Disquiet Junto Project 0305: Three Princes


Disquiet Junto Project 0305: Three Princes
Explore chance by exploring the roots of the word “serendipity.”

This week’s project explores the concept of serendipity. I was unfamiliar with the word’s etymology until I recently read the book Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths, which I recommend. Those language origins figure into this project’s formulation.

Step 1: The word “serendipity” has an interesting origin. Its coinage is credited to Horace Walpole, who apparently made it up based on a Persian fairy tale, “The Three Princes of Serendip.” In turn, “Serendip” is itself a Persian word for another place entirely, Sri Lanka, or Ceylon. To explore the nature of serendipity, we’re going to apply randomness to samples of Ceylonese music.

Step 2: Choose three tracks — one for each prince in the fairy tale — from this collection of music from Ceylon:


There’s a lot of it, 138 tracks in all, so it might help to employ chance routines to select both the the tracks you’ll use, and which segments you’ll extract from them.

Step 3: Extract a short piece of audio, between two and seven seconds, from each of the three tracks you selected in Step 2. Each extract should be of a different length from the other two. Again, you might do this by ear, or you might do it based on some sort of chance routine.

Step 4: Create a roughly two-minute loop of each of the three individual extracts from Step 3: that is, a two-minute loop of the first extracted piece, a separate two-minute loop of the second extract, and a separate three-minute loop of the third. (You might also accomplish these loops in some other manner.)

Step 5: Layer the three loops from Step 4. Do so in a way that might allow you to subsequently manipulate the loops individually, should you choose to do so. Notably, the three tracks will be out of sync with each other.

Step 6: Listen through to the layered piece in Step 5. Pay attention for moments of chance intersection, of rhythmic ingenuity, melodic unlikelihoods, and textural congruence, among other potential results.

Step 7: Create a short piece of music, based on the observations you made in Step 6, that builds on those serendipitous results. This may be as simple as using relative volume to highlight the highlights, or you might add other musical elements.

Five More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: If your hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to include the project tag “disquiet0305” (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 (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on Monday, November 6, 2017. This project was posted in the early afternoon, California time, on Thursday, November 2, 2017.

Length: The finished track’s length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0305” 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 305th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Three Princes: Explore chance by exploring the roots of the word “serendipity”) 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.

Photo associated with this project is a stereo image of a Ceylon sunset, courtesy of the Tekniska museet account on Flickr, thanks to a Creative commons license:





That’s what I said, now.




The project is now live.

This was my first thought too! How serendipitous…

1 Like

I’d forgotten about that, but did recall this:



Happy November Disquietians,


A random number generator gave me 49, 22 and 123 which were used to choose the tracks by number, how many seconds into each track and loop length (4.9, 2.2 and 1.23 seconds). A bit of silence was added into the 1.23 second loop to give it the minimum ‘allowed’ loop length of 2 seconds :slight_smile:

A bit of side chain compression was added between tracks (to add a bit more serendipity) and then some simple fading in and out. Enjoy!

Have a lovely week!

H U :slight_smile:


This week’s brief is amazing. Suss Müsik can’t wait to hear everyone’s output.




I chose some random numbers (12-29-63), started cutting out some short loops containing only noises - no music, no voice. Looped these „three princes“, added a some pompous reverb.

I used a new M4L-Plugin called MOOR from K-Devices to get two fast piano lines. Some strings, a plump bass, some shuffling and arranging and mastering and uploading - and that’s all, folks.



Thanks so much. I’m looking forward to what you record — and how you annotate it.


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Went to the website of the Sri Lankan office of statistics, and took the first three numbers off the scrolling window–86, 68, 120–to give me the three tracks.

Panned them left, center, right for a bit of separation.

listened a few times and jotted down a few places where things seemed to synch up a bit, then cut out those bits.

Stuck them into clips–making some “piano” (boosted mids, reverb) “bass” (dropped by 1 octave) and “sax” (up an octave, reverb).

Then added three sets of percussion clips–jazz, African, Latin.

I had slots left over so I filled them with blanks and set all the clips to trigger each other at random. After listening to a bunch of random generations, I picked one clip to start and one to end, then let it rip!

thanks Marc!


‘Went to the website of the Sri Lankan office of statistics’ This is why I love you lot. Genius!


The playlist is now rolling:


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I used 3 files for the loops; Mage Menika Suwase Nidai /Surawira Mathalan Mamai /Hansa Ranee Aadare. Changed track volumes here and there, used a phaser (slow rate) on each track and added a reversed version of the original mix at the background.


Worked with Tracks: 35,72,119 chosen by tapping in book…recorded samples in SAMPLR
Have fun!



-i chose 3 songs quasi randomly - scrolling up and down through the list very quickly then stopping (Komala_Papa_Mukulu_Papa_Ape_Langata_Enna_Ko / Poson_Dine / Surathal_Ranwan_Samanalayo) didnt listen to them
-pulled them into audacity and saved a section from each of ~2.5, 5, and 6 seconds long - again i didnt listen to these samples
-looped in protoplasm with automation on various echo reverb fx
-first i heard was when i hit play and record. cleaned up with a bit of mastering in audition!


Hello Juntonians, happy Friday…
Burned all that was left of this weeks midnight oil! I have a soft spot for old 78’s and was looking forward to listening to these early works. With so many choices I picked numbers of personal interest and lucked out with #3 ‘Aadaraya Nisa Narde Bendena’ with its wonderful vocals, #16 ‘Asahayaki Me Ale’, more great vocals and #104 ‘Seetha Rama’ with a very interesting opening horn. I did pad my sample loops with four tracks, but #109 ‘Siri Siri, Piri Piri’ was the weakest, so it wasn’t used. After bringing the looped tracks into Cubasis, lots of experimentation with loop placement and timing yielded a decent beginning, but more mucking about was called for :wink: I really enjoyed the horn sample and found that when reversing every other loop, a pleasant wavering melancholia appeared. The vocal from #3 was left in its original loop, but the vocal from #104 was stretched with no pitch change, because…it…just sounded right! Some panning, stereo widening and RoomWorks verb were added in varying doses. One of my favorite Micrologue patches was laid gently underneath in E1 to accompany the horn. The title and picture come from the Sri Lanka myth of the nari-lata-vela, a mythical vine with flowers in the form of women, these woman are ‘in all wise of perfect beauty, glorious in grace’ fitting I thought, given the lovely vocals!
Samples used can be found at:
Interesting bits: https://www.snopes.com/narilatha-flower/


Picked three random tracks, randomly chopped 'em into loops, then layered, played with reverb and volume, spliced and diced, and of course a nice basic 4/4 to keep it moving.



Hi, I have followed for a while, but this is my first submission!
I started with short samples from tracks 10, 101, and 3.

One of my tracks had a long intro dialog that I decided to keep and layer in, but outside of time-stretching and reverb, I tried not to do too much.