine an instrument that has been lost in the sands of time.
Step 2: Imagine what that instrument sounded like.
Step 3: Record a piece of music employing that instrument. (Be sure to describe your instrument’s history in an accompanying note.)

The history of tuned percussion instruments in ancient Greece offers few examples (the Krotalon being one) so to fill this gap I imagined a large machine that worked like a music box. The circular disc had pegs that initiated the striking of bars or strings.

Thelonia is a piece of music for this instrument, written by a woman, and when discovered was buried and the device destroyed. The music remains, the instrument can only be imagined.

Thelonia is scored for Glockenspiel, Marimba, Vibraphone and Harp.

The score is available at http://bit.ly/2uofRzN


Thank you - always enjoy doing these little story bits almost as much as the pieces themselves…


Imagine we could have begun our reply to your question with "Not sure how to embed Bandcamp audio in other sites, because we haven’t done it. However, we have been looking at SoundCloud alternatives and … "


Wondered why my track hadn’t appeared in the playlist- realized I had the wrong Disquiet number in the tag and title - It’s actually wrong in the second half of the email, Marc…Not that it matters now…


It’s a (sadly) non-trivial undertaking.


Which is to say, discussion happening on the Slack.


Hey all!
Sine Missione(disquiet0289) https://soundcloud.com/user-651760074/sine-missionedisquiet0289
The area of Upper Revhellt is fiercely protected by very mobile columns of troops, each with 306 horseman complimenting regular troops. The Four Horns of Drevhellt, sounded before battle, are reputedly from the four mythological beasts that represent the sky, sea, land and fire. When the ancients defeated the four beasts Acryre, Wrattej, Edrogh, Brundh,and settled in what is now Revhellt, the horns became symbolic of their victory and with that victory they inherited a mastering of the four elements to protect themselves and their land from any outside forces. While the horns are likely nothing more than ornately decorated examples of some of the larger mammals in this region, the almost magical power of their sound is quite palpable, even to an outsider like myself. I am quite certain an invading force who upon arrival, finds themselves surrounded and hearing the Four Horns of Drevhellt from each of the cardinal directions, will pity their foolishness and curse the Revhellt soil on their boots, for it will become their final resting place, because here, there is no quarter.

All sounds here were created in the shop, recorded with the pad and Zoom mic and then sent to Cubasis for tweaks and cuts and general nastiness. If you caught any hidden references or want sound details, let me know in the comments! Thanks for listening :slight_smile:
My videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc_iQ5JFusPt9EIwKIZ5rew



My instrument combines two samples: berimbau played by Nana Vasconcelos, and water drums played by the Baka Forest People of southeast Cameroon. Berimbau may well be the oldest instrument in history, aside from the human body itself. For all we know, drumming on the water is older than humanity itself. The background is a sample of overtone singing and banjo by Tim Eriksen, slowed way down. I made two ambient pads by freezing the reverb on the Tim Eriksen sample at different points.


The challenge was "Imagine an instrument that has been lost in the sands of time."
I imagine my upright bass. When I bought it in the late 80’s the previous owner was an old retired bassist , he didn’t played the instrument form at least 10 years.
When he took it for some dusty storage place it was dirty and had three strings, hairy old gut strings. I asked him about the 4th and he said "oh it broke sometime in the sixties, never replaced it"
The other 3 strings were the original for the bass builder, around 1900…
SO that instrument really came from a different time.
I don’t have the gut strings any more but yesterday I bought a Bass Ukulele, and played acoustically it remind me that dumb, low thud the old gut strings had.
This is the first recording with that Uke Bass taken with two microphones, a ribbon and an Neumann condenser,at home today Sunday 16th July 2017.


Your contributions are always wonderful. Thank you for sharing these works.


Didn’t even know there was such a thing as a bass ukulele. Great stuff.