Disquiet Junto Project 0380: Ears Only

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, April 15, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0380: Ears Only
The Assignment: Record a piece of music for an audience of one.

Just one step this week:

Step 1: Record a piece of music for someone in particular. (You don’t need to identify who the person is. You alone need to know the person for whom you are composing.)

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0380” (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 “disquiet0380” (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: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #disquietjunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is Monday, April 15, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted in the morning, California time, on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0380” 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: 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).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 380th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Ears Only / The Assignment: Record a piece of music for an audience of one — at:


More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:


There’s also on a Junto Slack. Send your email address to twitter.com/disquiet for Slack inclusion.

Image associated with this project adapted (cropped, colors changed, text added, cut’n’paste) thanks to a Creative Commons license from a photo credited to Andrew West:




The project is now live.

for a loved person, who is going in the dark…


As a coincidence, the Junto called for a piece of music that I was making anyway. It’s a remix of a video of Jacob Collier explaining how his arrangement of “In The Bleak Midwinter” modulates through various keys to end up in G half-sharp major. That’s the key midway between G and A-flat. It’s the geekiest thing I’ve ever heard.

I find the joy of Collier’s explanation to be much more effecting than the arrangement itself. In general, while I like Collier’s energy and enthusiasm for harmony, I find his actual music to be exhausting. It’s too much information. So I guess this track is my way of requesting that Collier make music the way I like it: more repetitive, more groove-oriented, more hip-hop flavored.

BTW, in addition to the Jacob Collier samples and 808, I also used the same Mahavishnu Orchestra breaks from last week’s Junto project: https://soundcloud.com/ethanhein/vital-transformation-transformation-disquiet0379


Random pitches and rhythm generated on the modular. Sounds are Karplus-Strong simulations of a string both hammered and plucked.

For a friend born with 100% hearing loss in one ear who wanted me to explain stereo.


I made this tonight using two samples – one by Morricone and the other a lo-fi loop that I chopped up using mpc software. It moves methodically, ABC, through different sample areas in its Morricone ‘melody.’ This is for an earlier version of me.


This piece was written for someone close to me who experience a terrible loss when very young. It’s meant to evoke my acknowledgement of their pain and my hope for their recovery.

It’s based on a single piece of audio–a harmonic played on an acoustic guitar. I alter the pitch and produce overlapping instances, and eventually bring up the reverb and fade. Produced in ChucK (code here: github.com/charliekramer/ChucK…ter/disquiet0380.ck)



I meet on a monthly basis with a small group of photographers to share the work we have done recently. I have found that surrounding myself with smarter and more talented people is the best way to develop my skills and steal ideas. About a year ago I decided to ask the other members of the group for an image of theirs to which I would write an accompanying piece of music. To date I have only asked two, and only started to write music for one of the images.

So I took this week’s task to force me off my duff and complete the piece I had started a year ago to accompany Jim Mitchell’s (http://mfotografie.com/) image, Broken.

Broken was written for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, and Cello.

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

P.S. I have placed the image at http://glsmyth.com/temp/Broken.jpg - alas, it is unacceptable for a piece of photographic art to be blindly cropped to a square.


I had a very good friend in college who was completely blind. I had a very difficult time explaining to him the concept of vanishing point. I don’t think that I was able to succeed, hopefully you will have better luck.


I would love a transcript of that conversation.

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The playlist is now rolling:

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This week’s disquiet came at the perfect time. I was planning on doing this project anyway, but the prompt to make a piece for one specific person was ideal for the project. This piece is in honor of my late Grandfather, Lee Eugene Bratcher.

All the audio from this piece is from a field recording I made of grandpa’s funeral last weekend. (Except for the lone bass synth at the beginning) It’s more of a sound art piece than an actual composed musical work. My grandfather was a veteran and a delightful and friendly man. He will be dearly missed.

Full copy of Obituary:
"Lee Bratcher passed into his eternal home on Friday, March 1, at Samaritan Albany General Hospital.

Lee was born in Fort Riley, Kansas, to Sylvester and Dora Bratcher. He had three siblings: sister, Kathleen and twin brothers, Floyd and Fred. His family moved around a bit for work and he lived in Arkansas, Arizona and Missouri.

He was married to Jenny McCollum on September 23, 1950; she passed in August 1988. The couple had two children, Michael and Shawn.

Lee served in the Korean War aboard the USS Southerland as a seaman first class and on the USS Dixie, where he learned a trade as lithographic pressman.

After being discharged from the Navy, Lee and Jenny moved to Portland where he attended Pacific Bible College, now Warner Pacific University.

He was a member of Church of God and United Presbyterian Churches.

Lee worked as a graphics art printer for 40 years in the Portland area.

He enjoyed collecting old books, book binding, perfecting the art of Gold Gilding, chess, Theological discussions and singing.

Lee was preceded in death by two other wives, Loralyn Thomas and MaryAnn Nehls.

Lee lived his last six years at Quail Run Assisted Living, Mennonite Village.

Lee is survived by sister, Kathleen Bratcher; son, Michael and daughter-in-law, Candy; daughter, Shawn Nevin and son-in-law, Dan; grandsons, Travis Nevin and wife, Michelle, David Nevin, Jay Nevin, Cole Bratcher and wife, Luz, Jameson Bratcher and wife, Blaze; granddaughter, Jocelyn; great-grandsons, Linus and Frankie; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers or charities, his family requests donating a book to your local library in memory of Lee Bratcher, who loved books."


Very thankful for the prompt this week.

This one’s for the birds:


I’ll report the results when available.

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This is for my dad. He died last January.

He loved “Rocket Love” by Stevie Wonder (open.spotify.com/track/5bYjwooath…0jTByV2-m3GbIwdA), and often sang - a little out of tune - the “doo-doo-doo” theme at the start. This small piece is inspired by that fond memory. I miss him very much.

This one was tough…


Taking the assignment one step further. Composing and performing.
I composed the piece Vågformare for my daughter. I recorded the piece on tape. We took a short walk into the wood. I put the tape recorder on a stump. Daughter (human) and digital recorder (Zoom H1) in front of the tape recorder (se picture). The concert took place 13 April 2019 at 11:00. On monday I will take this tape to railway station and “forget it there”. Just maybe someone else will listen. Somewhere else. “30 minutes of that…” :crazy_face:
I have to work on my recording skills… For example I had big problems with the overwhelming apaouses… As she sat next to the recorder they were loud! Had to use limiter there. The rest is unedited. Just amplified and fade in and out. I like the airplane…


I wrote many compositions dedicated to people, requiems, love songs, and just plain dedications.

But this particular little melody caught the attention of a film producer and I’ve got the commission: to record this and other 4 melodies I wrote as a « theme and variations » to be used all along a film.

The melody was dedicated to somebody, indeed. Still around.

Alas this one wasn’t choose.
So I had the theme and 10 variations, 11 tracks total to recycle.

I ended up sharing 3 of those in the past: the main theme for guitar and piano
And two trumpet led variations : rhodes, trumpet and electronica and trumpets and brass section

For this junto I decided to gather in one track four remixes of the unreleased variations, to make a sort of suite around this sensitive Em theme.
1- Piano, guitar, strings
2- Piano, guitar, melodica
3- Piano, guitar, upright basses (pizz), bass clarinet, horn.
4- Piano, guitar, upright bass (pizz),accordion, melodica.

DD, 13/April/2019


@DeDe This is beautiful. It’s making me imagine Ennio Morricone and Evan Lurie composing after a long trip around South America together.

On a less romantic note, I’m now panicking about what to submit!!


Interesting the number of contributions thus far offered in remembrance of those no longer with us. Peace to us all.