Disquiet Junto Project 0356: Ground Swell

Disquiet Junto Project 0356: Ground Swell
The Assignment: Derive something spooky from a specific place.

Major thanks to @cmcavoy (Chris McAvoy) for having proposed this project.

Step 1: The goal is to create a piece of music that uses layers to create a sense of unease, eeriness, or disquiet.

Step 2: Think of a place that summons up the sensations described in Step 1.

Step 3: Derive sounds from the place that came to mind in Step 2. If you have access to the place, consider strategies to accomplish this (from field recordings, graphic notations, etc.). If you do not have access to the place, use your memories and impressions as a resource.

Step 4: Create a short piece of music using the sounds in Step 3 to achieve the goals of Step 1.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0356” (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 “disquiet0356” (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 29, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, October 25, 2018.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0356” 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 356th weekly Disquiet Junto project (Ground Swell / The Assignment: Derive something spooky from a specific place) at:


Major thanks to Chris McAvoy for having proposed this project.

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 SoliDreamer, used via Flickr thanks to a non-commercial Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0):



And: Happy Halloween


This week’s Junto project is now live.

Hello everyone,

Apologies for going back to Shakespeare, but his texts are returning to me with increasing intensity recently.

Play: Macbeth.
Site: Birnam Wood.
Quote: “Light thickens, and the crow Makes wing to th’ rooky wood.”
This line always stuns me: that light itself could thicken (claustrophobia), and trigger the exit of crows (mechanization of nature).

I used two techniques to get some sense of “thickening.”
(1) slowly layered instruments
(2) slightly different delay patterns panned to the left and right channels.

I am not quite sure if the distorted pianos that emerge at 1m58s really work (they sound a little like guitars). Thoughts or constructive criticism are welcome!!





Here’s mine!

The bulk of it is Just Friends pinging 6 Sisters, while Ansible Cycles modulates Span and Earthsea Freq. Make Noise DPO plays through a Natural Gate into Rings, set for some lofi reverb/ delay sounds. Norns Foulplay handles the beat. The sample was literally the first result for “ship in the atlantic”, and outside of re-triggering it on occasion I just let it play throughout the track.



Sounds recorded on the way to a scary place combined with sounds from the scary place. The windy drive to an abandoned building on a hill, the walk through the scrub to the abandoned building, the clanks and thumps of maniacs with microphones. All sounds recorded on location, arranged in Logic.


:slight_smile: sometimes this laptop can be a pretty scary place…
supercollider, voicememo hand clapping, pspspringbox, uhesatin
//code poetry
{[SinOsc.ar(LFNoise1.kr(6).range(420, 432), mul: 0.1), SinOsc.ar(LFNoise0.kr(8).range(420, 432), mul: 0.1)]} .play;


3 layers interacting on the same improvised set of keys, with two pads (one deep, a ‘swell’ pad, one higher) and one organ. The layers change as you sink deeper into whatever the depths may hold. Inspiration: cold-ass lake I was at during dusk this evening.


i saw this video the other day https://i.imgur.com/2WlNzjV.gifv the ground swelling almost breathing. i guess this track is an accompaniment

in podfarm i had no input feedback from these chains:
fuzz pi - auto swell - low rez - stereo expo chorus - bubble echo - tube echo - echo platter - tape echo - dark hall reverb /
tape echo - bass overdrive - bender - sine chorus - pingpong delay - reverse delay - echo platter - tape echo - brite room reverb

iris 2 i had cello, cor anglais, and bass clarinet samples. and i played around with the satan in music notes (B & F)

audacity i had lots of reverb to get that swell after the note, paulstretch to blend the notes into discord (altho actually it made it more flowing) and more reverb.

i’m so used to this sort of music that there’s not really any sense of disquiet for me; i did try to have a more pleasant section in the middle for contrast.


I used a sample constisting of sounds made ba coupling rail-wagons.


Here you go.

Not a lot of spookiness at Autogeneric Towers, so I locked my field recorder in my shed for 8 minutes or so, and captured the part of locking and unlocking. I then created an ominous drone sound using the Instruo C-SL oscillator into a TipTop Z-DSP Halls of Valhalla Reverb, with a feedback loop from this into a 4MS Spectral Multiband Resonator, and another branch into Mutable Instruments Clouds. Finished off in Logic Pro X with some further reverb and finalising.

Oh, and I’ve added a photo of the shed in question. It looks quite harmless in the cold light of day.


cool sounds, and inspiration


The greatest disquiet in my life was the three years spent in junior high school - hands down. We had moved from New Jersey to West Virginia that past summer, and to say that the culture was different and something I did not understand would be more than an understatement.

Not only was the culture unknown, but my homeroom teacher was a sadist (in the correct use of the term) and the principal was unstable (it was his last year there).

Each grade was divided into four sections, the 1s, the 2s, the 3s and the 4s. The 1s were those who were in band (I played clarinet), the 2s were the “normal” kids, the 3s were the smart kids, and the 4s were the stupid kids. Hard to believe, but it was true. Corporal punishment was a regular thing, again, something that is hard to believe to this day.

Let’s just say that it was three years that I would be fine with removing from my memory.

I do not have access to the place, nor would I wish to if I did, but I used layers in this piece in an attempt to describe what it meant to me and how I felt during those years.

Ground Swell was written for Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello, and String Bass.

The score is available at bit.ly/2PXjC6F


The place that scares me: my dreams.

I tried to create a piece that had the unsettled yet still appealing feeling of a dream. Shifting scenes and moods. In my worst dreams, I am vulnerable in a dark place. In my best, I’m about to go on stage!

I did this, as usual, in Logic with various synths, including Spitfire audio for the bending strings, which I love.

Cheers xo


In Nyoongar mythology, the crow [wardong] would help carry the spirits of the dead over the western sea to the afterlife. One time I came across a massive congregation of crows at Yellagonga Regional Park - there were so many crows it covered the tree - and recorded them, and for this assignment I used that recording as the basis for this piece.

Layer 1: Field recording slowed 800%, panned forward using the Sennheiser AMBEO VST.
Layer 2: Field recording slowed 800% with delay, panned behind using the Sennheiser AMBEO VST.
Layer 3: Field recording slowed 400% + Around The Head panning.
Layer 4: Field recording, original speed + Around The Head panning.
Layers 5+6: Field recording converted into MIDI + Morphing Glass instrument.


that was one of the best pieces I have heard in a long time… magnificent achievement

1 Like

First settled in 1733, Savannah is the oldest city in the U.S state of Georgia. The bustling port played an integral role in the Atlantic slave trade, importing thousands of African people of primarily Congolese descent.

Even after the state banned the direct important of Africans in 1798, written records indicate that slave ships arrived on coastal Georgia as late as 1858. Many of these were driven by pirates who profited by luring escaped slaves to their boats, imprisoning them, and selling their labor overseas.

In 1854, a French ship called The Grietely arrived in Savannah to collect 71 runaway slaves. Chained to the bottom of the boat, the slaves pounded the walls in order to escape. As the damaged ship began to take in water, the captain refused help from locals to save those imprisoned below deck. Everyone chained to the boat perished.

Legend has it that the harbor remains haunted by the ghosts of those who drowned on The Grietely. Some sailors insist that they can sense a force in the waters that pulls their boats off course. Others have reported hearing voices spoken in Bantu.

For this piece, Suss Müsik layered recordings of African American laments against a bed of Moog synth and bass drum. Listeners may recognize the haunting lyric of New Buryin’ Ground: “Well I can hear the hammer ringin’ / On somebody coffin / A well, it must have been my captain," in addition to an unknown vocalist singing Arwhoolie Cornfield Holler.

The piece is titled Grietely. The image was taken on the waters of the Savannah river.


The playlist is now rolling:


I didn’t pay enough attention to the instructions and ended up with a somewhat different result.

You can see I’ve recorded my clothesline and layered elements through reverb and delay to get a spooky-ish result.

The location I had in mind was the railway I cross to get to town, which has frightened me at times when I’m crossing with my children and their bikes.

One particular experience nearly required abandoning a bike on the tracks to rescue my son.

As I was thinking on this project I remembered a story I’d read to him, Henry And The Ghost Train.

Anyway, it all came together in my head as a nightmare in which an unseen train catches us on the tracks one moonless night.