Disquiet Junto Project 0348: Hot Mise en Abyme

Disquiet Junto Project 0348: Hot Mise en Abyme
The Assignment: Make a piece of music inspired by the art-historical term for fractal/recursion.

Step 1: There is a term in art, “mise en abyme.” It refers to instances when a work of art includes a copy of itself, maybe more than one copy. Consider how this term might apply to sound. (Do read up on “mise en abyme,” if it’s not familiar.)

Step 2: Record a short piece of music that applies the term “mise en abyme” to sound, based on your thoughts from Step 1.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0348” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your track.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0348” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your track. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your track.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co.

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Other Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, September 3, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, August 30, 2018.

Length: The length of your track is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0348” 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: Please consider setting your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

Linking: When posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 348th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Hot Mise en Abyme / The Assignment: Make a piece of music inspired by the art-historical term for fractal/recursion) at:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:


There’s also a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet to join in.

Image associated with this project is by Thomas Cizauskas, used thanks to Flickr and a Creative Commons license:




“Hot Mise”? Love it :slight_smile:


I did have fun with that one. :slight_smile:


The project is now live.




Maybe not entirely fractal…

5 MIDI tracks, same sequence of notes looped on each track. Loop is a different random duration on each track (fractal?). Audio from each track is fed into a modulator that effects the track below it (recursion?). Different instruments on each track, strings, electric piano (treated), Skanner XT Wavetable, Spektral drone patch and bass. A sixth tack featuring the 5 MIDI tracks bounced to audio, heavily filtered, runs underneath it all. Result… edgy.


so do i.

but it hurts. ^___^


This one is really interesting as a challenge.

I always loved how they use the “Mise en…” phrases in French. It means something as (literally) “Put in…”, “Place into…” or “implement” something.

There are some variations you hear all the time:
Mise en place (setup)
Mise en ouvre (implementation or excecution of some work)
Mise en page (page layout)
Mise en bouteille (bottling process)
Mise en beauté (beauty enhancing, makeup and hair dress)

And so on.

Some are more metaphorical, some funny, but …”Mise en abyme”??? awesome.
It means “placed into abyss”.

The technique of placing an art piece or part of it into itself sends me back of the techniques I used on disquiet 344 with delayed versions of a single performance mirroring and superposing the original music.

This track comes from an unreleased series I created a while ago titled Auto-Counterpoint where a single melody superimposed itself by the use of very long delays w/ infinite decay and Revox tape machines.

So I wrote a melody with many variations, played the whole thing a couple of times feeding 4 or 5 delay or revox lines that recorded to additional tracks.

In the end I’ve got a 10 minute mess of 5 tracks with the same 16 measures repeated over themselves, a pandemonium of repetitions and superimpositions.

Then I made edits, creative use of the delete button and got a reasonable track.

So performed this in 10 minutes, and edit took several days to finish…

This is a solo classical guitar performance by myself.

Image by aly syaaban




cello/viola/violin/flute samples in iris2. a bit of distortion
then repeatedly duplicated and tempo reduced by half until the 6 minute track was reduced to 0.005 seconds.
everything plays at the start and it gradually settles down.


This is a perfect track to start the day. Thanks for sharing!

Edit: this applies to @DeDe’s track as well! :sweat_smile:



I choose a simple melody: C-G-F-E-D-C
every note is played by playing fast the whole melody
I did this 2 times
all notes are corrected to C major scale



I started out by adding reverb to a field recording of singing sands, as I wanted to not only include a copy of the thing in the thing, but have it sound like it was inside the thing (or inside something). Plus, echoes are a copy of the thing; when one is in an echoey space, one has both. But then I also wanted to get a sense of the (existential) abyss, and repeated echoes and reverb (as well as both original and super-fast speeds of the thing) gave the impression not only of copies, but of distance, and (perhaps!) of voices and sounds receding, either as they proceeded into a bottomless space, or *you did… Then I added some whistling I did in a (manmade) cave, as caves have all the echoes and copies and abysses, both literally and figuratively, and this cave was actually a copy. And near the sea. And finally, the tune I was whistling, for anyone brought up on Sesame Street and/or The Muppet Show, should set up an earworm which will loop on its own (as you hear/recognize it, and then actively listen for it in the piece, as the whistling and the sands happened to be in the same key), which adds another layer of mise en abyme inside your own head.


here’s a thing I constructed in ChucK using a chain of delays along with a nested-loop structure to create a kind of recursive feel. the nested loops are indexed by i and j and boost the frequency by a chosen multiplier: multiplier^(i+j), then playing back each resulting note in turn. For reasonable multipliers and playback times, it sounds somewhat normal, but as I fiddled with those parameters I came up with some abnormal stuff too!

here’s a video if you’d like to watch: I left in the debugging code just to create something to look at.



I sampled Aretha Franklin’s opening line from “Precious Lord, Take My Hand/You’ve Got a Friend” on her Amazing Grace album, which has been in heavy rotation for me. I Paulstretched the line 20x and repeated the original over it, along with some reverb and echo and filter sweeping. RIP to the queen.



Sounds within sounds is what I was thinking of when putting together Mise En Abyme, and of course, Steve Reich.

Mise En Abyme was written for eight clarinets.

The score is available at http://bit.ly/2C6j4c5


Normally I try to avoid using music that isn’t mine but the Junto this week led me back to an old favourite: ‘Les oiseaux dans la charmille’ from Les Contes d’Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach.

I’ve written more on my blog, click here.


Hi all,
The main sound is the organelle playing a rhythmicon, some octatrack buffers recording, delays and tape.
there are some cracking and popping fragments I apologize :slight_smile:


Had a busy few weeks, so I’m glad to get back into the Junto :slight_smile:

Something I like to explore is using the same field recording to construct a soundscape - as though the sound is mediating on itself. With this piece. I went under an underpass in Neerabup National Park, which backs onto near where I live. Neerabup is an important stretch of bush for two main reasons - firstly, it acts as a wildlife corridor for native wildlife [particularly the many native birds], and secondly it protects part of an ancient Aboriginal migration route [which is now a walking trail called the Yaberoo Budjara Heritage Trail].

When I was arranging this soundscape, I thought about movement, loss and attempting to preserve what was left.

Layer 1: Original recording
Layer 2: Original recording + delay
Layer 3: Excerpt from original of cars passing, slowed 800%
Layer 4: Layer 3 + resonator
Layer 5: Excerpt from original of cars passing, slowed 600%
Layer 6: Excerpt from original of cars passing, slowed 400%
Layer 7: Excerpt from original of cars passing, slowed 200%
Layer 8: Layer 7 with doppler effect


Loved this! My interpretation of Mise en Abyme was to create miniatures (and the opposites) of a main melody. Maybe a stupid interpretation but it made for a happy process and music I actually can enjoy.

I created a simple 8-bar melody with a marimba in Live. I then made copies that I rewarped to different lengths using the repitch mode. Making the melody half as long = one octave higher. This meant that in the end I had 8 different tracks. The lowest (three octaves below) needed 64 bars to complete its melody, whereas the highest (four octaves above the main melody) only needed half a bar.

I then made an arrangement where different octaves were introduced gradually. And then slowly removed. I added some echo to the lower octaves and reverb to the higher ones.

At 4.48 all octaves make a fresh start playing together.



In 1978, a young animator named Louis Carpenter used computer-generated fractal geometry to draw complex objects in three-dimensional space. He started with a pyramid, dividing each of its triangular sides into smaller shapes and repeating the process indefinitely. You can see the output of Carpenter’s efforts in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, the first feature film to contain a computerized sequence using this method. Now you know.

Evidence of fractal geometry can be found everywhere throughout the natural world, from the branching of trees to the human cardiovascular system. Taken in this context, mise en abyme might reasonably be considered the most organic of creative practices. Some consider the craft to be nothing more than a recursive gimmick: M.C. Escher on a coffee mug. Yet if one were to view ultrasound images comparing the vascular structures of healthy organs against those riddled with tumors, the significance of fractal repetition can be creatively inspiring.

For this piece, Suss Müsik played a simple piano/violin phrase and split it into smaller “shapes” to be looped through various effects modules. Every sound heard in this piece is derived from the original using some combination of ring modulators, glitch/swell effects, low-pass filters, digital reverb/delays, and a bit of tube amp distortion. The subdivided sonic “shapes” grow smaller and smaller until rendered inaudible.

The piece is titled Sierpiński in honor of Waclov Sierpiński’s recursive process in which a shape is subdivided into smaller versions of itself. The image is one side of a crystal polyhedron.