Disquiet Junto Project 0329: Extended Version

The idea of a prepared instrument intrigued me. I thought about simple things I could do with my trumpet, and decided to turn it into a “prepared trumpet”.

All the sounds in this recording were made with my trumpet.

For the percussion sounds, I used a plastic chopstick to tap lightly on various parts of the trumpet.

For the pitched sounds, I built a device I stuck into the bell end of the trumpet that let me play notes through a metal tube submerged in a glass of water.

I call this an etude because it’s a piece for a single instrument. However, it would be somewhat challenging to perform this etude live without using unconventional performance techniques.

You can view photos of my prepared trumpet along with further description of the technique at my blog: composed-bits.org/2018/04/etude-in…repared-trumpet/


Hi All,

Using a bass plectrum to pluck strings on the other side of the bridge and the nut on a jazz bass …

Have a good week!

h u :slight_smile:


Inspired by acoustic wooden experimental instruments on youtube I built my own: It mainly consist of an old metal box, to which I added parts from a cheap “thunder drum” and a set of piezo contact microphones. This gives the spiral of the thunder drum a massive body to resonate.

I also disassembled a Hohner Blues Harp and screwed the metal reeds contained in the mouth organ to the metal box. So, for disquiet0329 this is mainly a “extended harmonica” with some additional preparations.

I used different takes for recording the internal spiral as bass rhythm, the external spiral for some vague drone thunder, some manual scratching and the metal reeds, which are plucked like the teeth inside a music box, for two melodic parts. All sounds are from the The Music Box Of Erika Zann, with the exception of the recorded voice phenomenon – this must be Erikas ghost voice… Mixed in Reaper with a lot of VSTs to filter the immense noise from the mics and to get some ambience.

Obviously I’m a real bad do-it-yourselfer (gaffer tape etc.). And the metal reeds from the harmonica were to thin to pluck, so they broke after a while (you can hear one of the reeds breaking and falling into the box at around 2:28), it was not the only one …

Should there ever be a Disquiet Junto project on the topic of “A musical instrument that gets completely used up by playing it” I’m gonna get The Music Box Of Erika Zann off the shelf again.


This really makes my day :wink:


I decided to explore the guitar and make a conventional pop song. My thinking was that lathering the guitar in effects was a bit of a cop out so I only used a little bit of compression and reverb. Only one guitar was used so that the timbres used were derived from technique rather than equipment choice.

The melody made use of two handed tapping, a technique that has been out of vogue since the cock rock bands of the 80’s. The chords are played using touch harmonics, which makes them sound a bit like a synth pad. The bass was played with a kind of thumb slapping style similar to funk bass players. The percussion parts were made with palm muted notes as well as banging and brushing the strings. I added a little slide glissando part too. I would have liked to work in some whammy bar parts but unfortunately I didn’t have a suitable equipped guitar on hand.

This project reminded me of how 1980’s guitar magazines that had a little notation guide that showed how they notated all the possible guitar techniques.

I wish I had a bit more time. I feel like the track could do with a bit more polish and I think I could squeeze in some more techniques.


Awesome! Before I settled on trumpet, I was wondering what could be done with a harmonica.

1 Like

I’ve been exploring the expansiveness of ambisonic mixing and using soundstaging as an extension to the musical piece itself. Together with the removal of pitching of any melodic phrasing, the only discernible quality that informs the piece of it’s musicality is the use of rhythmic circularity, which in this instance, is the playing off of various euclidean sequences against each other. Parts of the work were livecoded together in tidalcycles and recorded into ardour. everything is synthesized in supercollider and pure data was used as the environment for higher order ambisonic encoding and decoding into binaural stereo.


Cheers all!
Neither revolutionary or original but definitely troubled :-/

est obviandum (disquiet0329)
I’m afraid there is nothing new or revolutionary in this weeks instrument expansion. The simple fact of playing usually constitutes an unintended use of instruments for myself :wink: In this piece an earlier recording made with a Hero toy accordion was paired with multiple abuses of an unwitting acoustic guitar. Samples of the accordions limited scale were brought into Tardigrain and used for bass and lead parts, while the guitar was assigned percussive duties. The kick drum came from a body hit, the rim from a finger tap close to the neck and the swirling and whirling grinds are a fingernail running the lengthwise on a string. The bell sound is strings struck between the nut and tuners. Cubasis was used for putting this mess together, although it seems to be struggling more and more as of late, possibly due to the large number of small samples. Discord4 is on one swirl, Chorus on another and Replicant2 on the bell. Was going to use a picture of the instruments for cover art but a screenshot from Kymaticas Sector was too cool to pass on, and felt a bit redemptive as that instrument was cut earlier in the session.
My Music Videos - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCc_iQ5JFusPt9EIwKIZ5rew



I had noticed that the sound coming out of my monitors would trigger the Mikrophonie in my modular if placed in a certain position. I opened up all of the windows in my studio to see if the ambient sound from outside my house would also trigger the Mikrophonie. This is the result. The Mikrophonie triggered a Mutable Instruments Rings processed through a Mutable Instruments Clouds based upon what it received from outside the windows of my studio.


I enjoyed the structure of your piece with the drone creeping up to a crescendo then the ensuing chaos. Definitely listenable.



Extended Memory

Back in 1977 I formed a four-piece band. Punk, post-punk, something like that.

I wrote the songs, sang, and played a mix of rhythm and lead guitar.

I had heard an the E-Bow on one or another album. I had never seen one, just heard it, and liked the sound.

I wondered how it worked. I imagined that it was something vibrating against the guitar strings.

Turns out, that’s wrong. But my naive mental model lead me to use a more-available (and surely less expensive) substitute: A vibrating dildo.

At the time I used it on one song, “Human Sacrifice”. I might have gone on to use it on more songs but before long the band split up.

Fast-forward to 2016 and I’m making music again. My debut was split across two albums (both named Maximum R&D).

One has a song called “TR3” that pays homage to the NYC downtown club scene where my band played. I used the vibro-guitar during the instrumental break of the song (it’s also mixed in the background during the verses).

Besides being able to vibrate strings, and make whirring and buzzing noises, you can smack the strings with the dildo, and get some pitch bending by hitting the base of the strings and sliding up and down.

On another track, “Morgen”, I used the vibrator on an electric bass guitar (it comes at the end of the piece).

The original dildo was stolen at a gig. Lost to history. So when I set out to make new music, and use the same technique, I needed a new tool.

I think I first ordered something from Amazon, but wasn’t super happy with it. That original dildo had a particular kind of not really soft, but also not brittle, plastic.

I went down to the local Fascinations, a sex toy shop. The sales lady there was super helpful in explaining the different attributes of vibrating accessories. (The motor-vibrating part is called “the bullet”.)

I now have a collection of about five or six devices of varying sizes. And always on the lookout for new ones. The trick is to get sufficient vibrating power with proper bounce while avoiding too much motor noise. (You can always get the motor noise by playing closer to the pickups; sometimes all I want is the vibration, not the motor buzz.)

None of my previous tracks were based solely on the use of the vibrator, so for this Disquiet I decided to make it the focus.


A highly visual representation of the obvious…

Thanks to all for playing along :slight_smile:


Cheers. Appreciate that kind comment. Chaos is fun :slight_smile:

1 Like

That sounds amazing, I’m going to try this too!


. Post the results


This builds up really nicely.

1 Like