Disquiet Junto Project 0358: Rhythm + Blue(s)

Disquiet Junto Project 0358: Rhythm + Blue(s)
The Assignment: An exercise in genre.

Thanks to Micah Stupak-Hahn (aka @laerm) for having proposed this project.

Step 1: Consider the term “rhythm and blues.” Not the genre, just the term.

Step 2: Imagine what you might think “rhythm and blues” meant in terms of music had you never previously heard “rhythm and blues” music.

Step 3: Record a short piece of music that expresses the idea of “rhythm and blues” that occurred to you in Step 2 above.

Six More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0358” (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 “disquiet0358” (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, November 12, 2018, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are on. It was posted in the evening, California time, on Thursday, November 8, 2018.

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

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0358” 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 358th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Rhythm + Blue(s) / The Assignment: An exercise in genre — 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 KoiFish Communications, used via Flickr thanks to a non-commercial Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0):




The project is now live.

Excellent, quite tribal results on the percussion.

Hopefully your daughter or any other living thing wasn’t close by, right? The rhythm beat is very brutal, like John Bonham on a giant Cajun washboard.
Or BoneMachine-era Tom Waits’ animal percussion…





I got infatuated with Blues when I was a kid (Howling Wolf, John Mayall and Muddy Waters mostly) but back then the term Rhythm and Blues was a bit confusing to me, I remember somebody pointing out that The Who and the Stones were considered as R&B bands at their beginning. The Who R&B? ok…

In my young little head it was more mashed up with soul and funk, Stax and Motown music from the 60’s. Anyway, R&B was way far from the “Pop-HipHop” thing they refer to now with that moniker.

So I took all this as a license to submit whatever I’m working on really.

If somehow aliens studying mammals on this part of the universe end up thinking Fats Domino, The Who and Rhianna all play the same style off music, you can count me in (out?).

For this one I went for a 6/4 beat (4+2 unusual for R&B I presume) but used normal instruments for that style:

Electric Guitars (x2)

Wurlitzer piano

Farfissa Organ

Electric Bass


Sounds more complex than it is actually, it is just a lazy Friday jam.


I looked into what the actual words “rhythm” and “blues” reminded me of.

Rhythm reminds me of order within the void. It became my goal to create some sort of ambient void. I used multiple layers of very low-tone synthesizers and added tremolo to try to create a “living void.”

The word blue has a downward tone to it. Whenever I said it aloud, I felt my voice pitch start high and go lower. Blues is a plural noun so I made it repetitive. I then created “order within the void” by adding organized sounds which I bent downwards.

I then balanced the audio and continued to add effects until it sounded like a soundscape I’d be proud to pass along.






Recorded in one take. Panned original track to right channel. Reversed original track to left channel, adding distortion and reverb. I wanted to let any rhythm or pulse emerge by chance: in this case, rhythm and blues >> rhythm in blue. “The lights burn blue” is from Shakespeare’s Richard III.


The playlist is now rolling, colorfully:


Might’ve taken the instructions a bit literally.

It was their fault though, as they’re written.


Rhythm is a strong, regular, repeated pattern and blues can be thought of as feelings of melancholy, sadness, or depression. As winter approached and I mentally prepare for my fingers being continually cold for the next several months, this was not difficult to envision and write for.

Blue Rhythm was written for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Vibraphone, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass.

The score is available at http://bit.ly/2T1xPlc


tried to imagine if i hadnt really heard music before. rhythm i think would be linked to my heart beat conceptually. i looked up the etymology of blue. this too might be linked to the heart: the idea of a bruised heart. since about 1400 blue has been linked to low spirits.

i had some simple flute basoon and tuba samples loaded and those thru a tremolo for a pulse. in audacity i had some echo 5 semitones higher. the emotional tone is a bit more variable listening back


I decided to treat rhythm in genre name as literal as possible so I have very short repeated rhythms and I interpreted blue as this kind of blue that is associated with anxiety, depression etc. it turned out much sinister than I planned :wink:
Technically it is 1.5second of some radio song chorus spliced in to 23 even fragments and then slowed down to around 10% and played by hand. Title if anyone is interested can be translated as “Swans the band plays the futurist manifesto”.


Well, it was a difficult week for me, so I think this rather upbeat pop song came about as a way to cheer myself up. I used steely beats, a prefab drummer, piano, space bass, tin whistle, strings and a resonant pattern arpeggiator.

Rhythm beats the blues!


Some filtered reverberant piano, using morphagene - i was thinking of a non (‘blue’) sound, like reverb, that could have rhythm ‘imprinted’ on it …

Have a lovely week!

h u :slight_smile:



This was a fun one, produced quickly during a session at Ableton Loop. (Listening to people talk about music production fills me with the urge to go produce some music.) I considered the term "rhythm and blues,” taken literally like an alien. The blues: samples of two tunes by Duke Ellington, “Misfit Blues” and “Lay-by”, both from Suite Thursday. The rhythm: a drum synth, a sample of “Soul Pride” by James Brown, and a recording of a pen tapping on a table. I’m quite interested in the rhythmic dissonance between Ellington’s heavy eighth note swing, James Brown’s light sixteenth note swing, and the straight rhythms of the rest of the track.


Processed rain sounds and undulating electronic rhythms working together.


a primitive notion of rhythm and blues–heavy sodden beat with wailing in the background.

Here, heavy guitar, dank drums,and a vocal loop cribbed from Hypoid’s amazing remix of the Disquiet 305 samples (I used the same loop in another non-Disquiet song: North_woods – Ceylon-blues)

all recorded in Ableton Live using the included amp plug-ins, two drum loops, and the strat copy shown here (a kit that my daughter and I built together when she was about 5 years old).


Love Swans. Love this!!