Disquiet Junto Project 0428: Urban Moss

The recipients of this email list – the people who respond to the prompts, participate on Lines (llllllll.co), communicate on Twitter and Slack and elsewhere – are spread around the world. Wherever you are, I hope you are well.

Life is a bit intense at the moment. Yesterday, after a long day of work, and then guitar practice, I left the house and walked straight down to the Pacific Ocean. The main local cafe was packed but the other businesses weren’t, and the streets were close to empty. The sky was very, very blue. When I reached the end of the road, I took some pictures of the Outdoor Public Warning System sirens, which have been silent for months due to some improvements being made on them – ironic, since, well, the city is in a state of emergency, as are many cities around the world. The photo on today’s project “cover” is from the pole on which the sirens down by the beach are suspended. I’ve wanted to do an “urban moss” project for awhile, something about the accretion of memories in inanimate objects.

The main thing I want to talk about, though, is next week’s project. People are going to be feeling isolated in the coming week, if not longer. Next week we’re going to begin a project intended to encourage and reward extended collaboration. I just wanted to mention this now, so you could get the world out to fellow musicians who might be looking for some communal support.

I’ve written more than I usually do. I’ll stop now.

Thanks, as always, for your generosity with your time and creativity.

And best wishes from San Francisco.

Disquiet Junto Project 0428: Urban Moss
The Assignment: What echoes of past concerts are retained within this pole?

Step 1: Consider how many concert posters have spent time on an old telephone pole before being torn down or succumbing to the elements. Think about the wear on the wood, the rust on the vestigial staples, as time has passed.

Step 2: Record a short piece of music that pays tribute to the accumulated echoes of past concerts promoted here over the years.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0428” (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 “disquiet0428” (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, March 16, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you. Shorter is often better.

Title/Tag: When posting your track, please include “disquiet0428” 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 428th weekly Disquiet Junto project — The Assignment: What echoes of past concerts are retained within this pole? — at:


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.


And the project is now live.


This piece contains the following English & Scottish Ballads:

  1. Riddles Wisely Expounded
  2. The Elfin Knight
  3. Willie’s Lady
  4. The Fair Flower of Northumberland
  5. The Twa Sisters
  6. Lord Randal
  7. The Cruel Mother
  8. The Three Ravens

The conceit is that each ballad is a concert poster. They are put on the pole sequentially. As a new ballad/poster is added the previous ones are partially obscured.

I transposed all the major key ballads to C major and the minor key ballads to A minor to avoid unnecessary dissonances.

I may add more ballads this weekend. The Child ballads have always fascinated me, and this is one way for me to research them.


This piece is a combination of field recordings and experimentation with semi-automated arpeggios and chords. Different instruments (hand drum, music box, and Cello) are playing the same set of notes but layered (like urban moss)on top of each other. They are treated with tape loop effects and noise, with a Solina added on top for ambiance.

In the background, some treated Fado singing from a concert at a small bar in Luxembourg and some street noise.

All this may be also a response to the ongoing chaos in the world… Lets all hope, it will be over soon - and we can go back to enjoying the coming spring.

Best wishes to everyone!


Hi, I’m new here but I’m already enjoying making weird prompted sounds. Here is what I wrote about my entry. I tried to make sure I tagged and named everything correctly, let me know if I didn’t.

Events have lasting reverberations in the minds of people who experienced them. They also have ‘anticipations’, effects that occur during their conception, planning, and preparation. To represent the event itself, I chose impulse responses of actual places that could hold an event. I used the actual wav file as a sample. The anticipations are reverbs and delays that have been reversed, and each one is unique to that event. The lasting reverberations are normal reverbs and delays, also unique to each event. At the end there is an anticipation without an event, to represent an event that was planned but not executed.


This one talked to me so I decided to come back to the junto after a while, I was very busy arranging rehearsing for some concerts starting next week that are cancelled due to the corona virus.

I can enjoy my time now, and yesterday I started to work on the basic track of what I’m sharing here, I think it suits the prompt well.

After both my parents died a couple of years ago I had to let go many things, most notably the family house and the bedroom where I lived my first 22 years. It was a thrill to go back to that room to say farewell, the walls were covered with posters, stickers, etc. There were a lot of concert posters glued to the wall that my parents just kept there, along with many concert ticket that I glued over. I wish I could have keep that wall! Filled with memories, there was even a Miles Davis street poster (huge) for a concert in the early 90s that never happened (Miles got ill, cancelled and died)

Then I had to let go my old piano, a century old German beast, with crackles, noises , real ivory and ebony keys and “that sound”…

I recorded a lot on it when I was living there but even in the recent years , when visiting my parents, (although I have a modern piano in my studio) I liked to bring a stereo microphone and do some recording that, when listened 10 thousand kilometres away, instantly bring me back to that piano, that room, and the past.

In this track I worked on a solo piano track I found on an old DAT, recorded at my parents’ house 15 years ago, added some hi pitched notes for the same session/DAT, then I created a pulsating synth arpeggiator and a deep bass, with a lot of subliminal blemishes like noises and interference in the background.



Upright piano, synthesizers.



after nearly twenty years, one of my favourite bands - mr. bungle - reformed and played in san francisco in february. part of me was happy that the long dormant band had reformed. but a selfish part of me was somewhat disgruntled, because i could no longer claim to have been at the last ever mr. bungle live show (nottingham, uk, 2000.09.09)

it was a somewhat tense and bewildering concert, and, about ten years ago, i obtained an audience recording of the show. i still haven’t listened to it from start to end - in some sense, i’m protecting my (imaginative?) memory of the show, not erasing it by hearing “the facts”.

this week’s track is built around a short sample from song three of the live recording from 2000.09.09, “violenza domestica”.

it is called “madeleine” in honour of proust’s heart-breaking “remembrance of things past,” which is the classic exploration of what marc rightly called “the accretion of memories in inanimate objects”.

with love from japan, htnc


Process: Noddling around on the guitar trying to channel the guitarists concerts past. Editing, then reverb, delay, and some granular effects.


I offer up a jazzy bluesy number about death. It’s not so much grief. I had a close loss this year, and I’m still coming to terms with this surrealism of someone no longer being here in body. The idea is that you can touch someone and feel that warmth in their skin one day and then the next, it’s cold.


Already nine pieces. A sign of the times, no doubt. The playlist is now rolling:


I’ve never met Marc. Almost swung by that bar in Dumbo 2 weeks ago but had another thing. But this week he took a picture of a pole and asked us to think about concerts of the past in this turbulent time. And wished us well. And I wish him well also.

Less surprisingly, I’ve also never met Thelonius Monk. In 1959, Wikipedia tells us, he recorded his third solo album “Thelonius Alone in San Francisco” at Fugazi Hall on October 21 and 22, live.

But without an audience.

And recently I’ve been spending time with “Ruby, My Dear”, the second track from the record. It’s a fun item. This week with a friend I just sort of ended up holding onto the chords to really let the voicings become part of my vocabulary.

Those ideas all collided at once this afternoon. And while the resulting reflection on the first 8 bars of Monk’s piece really are pretty far away from the disquiet style and intent, I still thought I would share what I played anyway. So, with a hope that you and yours are safe, I hope you enjoy “A Reflection on Ruby (disquiet0428)”.


This is great. My dad once mentioned in passing he’d seen Thelonious Monk perform live. I asked why he had never told me this. He said, “You never asked.”


Ha! Your comment popped up when I was on the phone with my stepdad, who saw a whole bunch of shows in the 60s-90s. So I asked him if he had ever seen Monk. But nope, he hadn’t.


I recorded a track a few weeks ago, when the coronavirus seemed like a vague and very distant threat. I had imagined a kind of quarantined city, where the underbelly of the city snuck out at night and met under the cover of darkness in smoke filled jazz cafes.
I was inspired by the games Grim Fandango and Kentucky Route Zero for the atmosphere after finding this really nice atmospheric granular piano patch on pigments.
I used natural drum samples from the digitakt for the percussion and @Elisa-room237 spoke. The words are a bit corny but are a bit inspired by William Gibson-esque hurried, paranoid & drugged up futuristic metropolis type dialogue.

When I saw this prompt I had an image of this music I’d made, but as a concert in the distant past, at “the beginning” you could say. And I wanted to remix it in a way to give it a distant and vaguely haunted feel. So I slowed it down by about 8bpm, added some ambience and introduction at the beginning to make it feel more like an actual event that took place. Doubled up tracks with some detuning, used a filter to get a lot more in the mids, drowned it in effects.

I don’t think I entirely achieved what I set out for, it sounds different for sure, but a bit too distorted, muffled and overdriven rather than haunted!

@PopGoblin I love it when the beat kicks in on this, really wasn’t expecting that at all :smiley:


I had an idea to use an older song with an unlikely combination of instruments, but the result sounds like a Gotan Project tune.

I’d experimented with a couple of Latin-themed MIDI files, but this was the one that impressed my son the most.

Although he danced vigorously in the living room, my son refused an invitation to be recorded on video.

So I turned to the Internet Archive and found Sheree’s Tiger Dance worked okay.


My inspiration was the thought of standing in front of the telephone pole imagining the lives of those that were at a concert advertised by a poster that is now gone leaving only small impressions of itself. I tried to create something that reflected that, honoring their experience and their lives.

I think that with the current Coronavirus pandemic causing widespread fear and anxiety, it is important to remember our humanity and remember to value those close to us and also those that aren’t. I didn’t want to do a direct reference to current events in my track, but perhaps a nod to things that bring us together as humans and remind us what it means to live.

Technical things. I used a manipulated guitar sample as a the base of the song. Two notes back and forth, lots of reverb and some filtering. I then used the recorded track and a couple other samples to create some textured drones via stretching and filtering to add mood and atmosphere. Five tracks in all, trying to keep things simple and direct.


The first, obvious and maybe too literal idea that came to mind when reading the email about this weeks "urban moss” project was an audio collage, a collection of pop songs smeared and layered one on top of the other representing the music of all bands who’s posters were placed on this poll. When I read the email I had a live set open in front of me that I had been working on the previous day which included, among other things, an instance of “Arcade” from Output as well as tracks receiving the audio of my Elektron Digitakt. I decided to work from that set but the clear pulse and rhythm that was suggested felt at first contrary to what this “collage” might sound like until I saw this pulse as simply a backdrop - the unstoppable, persistent passing of time. The elements that are non rhythmic came from various sources including but not limited to bits and pieces of “Outlawed” from my friend Gabe Hascall’s forthcoming record “Thousands of Thorns”, and a recording of my daughter singing Tom Waites’ “The Briar and the Rose” when she was 3 which I processed beyond recognition. As the piece took shape I began to imagine the emptiness and loneliness of this poll that once served as a conduit not only for electrical signals but for direct human communication. The music that those fliers represented, degraded, distorted and washed out by the sun, wind and rain remain now, in the subconscious of this inanimate being, a king of haunting, a reminder only of the frailties and fallibility of memory.



Photo courtesy of yoyo dy.

Inspired by the documentary “We Call it Techno” and the 10 day tour of Germany I did in 1996 with Mark Gage of Vapourspace performing his Cusp album.

The core audio for this piece is from the first integrated synthesizer I have bought in over 25 years - an Arturia Microfreak, using the noise oscillator.


As I’m sure is the case for a lot of folks, last week was…well, hectic. I was interstate for work and getting home to Adelaide on Friday the 13th (heh, heh) was a tad stressful. My employer (CSIRO) had gone into partial lockdown with the threat posed by Covid-19, and aiming to get us home before imposed travel restrictions came into effect was a bit intense. That, and staying safe on the flight back.

I’m ok. Very tired and feeling a little under the weather, but ok. I’m in self-isolation from work for the next week or two and working from out of my studio.

So, in order to get my mind off this stuff I’m glad there are things like the weekly Junto to refocus my energies. <3

I ran an AM radio station (oldies 50/60’s stuff) through my Eurorack setup, with its signal largely affected by a filter and a 4MS DLD. I wanted to emulate a couple of long tape loops that could be added/subtracted to. In addition, a sequencer created a random pattern of tones. I did several takes of this, so as to create layers of radio and tones.

Over this, I added some synth and piano, intuitively following cues I heard from the patterns in the radio and tone layers. An iphone recording of water flowing closes out the track.

I like challenges like this that have a poetic association with accumulated (and decayed) memory. I think my experiences of being in between mental and physical spaces this past week certainly had an effect on how I approached this too.