Disquiet Junto Project 0415: Seasonal Metal

This is the next-to-penultimate (pen-penultimate?) Disquiet Junto project of 2019. If you’ve been with the Junto for more than a year, you know what the last 2019 and first 2020 projects will focus on. In the meanwhile, this one is holiday-themed.

Disquiet Junto Project 0415: Seasonal Metal
The Assignment: Tinsel is your latest instrument.

There is just one step this week: Make a piece of music that explores tinsel for its sonic properties.

Of course, feel free to interpret this as literally or figuratively as you desire.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0415” (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 “disquiet0415” (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, December 16, 2019, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, December 12, 2019.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0415” 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 415th weekly Disquiet Junto project — Seasonal Metal / The Assignment: Tinsel is your latest instrument.:


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.

The image associated with this track is by Stuart Rankin, and is used (image cropped, text added) via Flickr thanks to a Creative Commons license:



1 Like

The project is live.


This is some music I wrote last night for a poetry class. I really didn’t know how to make music involving tinsel. I looked up the etymology of “tinsel”: late Middle English (denoting fabric either interwoven with metallic thread or spangled). I decided anything metallic would have to do. So, in Ableton Live, I found an audio effect called “Loop Metal Needle” in the “Corpus” group and added it to the melody track.


“antepenultimate”, “preantepenultimate”, “propreantepenultimate”, “packedapeckofpickledpeppepropreantepenultimate”, source



I’m sure @ikjoyce woudn’t mind me saying that he did an excellent album called Tinel a few years ago…



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Thanks Neil! :blush: This will have to stand as my contribution to this one, as I’m in the middle of packing up ready to move house in a few weeks. The plus side is: New studio space in 2020!


Fighting off a weird virus, high on medications I can’t pronounce, I misread the word tinsel as tinfoil and completely wrote my music around the idea of making a craft with tinfoil. That seemed holiday-related enough to lead me to this improvisation. Fingers, acoustic guitar, one take, single mic, minimal post-processing, yayaya. I didn’t realize til posting now how I’d missed the plot of this prompt. If you like sad songs inspired by tinfoil tiaras and crowns, enjoy. Also, I’ll toss in a favorite lyric that led me to buy a bunch of opera cds back when I was a teen: I wore it like a badge of teenage film stars, hash bars, cherry mash and tinfoil tiaras. Dreaming of Maria Callas, whoever she is.


my first thought about metal was my vibraphone
that a friend’s mum gave me 20+yrs ago
“you’re a musician right - Ive got an old instrument you can have if you like it”
it’s italian and gorgeous

so I improvised a 3 minute piece
split it into 4
then layered it
and tweaked it
it’s a christmas miracle



And the playlist is rolling:

As I was composing this track I received sad news. Then I noticed that the final element I had layered in, on kind of a whim, sounded like the end of Eliot’s The Waste Land, whispered, through metal (a contact-mic’d fence). This seemed appropriate for both the turning of the year, and of a life. peace <3

A requiem in tinsel. Shantih shantih shantih


I used this stereo bell array cascade thing I cooked up to do an ambient shard of “Jingle Bells.” Sparkly! Code is here:



I took this one literally. I sampled rustled tinsel for the percussion accompaniment to a badly played version of “O Tannenbaum” (sorry to any jazz musicians here) and then got all heavy at the end (sorry to any metal musicians here).


Conductor of christmas feeling but not of electricity. That was what I was exploring first. Then I used a contact mic and tinsel. Contact mic and envelope follower. The envelope open up a VCA. This is my Tinsel Sound.


Tinsel is made by sliding large sheets of polyvinyl chloride plastic into a large cutting machine. The film is sliced into long, thin strips before being fed into a threading contraption that spins alongside a galvanized wire lead. The process is complete when the entire ribbon is twisted by centrifugal force and lifted out by hand, ready to be cut and packaged.

Suss Müsik used a similar process for this week’s Disquiet Junto. Guitar loops of different sonic textures were sliced into loops and fed along a Moog arpeggiator “lead.” These slices were then twisted around each other and played conventionally, increasing the reverb from dry to wet. About 90% of the work was in the preparation; the final result was recorded quickly to 8-track.

The piece is titled Tinsellator. The image is a Polaroid photograph of tinsel taken with a cheap Holga camera.


@SussMusik fabulous process, and a really beautiful piece of music… I wish it were longer!!


VCV Rack, Tides x2, Befaco Rampage x2, BOGaudio MIX8, Chronoblob, Clouds, Feline, NYSTHI master recorder, Orca’s Heart

Beautiful Tinsel and ornaments were hung from the freshly cut tree. Then George, Lisa, and there two children Darren and Sylvia went off on there holiday vacation to Cancun. The neighbor Jeffrey was supposed to take care of the family dogs and water there freshly cut tree. Jeffrey forgot, the tree got dry, and the tinsel began to burn. The dogs made it out okay though.


Thank you for that kind remark! :slight_smile:


I wanted something irritatingly plastic and repetitively layered that could be looped, so my attention turned to my latest keyboard – which cost $3 at my local opportunity shop.