Disquiet Junto Project 0408: Fritiniency Tronics

Disquiet Junto Project 0408: Fritiniency Tronics
The Assignment: Were “fritiniency” (“the chirruping sound made by birds or insects”) a musical genre or technique, what would it sound like?

Many thanks to Michael Upton for having initiated this project.

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with the word “fritiniency.” It was described in a tweet by the author Robert Macfarlane as follows:

Word of the Day: “fritiniency” – “the chirruping sound made by birds or insects; an ambient creaturely hubbub (17thC English; from Latin “fritinnīre”, onomatopoeically meaning “to twitter”). “Fritiniency is a chirping like a Swallow” (Blount, Glossographia, 1656)

The original tweet is here:


Step 2: Now imagine the word “fritiniency” to be a musical genre or technique.

Step 3: Record a short piece of music that would qualify as an example of the genre or technique you imagined in Step 2.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0408” (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 “disquiet0408” (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, October 28, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, October 24, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0408” 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 408th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Fritiniency Tronics / The Assignment: Were “fritiniency” (“the chirruping sound made by birds or insects”) a musical genre or technique, what would it sound like? — at:


Many thanks to Michael Upton for having initiated this project.

More on the Disquiet Junto at:


Subscribe to project announcements here:


Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co:


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

Image from the Flickr account of Gregory Perez, used (text added, cropped) thanks to a Creative Commons license:




The project is now live.

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Oh, goodness me - I literally leapt in the air when I saw this week’s prompt. To say this is right up my alley is an understatement; it’s more like a non-stop expressway to my heart and soul. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Cannot wait to get stuck into this one!


Season 1 Episode 1 of the Netflix Series Explained on music may be of interest on this one. Basically it gets into how different species perceive different aspects of music as music… or not. https://www.netflix.com/title/80216752


I’m open-sourcing my thoughts on this one. AKA babbling and/or ranting.

Many years ago I started thinking that something the cell phones were doing… whatever wavelength they affected… was having an influence on bird song and insect chatter. I imagine this has been wondered at many times before about various ways of over the air transmission going back to Tesla and Marconi and probably further.

i recently got interested (again) in what other tools are available (apps) for iPhones etc. that deal in a more measured way with sounds. So I installed a new OSHA sound meter. This was inspired by talking to a foreman at a water treatment construction site in the early hours past daybreak at a park up on the peninsula out here in the Bay Area. I was making field recordings and he was genuinely curious if i had a db meter on my phone as he was required to follow certain limits at certain hours.

Shortly after that I got so annoyed at some mosquitos I searched for a sonic defense app to deal with that sort of thing. I found all kinds of mosquito repellent. My limited testing seemed pretty successful. My brother in law has a sonic mole deterrent that is… annoying as hell. There is a whole world out there.


Reading the comments on the Twitter link I was taken with how many people don’t hear birdsong any more! Living on the edge of the Moors here we are so lucky to have a never ending song from birds of all types. People who stay with us always remark on the amount of birds. For some ‘Silent Spring’ is a reality.


Again a Junto where my intial thoughts were “dang… I want to do this one but don’t have time!”
But I found time :slight_smile: By doing what i was supposed to while “synthesizing” in my head :stuck_out_tongue:

My thought process involved how to synthesize something akin to a bird chirp and getting the sort of random yet rhythmic flow you can hear in many birdsongs.
The bird chirp are made on a DSI Mopho with a triangle wave osc, a short almost percussive amp envelope and delayed upwards pitch envelope. The delay in the pitch envelope was the key part of this sound.
The rhythm of the chirps used the fact that you can modulate the divisions on the octatracks arpegiator with an LFO. I set the LFO to random and played randomly chosen chords :slight_smile:
I made 3 layers of this in different octaves and added reverb and delay per track and bus reverb.

Hope this one can inspire more creativity and looking forward to hear the rest when I get back from the weekend.


This is a one take recording of a composition made with a modular synthesizer. Main voices: Plonk, ER-301 sine oscillator and wavetable oscillator, Braids, Sinc iter, and two ER-301 loopers

and the IG snippet


This may not be strictly inline with the task, but here’s another “ambient creaturely hubbub” which would be been present, though hidden, when the word was coined.


I recently made a remix of the prelude to Bach’s Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G major. I made it four times longer by copying each bar (and some half and quarter bars) segment four times: https://soundcloud.com/ethanhein/bach-g-major-cello-suite-prelude-copy-and-paste-mix

To make it sound more like birds chirping or insects twittering, I then took the whole thing and tripled the tempo from 80 bpm to 240 bpm. I also put on a little filter sweep and delay. I’m finding it has a nice Terry Riley quality now. Enjoy!


5 voices in this forest. 2 are VCV Rack, mostly mutable stuff with lots of feedback, self-patching modulation going on.

2 of the tracks are my PAIA 4700 with a touch of reverb.

1 track is a recording of my whistling in the stairwell of my office building run through TAL - Bitcrusher.

I tried to mimic how birds and insects create mixtures of repetitive and unique sounds


As I mentioned previous in the Junto thread, the idea of Fritiniency and this kind of concept/approach is something I’m very interested in, and immediately I could see some parallels to the sound art explorations of artists such as Rolf Julius and Miki Yui (both of whom are massive influences on my own sound art practice).

I derived all of the sound material from a little clay whistle in the shape of a chicken. By filling it with a little water and blowing through it at the right intensity, it emits a regular chirping sound. It can also be played without water, resulting in a high pitched whistle, with a pitch that can be articulated marginally.

  1. I made a couple of recordings with these playing techniques as short improvisations - varying breath intensity and repetitions, whilst employing brief silences.

  2. I then took the recordings and played these back in a simple Max patch that looped them back at different pitches (ranging from a slight detuning to extremes [digital artefacts/glitchy]), whilst randomly determining their spatial position (so they drift around a little).

  3. Finally, I layered four of these Max renderings in Logic and mixed them so as to evoke an imagined soundscape. A little reverb was applied to add degrees of depth and space to the soundscape.


Strictly speaking, this isn’t twittering, it’s hooting. But it sounded so funny that I decided to use it anyway.

It’s basically generic house music with an owl hooting along.


The playlist is now rolling:

hey cool prompt Marc!

I thought if fritiniency is going to be a kind of music, it should have its own instrument. So I coded a very simple instrument in ChucK. It maps a key press into a musical note that is then bent (up or down) a little, run thru echo and reverb. (Delay time is randomized a little, for flavor).

If you want to experiment with this musical instrument you can find the code here:

and here’s the free software that runs it:


Here’s the video, where I produce sounds by typing in various things. Fun! At one point I try to run two copies of the program and it doesn’t go well!! (too many birds at once–if I made the birds shorter-lived I could pull this off)(also I should really upgrade my laptop)

If you prefer just the audio it’s here:




Just back from a weeks half-term break with the family and gutted only to hear of this weeks project now as won’t be able to take part this week but I am a big fan of Robert Macfarlane, just finished reading Underland recently, an amazing read. Will hopefully have an hour or two midweek to listen to these tracks…

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Well, maybe it sounds like this. Got some chirping birds from “the Internet” and also the sound of a cicada I recorded in Verona (listened to some great operas there!!) and mangled them through audacity.

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“The falcon glided, and began to soar. Drifting in the warm west wind, she circled up and disappeared into the blue mist of the distant sky. Nothing happened.” – J.A. Baker, The Peregrine

Production notes: The bird sounds are a self-oscillating patch on the sub37. No birds were harmed in the creation of this piece.


Hi all,

here is my contribution. More on the insect than on the bird side… The basis where two tracks with insect-like sound treated with effects (Bastl Softpop and Bleep Labs Pico Paso). On basis of this I did a first take live improvisation with Softpop simulating a fun-having insect ;-)…


Hello everyone. This tracks open with a glitched and volume-controlled recording I made of the deafening semis (cicadas) in the park near my house this summer. Cicadas always strike me as being automata, so their music is mechanical. Apparently, although birds eat cicadas, there is some evidence that birds will move away when periodic cicadas emerge. And so, around the 40 second mark, the chirping birds graciously provided by Northwoods (via Chuck) make an entrance - in order to make an exit. Thank you @disquiet for your support and inspiration, and @NorthWoods for your continual generosity in sharing with the group…