Disquiet Junto Project 0355: Sonic Vivisection

Disquiet Junto Project 0355: Sonic Vivisection
The Assignment: Operate with incisions on a live sound in real time.

Step 1: Consider the concept of vivisection, or “the cutting of or operation on a living animal usually for physiological or pathological investigation,” per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Step 2: Consider how that term might be applied to sound — for example, enacting cuts into a live sound source in real time.

Step 3: Record a short piece of music/sound based on the thoughts that arose upon reflection on Steps 1 and 2 above.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0355” (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 “disquiet0355” (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, October 22, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, October 18, 2018.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0355” 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).

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

More on this 355th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Sonic Vivisection / The Assignment: Operate with incisions on a live sound in real time) 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 adapted (cropped, text added) from a photo by Tudor Barker, used via Flickr thanks to a non-commercial Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0):



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And the project is now live.



When I think vivisection, I think https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHhLujMc7-k

I suppose I should think more deeply lol.

This is my interpretation.


I promise it was just because I’ve been reading a book about the history and cure of yellow fever, and the ethical issues about clinical human trials.

(Someone else on Twitter did make the same connection as you.)

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Ran my Gibson into my BOSS pedal board and added a Bananana Effects “kill switch” pedal right at the end of the chain. Started with a few seconds of silence in the DD7 hold (loop) mode before layering sounds by scraping and slapping a knife on the guitar strings. Kicked on the kill switch a few times to insert silence.

Recorded in Audacity and exported to Ableton for layering, distortion, panning, etc. Had to get the whole thing recorded pretty fast, in case my better half came home and - seeing my diabolical misuse of our kitchen knife - decided to bury it somewhere painful.


The playlist is now rolling:


warning : this is a bit intense

i was reading kamila shamsie’s novel home fire which is brilliant and fearless.
when the project email came thru i’d just read this section and it freaked me out a bit, a horrifying synchronicity:

“…he worked in the studio on sound effects of beheadings, crucifixions, whipping. This was both a test and a punishment. In the studio, he had control of himself. Abstracting himself to that place where nothing but getting the sound right mattered. The fascination of discovering the different pitch and timbre of a nail through flesh, a blade through flesh. Some men were men in their dying screams, some were animals. He, Mohammad bin Bagram, now numbered himself among the animals.” (pp 169-70)

also some of my work as a therapist is evident to me in the music… at least it’s authentic!

i had two random arp patches running thru synthmaster, the sound really seemed to fit: arp gate cuts, cutoffs adjusted, delay feedback howl. i thought about not posting this track.


Galway Kinnell’s poem “The Bear” explores the conflict between humans and their natural environment, signifying the metaphorical paradox that occurs when hunter and prey become one. The poem’s seven section takes us through a grisly dream sequence in which the central theme (a bear’s animalistic search for food) represents one’s instinctual need for survival, married with the subconscious hunger to understand how and why we exist.

At the poem’s crucial moment, the narrator’s comes upon the “scraggled,/ steamy hulk” of an eviscerated bear. He splits, devours and enters the rotting carcass before assuming the bear’s identity:

I hack
a ravine in his thigh, and eat and drink,
and tear him down his whole length
and open him and climb in
and close him up after me, against the wind,
and sleep.

And dream
of lumbering flatfooted
over the tundra,
stabbed twice from within,
splattering a trail behind me,
splattering it out no matter which way I lurch …

The poem’s final line is the narrator asking himself, “what, anyway,/ was that sticky infusion, that rank flavor of blood, that poetry, by which I lived?” Suss Müsik often ponders similar questions.

For this piece, a ravine was hacked into a sound field and worn like a fur-covered shell. Organ chords were played through two MoogerFooger processors, then spliced, sampled & distorted in real time using the Infinite Jets “swell” setting. An additional noise filter compressed the signal, its melodies lumbering flatfooted over a wintry tundra splattered with sonic debris.

Although the piece lacks any sort of “surgical” precision, such is often the case when cuts are made with bone rather than medical instruments. The final result was performed live and recorded quickly to 8-track.

The piece is titled Poincheval, named after the French artist who lived a week inside a fake bear.


SussMusik: Beautiful soundscape, absolutely beautiful

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Lacking the setup to make any intervention on live sound in real time, I decided to remix the soundtrack for Experiments in the Revival of Organisms, an educational franken-film about Soviet science retrieved from the Prelinger Archives. I think its relevance to the topic will be apparent… Also the Frankenstein aspect seemed apt, as it’s late October and almost Halloween.

Most sounds sourced from the film, with the addition of a few extra ornaments which will be immediately apparent. The drone is derived from the lush string intro of the piece, paulstretched and then layered against itself, out of sync. What discord there is is from stretching in the original film – the sequence was so relentlessly (and oddly, given the subject matter) in major chords that it refused to not harmonize.


love it - didn’t know a track about this topic could be so danceable :wink: and that image, VV of course ^___^


Played synth in Reaper then cut up/muted pieces of the track


another grizzly man! no – grizzly *men. great track, I can hear the process. and thanks for the tip about Poincheval, he is new to me. interesting that the variance in his “insertion art” is about the outside of his container, but I wonder if his experience of the inside of these places is more homogenous – like, if being inside a very small place is just being inside a very small place… intriguing :slight_smile:


I like your cut-up technique, the silences, and the whimsical fragments exposed. I think brion gysin would appreciate this!

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the variety of sonic textures you’ve exposed here is great, I’ve listened several times :slight_smile:


fascinating approach – I mean they have discovered that plants do talk to each other, or communicate in some way, right? and certainly all cellular processes share information… I really like your variances in timbre here, it’s like those different scales of communication, translated into our hearing range :slight_smile:


agree with your SO that that is a very nice knife :wink: but I have to say, it makes even nicer effects when applie to your guitar and block-chain of effects boxes! great track.


love the “real” instruments + pure data mix. when octopi make their first film, this will be the overture :slight_smile:

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