Disquiet Junto Project 0420: Luna Tick

Hey.
Twenty steps to the moon.

I usually take the assignment quite seriously, the challenge is the main point for me.
So excuse me to take a free interpretation this week.
The “theme” comes from the upcoming 20+20 mini album I did for @AudioObscura 's netlabel.
I used a rejected variation (the 21st one) from the 20 variations, 20 seconds each, I recorded
I expanded it using a project I’ve been working on these past few days, whose working title coincidentally was “Lunar Soundscape”. I used the 20 sec tracks and the Lunar tracks (not in the same key or tempo, but nobody cares, right?) and combined and moved them all to make this 2 minute lunar vignette.
You’ll hear:
Synthesizers
Ronroco
Fretless Bass
Music Box
Muted upright piano

Photo courtesy of NASA

PS: I found all the tracks submitted so far particularly amazing, what’s going on? The moon suits well the juntonians , it seems.

Cheers
DD

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I used guitar, piano, bass, arp bass, a twinkly pad, drums and some strings. The idea was to create a perfectly symmetrical composition reflecting the waxing and waning of the moon. Silence at the beginning and end represents the New Moon. xo

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“Women’s cycles are controlled by the moon,” someone recently told Suss Müsik. “After all, the word menstruation is partially derived from the Greek word mene, which means ‘moon.’ Obviously there’s a connection, right?”

Data science suggests otherwise. Menstrual cycles do not sync with the phases of the moon, according to researcher Dr. Marija Vlajic Wheeler, who analyzed 7.5 million cycles and found no correlation between the two. Then again, perhaps the connection is not so much scientific as romantic—less empiricism, more mythology. Consider the following passage by Helsinki poet Paavo Haavikko:

You marry the moon
and the sea and the moon and the woman: ear less, all. ·
You’ll listen to their voices, you’ll talk to them
and they say
it’s a game.

You Marry the Moon is an example of “Haavikko’s awareness of the complexities of communication involved in any sexual relationship,” according to translator Anselm Hollo. Such acute awareness is “gained through the realization that only the particular is worth the attempt. It is there, a world, waiting for others to discover as much of as they can.”

Perhaps the lesson we take from this is to think of the moon as a transient being. The phases of the moon are defined by its position in the sky, fleeting and always temporary. Our lives resonate in proximity to heavenly bodies, the paths we cross subconsciously intertwined. As Haavikko wrote:

in sleep nothing exists, only the moon is full,
the moon your silver mother
sleep on
and the moon’s path will cross the sky of your sleep
be at rest
no-one will come, oh, no-one else, only the moon
crossing your dream sky on its way to earth’s.

For this weird piece, Suss Müsik sought to explore phases of sound that concentrate on “the particular” while crossing one “dream sky” with another. Human sounds are passed through a grain synthesizer at the same frequency as recorded static, their individual “phases” overlapping in cosmic synchronicity.

The piece is titled Haavikko. It was recorded live to 8-track in January 2020.

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Actually, it sounds great. Nice work.

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I took one bright sample to represent bright visible part of the moon,
another bass sample for visible shadow and one sample for the sun (this one actually is from Dischoir).

One bar for moon to pass
One bar for sun to pass
And so on

Then added fat beat just for fun.

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My submission is based on a direct sonification of data from the Apollo Passive Seismic Experiments, downloaded from http://centrededonnees.ipgp.fr/netdesc.php?net=XA . This represents November 19–December 31, 1969 from the station left by Apollo 12. It has 3 channels of data, labeled Z, 1, and 2, where Z is up-down motion and 1 & 2 are in “non-standard orientation” (horizontal, I guess, but neither north-south nor east-west). I panned these to the center, hard left, and hard right, respectively. The data was originally sampled at 6.625 Hz but I simply read it at 48 kHz to see what I had. This processing is pretty trivial but I put it on GitHub just because I can.

What I had was a lot of pops, but also a lot of other weird noises. Some of the latter might represent moonquakes? Probably? The pops might be spurious from a seismological standpoint and I considered trying to interpolate them away, but I Am Not A Data Scientist.

Anyway, I liked it enough to want to use it wholesale with, by my usual standards, little tampering. So the pops are tamed a bit and everything else brought forward with a Transient Master on each data channel, then on the master track: Solid EQ (2dB boost in the bass, 2dB cut over 2 kHz), Solid Bus Comp (fairly high ratio but moderately high threshold), and Replika XT in diffusion mode. With this last, I modified the “Wormhole” preset to make the LP filter in the feedback loop quite resonant but with maximum modulation depth at rate 6.625 Hz. This seems mostly just to give some of the pops a random-ish-pitched tail that I thought added a certain something despite my earlier claim of little tampering.

EDIT1: What does this have to do with the phases, you might ask? It’s simple, really: I forgot about that part immediately after reading the prompt.

EDIT2: I calculated that the full moons occur at 0:52.417 and 6:47.029, etc, and added an automation track that’s 0 at the new moon and 1 at the full moons. This automation pushes the resonance higher, but cuts back on the overall feedback. I also lowered the Replika XT instance in the mix overall and rendered the whole thing a little louder.

New version:

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Moon and all your splendor, knows only my heart…

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I had wanted to incorporate Reich style phasing into a disquiet project in some shape or form recently, so this project came as a perfect opportunity.

@Elisa-room237 played a relatively short piece on the keyboard - but in order to hear the phasing effects to their full extent I think the final track would’ve needed to be quite long… and I’m touching right up to the boundary of the free SoundCloud upload limit. So, unfortunately, economics dictated the length and eventual outcome of this entry!

Instead we decided to feed the midi generated from the keyboard into various of the synth engines of the OP-1 and then use the Ableton warp feature to play at multiples / fractions of the original tempo. So, we “roughly” account for different phases of the moon in that respect. And we picked the engines that gave us a mysterious or otherwordly feel.

At the end after we’ve reached a full track we begin again to hear the beginnings of a new cycle.

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Girls and boys, come out to play.
The moon is shining bright as day.
Leave your supper and leave your sleep
and come with your playfellows into the street.
Come with a whoop and come with a call,
Come with a good will or come not at all.
Up the ladder and down the wall,
a half-penny roll will serve us all.
You find milk and I’ll find flour
and we’ll have a pudding in half an hour.
– Mother Goose

I imagined a night sky filled with stars, beginning at the New Moon. For the stars, I wanted something random, pitiless & uncaring, so I used Kevin Hopper’s Reaktor ensemble Wool to play AAS Strum via the Widisoft Audio to MIDI plugin.

As a resident of the northern hemisphere, I experience the waxing crescent starting at the right side of the moon disk. Therefore, the moon theme pans from right to left, building from silence to full volume when it reaches the center of the stereo field (Full Moon), then decreasing back to silence at the end of the piece.

The moon theme is a setting of the nursery rhyme “Girls and Boys Come Out to Play” from “The Baby’s Opera” by Walter Crane (1877). It is played by a sampled piano with a drum track added, then fed through Audiority GrainSpace so as to become luminous and unrecognizable.

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I spent a day exploring chord progressions, before deciding I wanted something that seemed obviously like an orbit.

Probably needed a night to sleep on the idea!

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I love this 18th century ink painting by an artist called Ito Jakuchu. Jakuchu left a large margin at the top of the screen, but now a poem by the singer Kagawa Keiju is attached in a separate sheet. It roughly translates to:

never darkening,
constantly it shines, this moon
and if it is so, there will surely be no one that sleeps through the night of this world

Such a gauche move to add something to someone else’s painting , but I can’t say I don’t love it.

One width paper ink painting Kansei 6 (1794) 100.8 × 58.3cm Saifuku-ji Image courtesy of Kyoto National Museum

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Process was fairly on the nose with a literal interpretation of the assignment - three separate oscillators, each going through its own envelope, manually triggered to create overlapping sequence 1-2-3-2. Manually playing the filter in accordance with general brightness level increasing from 1-2-3 then back down from 3-2 again. Some randomly phasing modulation and soaked in resonating feedback.

Had some ideas to program the entire thing using clever timing and triggering envelopes but pragmatism won in the end and ended up playing it manually instead, probably for the better.

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I’ve always been intrigued by how the moon affects the Earth’s tides, so when this prompt came up, I started looking into how I could sonically represent this. I went down multiple rabbit holes and learnt about tidal bores - spectacular expressions of the moon’s effects on the tides of a river, where a wave [or series of waves] rush upstream against the current.

I found a study by Hubert Chanson on the acoustic properties of a tidal bore, and used those figures to create my own.

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This weeks topic didn’t get me until I found some NASA Goddard Lunar phase footage. Sometimes I just need a visual to connect me to something.

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This track is based around a number of sine curves representing the 29.5 day synodic period of the moon and the Earth day. The majority of the sounds are based on sine curves with some manipulation. In addition, a recording from the first moon landing is used as a source for granular synthesis.

This track includes a sample courtesy of NASA: www.nasa.gov/mp3/569462main_eagle_has_landed.mp3. The associated image was rendered using lunar surface displacement map also courtesy of NASA.

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Surprisingly I came up with a lot of ideas for this when I heard the prompt but only ended up using a couple. Moreover I made it over the last 3 hours based on a structure I just thought of. In the end I feel like my structure was too prescriptive resulting in something that was more intellectually interesting to make (changing time signatures, poly meters, shifting modes) than to listen to. Beyond that, it doesn’t evoke the moon phases in the way I intended.

As for process, melodically it is very simple consisting entirely of fixed tones from modes acting as chords and arpeggios. It contains 7 phases each of which differs slightly (intended to represent a transition from new moon to full and back again). Beyond the composition I decided on long linear automations spanning the track to add some slow movement. Atypically for me I also did a little work in the mastering phase in terms of adding some more EQ motion to try and keep the tone changing. This definitely helped it along.

The sounds were all from synths (despite my plans to use more acoustic instruments sounds) and all sequenced from the MPC with effects from my usual delay+reverb. Atypically for me I also automated some of the effect parameters to try and keep things evolving. Another interesting project, but I feel like I didn’t make the most of it.

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Really love this idea!

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Welcome to the Disquiet :slight_smile:

I really like the atmosphere you’ve created here - listening sent a shiver up my spine, very haunting as you say

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The phases of the moon, as are the phases of life. The seasons of the year, so also the seasons of life. The only constant is perpetual change.

Although slightly melancholic perhaps, this piece has a positive, upwards moving continuum, towards its subtle and peaceful finale.

First the Moog One was recorded in one take, through two Roland Space Echos, one each for left and right channel. Then, with quite an amount of knob tweaking, the shimmer and playfulness of the Waldorf Quantum was added, also in one take, through the tape echoes.

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Disquiet0420
Goddess Tapping
• Key: C pentatonic BPM: 120 Time signature: 4/4 DAW: Reaper
• Instruments: Violin, string ensembles, cello, synth pad, soundscape
• Plug-ins: Ozone 8 elements, Kontakt 6, Spitfire labs, Aria player, Cinematique landscape
https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/
• The concept is that there are 4 major moon phrases(1st quarter, full moon, 3rd quarter and then the new moon)
• Used one instrument type for each phrase of the moon
• Six tracks total

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