Disquiet Junto Project 0377: Algorithms Assemble

Beautiful track, meditative, expansive.


Thank you for the kind words. Very glad that you enjoyed it.


Boy, howdy - This was a tough one - I don’t follow instructions very agreeably with creative work (Just ask my wife about our attempts at ballroom dancing, I can’t stand looping steps for instance even with waltzes or tangos!) - I could never be a studio musician, for instance. I play something and record it and try to get the right mood caught. So math-based challenges feel a little empty for me, just personally.

So the first few attempts at this had me feeling like my identity wasn’t really there with this algorithm request, as I was following the instructions to the note and it didn’t feel like it had much soul or sense to it. Then noticed the instructions could include a sound for the scale, and i enjoyed the idea more. I took a sentence from a 1950s civil defense PSA, “A House That’s Neglected’s a House That Maybe Doomed” (admittedly cheating a little, as Maybe is really two words - May Be and “That’s” is really “That Is” — but viewing the following as a scale:

A House - That Is - Neglected - Is - A House - That - May Be - Doomed

I followed the instructions then for a four part melody:

A - House - That’s - Neglected

And followed the next with a random word for part 3:

A - Ho/Yeah’s - That’s - Neglected

And so on for Notes 4, 3, and 1 - adding in other words, coupling, deleting, and then reintroduced full scale for conclusion.

Strayed enough off the instructions to feel creative and happily enough on path to feel like I played the game well, too. Fun challenge - Though I’ll admit it felt a little creatively restrictive at first, but maybe that’s the point of these prompts. Here’s your PSA!


“The most indubitable respect in which ideas have helped mankind is numbers,” wrote the philosopher and logician Bertrand Russell. “We have become, in certain respects, progressively less like animals [in] that forethought more and more dominates [our] impulses.”

Russell believed that all human knowledge was, at most, a best guess based upon knowledge attained to that point. In his 1903 book The Principles of Mathematics, Russell argued that mathematical concepts were immune from doubt because they were constructed entirely of logic. An algorithm is really nothing more than a process — a set of rules to be followed in order to achieve a result.

The logic breaks down because life and language are slippery, inexact and subjective. A famous example of Russell’s Paradox is the barber who shaves everybody in town except those who shave themselves. Who shaves the barber? If he shaves himself, then he doesn’t shave himself; if he doesn’t, then he does. Groucho Marx once remarked that he would never join a club who would have him as a member. Suss Müsik doesn’t really make music, nor do we do much sussing. Paradoxes abound.

For this piece, a simple four-note phrase was played on piano utilizing a scale of 8 notes. The 2431 algorithm was applied not only to note sequences, but also to sustain levels and attack times. This created a weird phasing effect during transitions. The algorithm was also applied to a “scale” of wordless vocal recordings by Suss Müsik friend, collaborator and mentor Wm. Wolfgang Allen. Expect more such collaborations from this team in the very near future.

The piece is titled Russellian. Many thanks to NorthWoods for contributing this inventive and interesting assignment to the Disquiet Junto community.


Love love love old Moogs.


Made use of a recent recording of Australia’s largest playable guitar for the Junto this week.

Planning to make samples of this beast available in coming months.


Thanks! I bought the Moog second hand in 1979 or so. It comes out to play once in a while. I had a Mini at one time but sold it. I kept this because it has such unique features. I also had it MIDIed way back in the early 80s. Just S trig and pitch, but it’s useful.

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I selected four notes and duplicated them an octave higher:
C D# F# A C+12 D#+12 F#+12 A+12

My melody (section A) plays over three bars in 5/4 timing.
Then come the prescribed adjustments to notes 2, 4, 3 and 1:

SECTION A: C F#+12 D# A+12
SECTION B: C D#+12 D# A+12
SECTION C: C D#+12 D# F#+12
SECTION D: C D#+12 C F#+12
SECTION E: A D#+12 C F#+12

The spine of the song runs through sections ABCDEEDCBA (for a total of 30 bars), and we end up back where we started.

This spine is played on the following virtual instruments: bass, piano #1, zeze #1, piano #2, zeze #2. Their start times are delayed to create a more interesting web of notes.

For variety, drums, synth pad, and a gently randomized lead synth were added.

I’m currently working on an album about Roman mythology, and one of the myths is about identity, alignment, realignment, confusion. I’m pretty sure that I will use this somewhat disorienting track for that myth.

This was the most difficult Junto I’ve ever participated in, but it also the one I learnt the most from. I would like to thank @NorthWoods for such a challenging and stimulating prompt, @disquiet for all his hard work in building and sustaining this great Disquiet community, and all the contributing composers who make LINES such a positive and enlightening environment.


Maybe I’ll get a new front panel made!

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There is something about the really old ones… a bit cranky, but lovable.

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4th inversion G major. Three instances of Model 15 for iPad, plus stock drum kit in Auria.



The playlist is now rolling:


Immediate regard for your being in the right place/time. Nice! Envious!

Gorgeous looking condition, too.

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Being there at the time was fun. I bought tons of stuff when no one wanted it any more.
The Moog is in pretty good shape all things considered, but it does need a serious service job. I’m looking into getting it down to Moog in Ashville.


This is such a damn cool piece. Would create a great moment in a film.

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Cheers all!

Disassembling (disquiet0377)
I know I should have used something algorithmic, like VCV Rack, but it’s Sunday night and time was getting short. It is also quite a pain to notate in iOS, so I thought I’d use Logic for a change.
Spanish was the chosen scale with F, G, G#, A#, C, C#, E and F, and although this was chosen with the intent of ascending and descending the scale, I changed it up as things progressed. A two bar eight note melody began with A#2, G2, C3, G#2, C3, A#2, G#2 and G2. The prompt instructions were continued as suggested but then something bad happened :open_mouth: The more I played and the more I organized notes, the more this piece killed the original intent of the prompt. But rest assured dear reader, the piece only contains those original eight notes and they are more or less in some semblance of sound.
Logic has so many great instruments sometimes it’s hard to choose and I ended up with more instruments than usual. Sculpture provided scatter, reflective, plastic, glass, air and water sounds. Alchemy provided odd, dark and deep bass sounds. Bit of volume automation and Chroma verb are the only additions in the mix.


This is really nice - and an interesting rhythmic take on the prompt. What is the instrument(s)? Sounds like some form of physical model to me…

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each note in the scale is 7% higher frequency than the previous note

generated sine wave in audacity
messed with phasing/distortion/stereo by applying paulstretch time resolution, created my notes
followed the steps, got a bit lost as its hard to sequence in audacity, for the 3rd set of notes i just pitch shifted by 70%