Disquiet Junto Project 0328: Sonic Pentimento


happy friday the 13th, disquieters.

Hassel’s Fourth World CD was “one of those albums” for me. Still have the CD.

This track of course sounds nothing like Hassel.

One short riff, multiplied across (and through) different instruments and filters.


Here’s mine. Jon Hassel is new to me, I’ll investigate.

I noted that pentimento this was distinct from the literary concept of palimpsest; where a manuscript is reused and there is no relationship between the original text to the replacement - pentimento suggests a difference version of the same theme.

I took a work of art as a starting point for stimulation: Sol LeWitt’s Wall Structure: Five Modules with One Cube; https://www.albrightknox.org/artworks/199641-wall-structure-five-modules-one-cube-black and created a track that I then took various versions of and processed in the background of the final one. Using almost exclusively Eurorack modules.

The result is a kind of bright neon hyper-real piece of techno in 5/4. Which is fun, and absolutely not the direction I had in mind when I started.


Can see elements from Possible Musics, Dream Theory in Malaya and maybe Dressing For Pleasure and Earthquake Island in the cover image. Understandable considering the notion behind the album. Track sounds great. Was lucky to see him live (and in conversation with Eno) in Sydney a few years back.


I’ve interpreted pentimento by drawing on a few ideas, including using one of the drafts started when responding to the Junto last week and also incorporating elements from the song I wrote for the last Naviar Records’ haiku.

And the video includes a toasted sandwich that I’ve been planning for a while: a sandwich within a toasted sandwich.


Suss Müsik admits that the words “pentimento” and “pimiento” are similar in appearance, and there was great temptation to do a piece on red peppers. Thankfully, you’re spared such shenanigans.

Suss Müsik also admits that although the work of Jon Hassell is admirable and important, his name isn’t what comes to mind when considering audio pentimeni. Rather, it is the dub stylings of Lee Scratch Perry, Adrian Sherwood/African Head Charge and others who best represent the concept of layering upon previous work to reveal new sonic landscapes – much the same way a billboard advertisement is scrubbed away by weather and wear & tear.

For this weird, almost dubby piece, Suss Müsik started with four submissions from previous Disquiet Junto Projects. (We’ll leave it to you to identify which ones were used). One segments was “scrubbed” using a Red Panda Tensor pedal. Another was stretched and run through a Moog MF-102 ring modulator, and another was played straight through a low-pass filter at various frequencies. The drum patterns were split and given a nice dollop of reverb.

The piece is titled after the artist and educator Merle Spandorfer, who passed away this week at the age of 83. Among Spandorfer’s contributions to painting was her advocacy for using non-toxic materials; her mixed-media works consisted of items from nature overlaid onto handmade paper.

The image is a fading sign on the side of a building somewhere in Louisville, Kentucky.


Music boxes are fascinating. They make a beautiful sound while also being just a little bit creepy. This is lovely.


That’s a piece of history right there. Nicely done.


Thanks for your comment. I’ve been infatuated with music boxes since I was a kid, is good to have inherited my mother’s boxes that charmed my childhood. I even considered buying one of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s music boxes 10 years ago. I bought my New Delhi Harmonium instead. Should I reconsider it as a new toy?


One can never have too many toys, so yes!


Yeah, well I promised not buying any new toy for a while, not to mention a 300+ € toy, but couldn’t help hearing you.
Just checked the Verlag site, I’m amazed that just a few of the Music Boxes are sold out. I my Zodiac sign isn’t.
Damn it seems here I go again.


Excellent track, great “spy-70’s-music” bongos.

Now, a “sandwich within the sandwich”?, wow. This series is getting mental.

Can I suggest the name for it? “Inception Sandwich” ?

Guess that’s a remarkable sandwich; no argue.

Must be delicious. Should try it at home, mind. One sandwich at the time to start , then the “Inception”.


This was another Junto that really intrigued me…the title comes from an Oblique Strategies card that came to mind as I was reading the brief (honour thy error as a hidden intention). I was also talking about the topic with the guy who sits next to me at my workplace, as he is a font of knowledge on art history. He raised the subject of Wittgenstein’s ladder & the idea that one should throw away the ladder when it has been climbed.

With these concepts in mind, I started the piece with a layer that I had no intention of using & built all the layers around it then removed it, keeping only the other elements. I have faded this element in at the end, to reveal the “hidden intention”. I’m now looking forward to listening to the other entries to the Junto.


Hey all, I kinda went in reverse order on this. I started with the heavily arped synth with drums. I added two more tracks, one more simplified arp organ sound and a straight piano track with no arp which used the same midi file as the original. When I recorded I only heard the heavy arp so it was cool to find out exactly what notes I was actually playing. It was kinda bluesy which is a result of a childhood spent banging on the piano at home. I used to play the same damn blues scale all the time cause that is all I knew. Later when I got a synth and started a band it was more 80’s synth pop since it was the actual 80’s.I used a lot of volume changes to get the layers to show in and out of each other. They were also offset so they are not playing the same notes at the same time.

peace, Hugh


With the focus on pentimento, I really wanted to make use of real-time dynamic processing to hide and reveal layers of sound. In a sense I went very basic, as there’s no traditional musical material in this one or even complicated processing. The governing audio is a pitched-down recording of my brewing coffee pot, played once forward and once in reverse. I then added three layers of shortwave radio noise with varying degrees of intended signal peaking above the noise floor. These three layers are then moved forward and backward (or alternately obscured and revealed) by the coffee pot via side-chained compressors and gates.


I’ve been playing around with incorporating familiar melodies and songs in my modular music for a while, and Shenandoah has been a mainstay in this rotation. When the Mannequins module W/ came out, I thought of several immediate uses for it in my music, and when the Disquiet project for “pentimento” came up, I thought the two would be a perfect fit because of the ways that W/ can emulate tape degradation in live performance. Thus the water of the music, the imagery portrayed in the song, overtakes the song itself, having been painted in our minds and hearts for so long already.

Primary modules used were: Verbos Touchplate Keyboard, Pittsburgh Micro Sequence, Feedback Two59, Mutable Sheep, Mutable Streams, Befaco Spring Reverb, Mannequins W/


Thanks. I was considering calling it a Shakespearian Sandwich, for the way the bard would put a play within a play.


Wrote a nice song with strings and brass. Cut it up into 4 loops. Played those loops from qu-bit wave. Manually played faders brings loops in and out. Recorded that all into Ableton. Buried the loops in the mix. Wrote a generative piano part overtop. Added effects to wash out sounds.


3 loops from relatively well known pieces of music. covered over with digital processing to make new music. if you listen hard you might be able to hear what they were originally. pentimento.


Approach to “sonic pentimento”: Add multiple layers of new sounds to cover old sounds, iterate. The result isn’t true anymore, because contributors, forgers and restaurators did neither have the correct colours nor did they unterstand the meaning of the original sonic image. Add some ‘trumpet’ to honour Jon Hassell.


Pentimento was written in response to Disquiet Junto Project 0328: Sonic Pentimento.

Step 1: This week’s Disquiet Junto project involves recording a piece of music inspired by a term from painting. That word is “pentimento,” which is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a reappearance in a painting of an original drawn or painted element which was eventually painted over by the artist.” Familiarize yourself with the term.

Step 2: Think about how the term “pentimento” can be borrowed from painting and applied to sound.

The original section comes from the Vibraphone and four accompanying chords. As melodies are introduced the original section remains the same, though parts of it are altered and at times covered up, but they are always there.

Pentimento was written for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, two Violins, Viola, and Cello.

The score is available at http://bit.ly/2H2NSbY