Disquiet Junto Project 0324: Factory Floor

Hi All,


Not sure which employers would foist this on their employees to keep them productive! Maybe in a parallel universe …

This week I’ve been playing with an office door, Bastl Bitranger and Borderlands Granular - all blended in Ableton …

Have a great week!

h u :slight_smile:


First time I’m taking part in this exciting project.

This tune resembles how I can feel about my work place and the situations that I come across during the days. It’s sort of uplifting and in the background, but still there are elements that disturbs me and tries to get my attention.




  • Consider what sort of music is appropriate for collaborative workplaces, such as newsrooms, design studios, software development teams, and so forth. Think about music that (1) isn’t distracting and (2) suggests momentum.

A while back I wrote a 45 minute piece for myself to listen to while on the elliptical. The idea was to provide a specific rhythm throughout my workout on which to base my actions. As I worked my legs and arms the music eventually fell into the background, allowing me to think of other things.

I decided to use this general idea with Coding Factory, a considerably shorter piece, that would allow one to either listen to what is happening or let it slide into the background so that other thoughts could take over.

Coding Factory was written for nine solo instruments, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, two Violins, Viola, Cello, and String Bass.

The score is available at bit.ly/2FISGqn


Took this one as a bit of a technical challenge - could I put something together that would fit on a Spotify playlist like “lush low fi” or “mellow beats”, both of which we play at work pretty consistently. Think it works to that end. Not sure how I feel about structure and having a beat. Been a while since I paid attention to either of those things in a recording. That said, I think I could reasonably slip this song into a playlist at work without anyone wondering where it came from. I think there’d also be a 3% jump in productivity. :construction_worker_man:





“The cybernetic revolution has developed more rapidly than many could have foreseen. We are entering the second industrial revolution in which human physical energy—[not only] hands and arms—but also the brain and nervous system are being replaced by machines.”

If you’re the type who follows technological trends, you might think the above was written by a post-2015 Silicon Valley scribe on the emergence of AI. In actuality, it’s a quote from Erich Fromm’s classic book Escape from Freedom, written in 1941. Suss Müsik can’t decide whether to be humbled by such prescient statements or depressed beyond comprehension.

Any attempt to create a work of art that avoids distraction and suggests momentum is bound to fail by at least one criteria. Cognitively speaking, we’re more likely to get into a groove when we minimize distractions. However, it’s well known that humankind’s greatest innovations are the result of expanding one’s realm of possibilities beyond current modes of working. It could be that the true nature of collaboration is where machines and humans each perform the tasks to which they’re most suited.

For this weird piece, Suss Müsik attempted to replicate the above approach by playing a series of looping phrases on piano, organ, sax and percussion. The piano and organ were treated with a Moog MF-101; the sax was passed through a Red Panda Tensor on maximum randomization. The percussion is various stuff we had lying around plus a CR-78 emulator.

The piece felt a bit … dunno what, so we added a vocal component in the middle fed through a Korg 411fx. The text was written by M. Tegler and recited by C. Koustourlis. Suss Müsik doesn’t know what it means, either.

The piece is titled Parabiosis, which is the artificial joining of two anatomic organisms for the purpose of scientific research. The image is a distressed coupling of two computer chips.


The idea of music with momentum led me back to a remix I’d started with Mage_Pathminige_Rupe_Nisa_Ale_Kale_Man, which was one of the songs from Ceylon that were part of the Three Princes Junto last November.

I’ve made a few songs with that material, hear them here.

In the video I take a tour past a few of the factories in Leeton with my son.




This project prompt was fun to play with. I based the song off the chord progression and rough melody from the Breeders song Dawn: Making an Effort. I took the opportunity to go through the various Max 4 Live Arpeggiator devices to build a rhythm. The Arp device from Max for Live Essentials was helpful due to its randomization feature that can be set to occur between a minimum and maximum value.


For this track I used the new Bitwig synth Phase-4. I used the Phase-4 preset Pulsetube and set up 5 different instrument tracks. I added some midi notes (C and A) at a few different octaves and some delay and a little reverb on 2 of the tracks.
I tried to create something that would also work over a longer period of time, become unobtrusive and provide a feeling of momentum.


my entry using the 0-coast synth multi tracked. The ghost of the factory in the creative industries.


When I saw the assignment I immediately thought of trip hop instrumental music, which is often what I listen to while I’m creating visual art. That style of music fits comfortably into the background when I want to concentrate on my work, yet I can pause my work and listen when I need some creative think time.

As the song progresses it gets more energetic, then winds down back toward the starting point. The instrumentation is comprised of flute, viola, cello and double bass accompanying an electronic percussion section, including a synthetic harp seemingly stuck on repeat.

I continue to use the weekly Junto projects to help me learn Ableton Live and to make me think more creatively about music composition. Each week I get a little more productive in Live, and I hope a little more creative with my music. I’m also working through the composition exercises in Russo’s Composing Music book, which I think will help over the long haul.

The cover art is an original piece I created for this song, intended to imply a horde of knowledge workers in a bullpen.


Here is my contribution. I tried to make a track that encouraging colleagues to communicate with each other.
The crazy lead sound is made with a whistle.



I approached this track with the idea that it would sound quite noisy on its own, but would blend into the din of an energetic collaborative work space. Overlapping patterns of different lengths and meters provide a sense of forward momentum, but resist being easily identified as they shift across one another - creating complexity in a way that hopefully avoids causing a distraction or creating a “hook” for the listener. I’m not sure I satisfied the brief, but it was an interesting approach to try.

The “noise” elements of this piece come from recordings of an open office environment, stretched by about 800%, while the main melody line is a software instrument and the kick drum is a processed sample of raindrops.


Like the drumming and the way elements come to the fore as the track progresses.

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This track feels late in the day, when my second wind kicks in like that percussive loop in the final third.

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This is nice and gentle, kinda respectful in the way it doesn’t dominate.

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Really effective the way the descending chords feel like time passing, while the track builds. It’s like momentum toward something momentous!


Composing this felt challenging, like I was auditioning for a gig or something. I wasn’t particularly enjoying the process which is a bit unusual for me. My first Disquiet project jitters I guess… In Any case here is something I tried to imagine a group of designers working to with the music pretty low in the background so as to afford space for conversation but in the moments of silence the groove would keep them awake and focused on the tasks at hand.


Can you include a link?