Disquiet Junto Project 0307: Black and White and Punk All Over
Pay tribute to the Sex Pistols on the 40th anniversary of Never Mind the Bollocks.
It’s the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols’ 1977 album Never Mind the Bollocks, a punk origin point if ever there were one. Of course, punk can be traced both forward and further back, not just back to the prior urtexts of the Ramones, but further still to Dada, to the Situationist International. To explore punk continuity, and borrowing from Greil Marcus’ Lipstick Traces, we’re going to use a classic Situationist film, Hurlements en faveur de Sade, as a starting point. The whole thing is streamable here:
Note that Hurlements has no visual component outside of a white and black screen: when the screen is white, people speak; when it is black, there is silence.
Major thanks to Zero Meaning, Toaster, and Jason Wehmhoener for leading the way in developing this prompt.
Step 1: Think about what “punk” means to you. The word has mutated over time, and can embody something as specific as instrumentation and recording, and as broad as a spirit, an approach, a philosophy. It’s both a source of inspiration and a nexus of conflicted debate. Keep your sense of punk in mind as you follow the remaining steps.
Step 2: Choose a length for your project. Somewhere under 5 minutes should do fine.
Step 3: Using chance methods, divide that length into segments. A minimum of one segment per minute should keep things interesting, though certainly feel free to use more or fewer segments.
Step 4: Label your first segment “white” and your second “black” and your third “white” and, per Hurlement, continue to alternate labels until all the segments are labeled.
Step 5: Choose two sets of instruments (or, more broadly defined, sound sources). If you don’t have access to more than one instrument, then vary the playing approach (plucking vs. bowing, chords vs. single notes, different patches on a single synth, etc.). Label one set “white” and the other “black.” Do not use any of the same instruments/methods in the “white” sections that you use in the “black” sections. The amount of cohesion between the segments is up to you, but keep the instrumentation the same in each.
Step 6: Now, jam econo. Record an original piece of music in the simplest way possible, using only white instruments in the white segments and black instruments in the black segments. Consider something more lo-fi than you might normally use.
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 “disquiet0307” (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 20, 2017. This project was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, November 16, 2017.
Length: Somewhere under 5 minutes seems about right, but it’s up to you.
Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0307" 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 307th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“Black and White and Punk All Over: Pay tribute to the Sex Pistols on the 40th anniversary of Never Mind the Bollocks.) 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 detail of an image by Koen Suyk used via Wikipedia thanks to a Creative Commons license: