Disquiet Junto Project 0402: Music for Tasks

The past four weeks in a row of Disquiet Junto projects have all been collaborations, so this week’s is intended to be the opposite: it’s very specific to each participating musician’s own life. It’s also very practical (in contrast with, say, introspective).

Disquiet Junto Project 0402: Music for Tasks
The Assignment: Record music intended as the backdrop/soundtrack to a chore.

Step 1: Think of chores or tasks you are responsible for regularly that don’t take a huge amount of time, like doing the dishes, or weeding the garden, or walking the dog.

Step 2: Select out of the list resulting from Step 1 a single chore or task, for which you will, in this project, create a score or sonic backdrop.

Step 3: Take a sonic inventory of the experience of doing the chore or task from Step 2. This means making a list of the various sounds inherent in the activity, and thinking about how they work together collectively.

Step 4: Record an original piece of music/sound that serves as a backdrop/soundtrack to the activity you selected in Step 2 informed by the theorizing you accomplished in Step 3. (The length is up to you. It should be the length of however long the task generally takes.)

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0401” (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 “disquiet0402” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of 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, September 16, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 12, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you. It should be the length of however long the task generally takes.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0402” 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 402nd weekly Disquiet Junto project — Music for Tasks / The Assignment: Record music intended as the backdrop/soundtrack to a chore — 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.


The project is now live.

1 Like

I like dishwashing. I find it calming and oddly satisfying. I usually have some music on headphones but I can hear the ambient sounds of the water rushing, silverware clinking, resonances of pots and pans and glasses. I thought to create a piece that was a kind of stylized accompaniment for dishwashing.

I coded the whole piece in ChucK. Up first is a water sound–white noise run through filter whose frequency is altered by a three high-frequency LFOs (sine, square, and saw) and one low-frequency LFO (sine), to gently shift the pitch of the water sound. Then i introduce random clattering sounds via a ModalBar ugen. Up next are some randomly triggered bell sounds (TubeBell) for resonances. And last, to represent the music I’m usually listening to, there are randomly triggered saw sounds that are keyed off the pitch for the last-triggered bell. I use a bit of random panning to space things out too, and there’s a reverb.

It’s a little on the shorter side so probably not long enough for an after-dinner session, but the nice thing about ChucK is that I could just change the run time to 20 minutes (or 20 days) and let it rip.

code is here:


“I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman. Recited by John Richetti at the Kelly Writers House Wexler Studio, October 25, 2016.

Musical backing by me.

I did this in Ableton Live. This uses the Kotch reggae riddim. I wrote the loops by hand. No pre-recorded loops were used.


For all new and old tasks.
My old upright piano (recorded in Buenos Aires direct to DAT)
Synth arpeggiators (Microkorg)
Multiple bowed upright basses (recorded in Paris).
Samples (viola+violin)

Composed and performed by DD


The idea was to have some background music for the task of wiping the kitchen compartment, where you repeat, redundantly wipe, and occasionally get lost in the small.

I’m currently on vacation in France and on a marché in Valbonne I today found a Kalimba (see image) for 15 Euros (17 Dollars) and recorded it with the Zoom H1N. I tripled the track: Track 1 was the Original recording. Track 2 the Original with some Orilriver-Reverb (for beautyness) plus Track 3 the original, but scaled one octave down and with some strange ambience from Riviera Reverb (for obvious “ambient” reasons). Mixing in Reaper.


Wow, so much for me to like in your post. To start, I do most of the dishes in my house, and ever since I started listening to music / youtube / etc., the time flies by quite a bit faster. I think I’ve heard of ChucK before, but thanks for reminding me about it. I’m looking forward to learning more about it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t access your github link (blocked, or maybe it’s private?), I’d love to see the code. That piece was quite soothing. Cheers.


Thanks so much! That’s very kind of you.

I tried to fix the link but in any event here’s the code. Happy to field any questions if you want to give it a try.

Noise noise => LPF filter => ADSR envelope => NRev rev => dac;

ModalBar bar => rev => Pan2 pan => dac;

TubeBell bell => rev => Pan2 bellPan => dac;

5 => bar.preset;

40 => float barFreq;

.2 => noise.gain;
.2 => bell.gain;

SinOsc LFO0 => blackhole;
SqrOsc LFO1 => blackhole;
TriOsc LFO2 => blackhole;
SinOsc LFO3 => blackhole;

50 => LFO1.freq => LFO2.freq => LFO0.freq;

.05 => LFO3.freq;
.05 => LFO3.gain;

360 => float baseFreq;

20 => filter.Q;

(1000::ms, 1::ms, 1, 1000::ms) => envelope.set;

now + 120::second => time future;

now + 5::second => time barTime;
barTime + 10::second => time bellTime;
bellTime + 10::second => time squareTime;

while (now < future) {
Math.fabs(LFO0.last()+LFO1.last()+LFO2.last())(baseFreq(1+LFO3.last())) => filter.freq;
1 => envelope.keyOn;
if (now > barTime && Std.rand2f(0,1) > .995) {
barFreqStd.rand2f(.7,1.5) => bar.freq;
Std.rand2f(-1,1) => pan.pan;
1 => bar.noteOn;
<<< "fire bar ">>>;
if (now > bellTime && Std.rand2f(0,1) > .995) {
Std.rand2(1,4)*4 => bell.freq;
Std.rand2f(-1,1) => bellPan.pan;
1 => bell.noteOn;
<<< "fire bell ">>>;
if (now > squareTime && Std.rand2f(0,1) > .995) {
<<< "fire square ">>>;

10::ms => now;
1 => envelope.keyOff;



10::second => now;

fun void fire_square() {
SqrOsc sqr => ADSR env => NRev rev => Pan2 pan => dac;
-bellPan.pan() => pan.pan;
.05 => sqr.gain;
bell.freq()*.5 => sqr.freq;
( 1::second, 1::ms, 1, 1::second ) => env.set;
1 => env.keyOn;
2::second => now;
1 => env.keyOff;
2::second => now;


Thank you - maybe it’s biting off a big chunk to start, but I’m going to download ChucK tonight and try to run this program.

(sorry for the off-topic derail)




I’d recently revisited the recording of my washing line for Junto 356 and had just finished hanging a load, so I set about recording drums to accompany that chore.

I decided to include the sound of the washing line for context and, the way it builds, reminds me of how electronic music employs white noise.


Here’s mine. Music to accompany a task I do at least once if not twice a week: Fold up washing… I often listen to music while I do this.

Thinking about music that would fit it I decided on something repetative and rhythmic - I’ve also been listening to Datachi’s Bones a lot recently, so decided to head in that direction. The 6 mins duration is probably a little conservative timewise, but hey…

Made with Native Instruments Maschine, Rounds, Prism, Korg MonoPoly, Spitfire Audio British Drama Library and Iztope Stutter Edit.


an ios production, koala app on the iphone
sounds of washing dishes


The playlist is now rolling:

1 Like

I always found the early morning pre-work routine something akin to a chore. And a really monotonous one at that. Perhaps I’m a bit childish in my feelings towards it, but sometimes I would be so bored by the sheer Groundhog Day-esque repetitiveness of it that it was close to being unbearable.

The feeling each day kind of stacks and becomes more and more nightmarish. I wanted to capture that feeling in this project.
I recorded some sounds of the routine and consolidated them into one clip. Which is then repeated over and over again and an increasingly fast tempo. At the same time I recorded a drone sound with a BPF from a Minibrute 2 which gradually becomes more and more prominent and jarring - along with some really long delay of the routine sounds gradually becoming apparent to compound the horror.

Bent the rules a little bit here, but this really is the soundtrack in my mind to this chore

Quite happy with how this one came out. I do feel that perhaps I should’ve increased the overdrive, maybe even to the point of clipping to really drive the point home and now that I’ve made the groundhog day comparison I realise the routine is missing the sound of an alarm clock!


I recorded a kettle being filled and boiled as well as the clink of a cup on the counter and opening a tea caddy onto my iPad.
I loaded these samples into ape matrix and spacecraft(a granular effect).
I then fed them into chains of reverbs and Burns Audio’s Resonator, Spectrum and Modal free effects.These were then faded in and out of the mix.


This is music for quiet focus - late night programming, pre-meditation walk, reading absorbing material:

The basis is 2 tones 4.36 hz apart at frequencies for D2 and D#2. I set Bram Bos’ Collider for a D Phrygian scale and added a 60bpm drum. The 4.36 beat is at the lower end of theta waves, so it should help one find a relaxed openness.
[forgot to mention - headphones required for the binaural effect]


i love exotica, quiet jazz, easy listening… but why do so many coffee shops insist on playing those kinds of soporific music? i thought coffee was supposed to wake you up. so here is the music inside my head, as i make my morning coffee…


This is a dub version of a reggae version I posted earlier. It was done in Ableton Live. All the loops were hand-made.

Recited by John Richetti at the Kelly Writers House Wexler Studio, October 25, 2016. He sent me a nice email today complimenting my earlier version.


As pretty much always happens, I started in one direction and the act of working on that direction sent me in a completely different direction (sounds like quantum mechanics). The genesis of the piece had me recording myself emptying the dishwasher and resulted in a piece for solo viola and electronics.

Go figure.

Unloading The Dishwasher was written for Viola.

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