When this weeks Disquiet email came in, I was sitting at my kitchen table listening to the oddly dissonant drone my fridge was making. I decided that I’d sample that sound, manipulate it somehow and use it as the basis for this weeks project. I recorded some other sounds, kids toys, my kids, finger drumming a tin of drinking chocolate, and processed these sounds in Logic Pro. Added drum loops, found percussion and vocals. The initial structure had a “surprise” in the middle, with a symmetrical first part and last part. As the track evolved it became more lopsided.
Well, this one came to me in a dream last night!
I was sitting in a darkened theatre. A round of sorts with elevated seating looking down upon a circular wooden stage, with a single globe illuminating the centre. Although I sensed there was an audience there, I felt as if I was the only one present. Music came from beyond the stage and a female dancer tentatively took the stage. She danced awkwardly (yet beautifully) for only a couple of minutes before visibly fading from the stage - like she was being crossfaded out of a moving picture. The music continued to play on indefinitely.
So, to realise this I created a modular patch for an accompaniment to play over the top of. I’d like to think that the accompaniment is the music I heard in the space, whilst the bits played over the top is the dancer. For the ‘dancer’, I used three patches from my iOS Mellotron app interfaced with a Korg microkey.
As a sidenote, lately I’ve been really enjoying routing signals through my Moog ring modulator whilst controlling some parameters (e.g. modulation mix/LFO rate) with slow LFOs from the modular. The ring mod’s got such wonderful warmth and ripples sounds so beautifully.
And the playlist is now rolling:
A choral meditation, with horns and hiphop beat added in the middle, rounded out with Hauptwerk virtual organ.
At the moment there are over one and a half million confirmed cases of Americans contracting COVID-19, and within a few days the death count will reach 100,000.
However, at the center of everything is a leader with a serious psychological condition that demands him to be at the center of everything.
Accordingly, a Trombone with limited vocabulary is challenged by a Clarinet attempting to inject logic, only to be ignored by a chorus of sycophants. America is living under occupation.
Individual 1 (Living Under Occupation) was written for Clarinet, Trombone, Harpsichord, Accordion, and Chorus of Sycophants.
Hey All, My desktop that runs my set up is in repair so I am taking this time to reconfigure my set up but I gave it a shot on my old laptop. When I saw “special” I immediately thought of 38 Special and one of my favorite guitar riffs. The middle part could be a lot longer but I will spare you guys. Hope all are well.
I am on a real roll with the Junto lately! These projects have required just the right amount of time and mental commitment for my creative resources lately - which is to say “not too much” - and so while more involved projects have been taking a back-burner, it’s been nice to have a series of small, quick little tasks to keep from going completely dormant.
So: this week I interpreted the instructions using the “as I choose to” method, and decided to define “very center” as “heart”. At the heart of this track is a looped snippet from an old cassette I found this week - I used it back in 2001 or 2002 to record a song on a 4-track recorder with my wife based on our wedding text. We were living in a new city, in our first apartment together, in the first years of our marriage, and so yeah, that’s special.
I digitized the cassette into Reaper using a regular cassette deck, two tracks at a time (the second 2 tracks imported in reverse and then flipped). Then the audio was sped up to get almost back to the original speed and pitch (but not quite), and then I created a loop.
Around this special center, I have added a stack of free granular plugins from soundhack. And in the temporal center I added an extra excerpt from the recording.
“Continual activity and excitement seem to me a true perception of the nature of things,” said poet Kenneth Koch. “Because everything is always changing and turning into something else, and, as we’re sitting here talking, monkeys are jumping around in the trees, and waves are going across the Hudson, and new poets are being born, and covers are coming off books—I mean, all sorts of things are going on.”
We think of quarantine as a time of stasis and repose. Suss Müsik imagines something quite the opposite, however: small quarks of nervous energy, found in rooms inhabited by the impatient and restless. Carpets worn threadbare due to constant pacing; the passing of ambiguous deadlines; a flurry of activity in all directions without a compass.
The term Poka Yoke is a Japanese term used in manufacturing since the early 1960’s. Literally meaning “mistake-proofing,” the intention is to eliminate defects in production in order to prevent human errors from occurring. One imagines the chaos that ensues when the constraints fail and behavior can no longer takes its shape: the well-oiled machines break down. Covers get torn off books.
That’s how Suss Müsik approached this week’s Disquiet Junto. A cyclical counterpoint of organ, malfunctioning CR-78 and fake woodwinds provides a background for simple piano chords. When the rhythm is disrupted, all hell breaks loose. Everything comes back together, eventually, but not before we hear a passage of Numachi, a short story written by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa on the theme of insanity.
The piece was played live and recorded quickly to 8-track, minus one overdub for the text.
“I immediately thought of 38 Special,” is probably the most unexpectedly awesome thing ever written in a Disquiet Junto description.
The center of all is our search for the reason of existence, and language is our tool, and language is breathing. We inhale the world to understand it, and if you can’t breathe, you will stop talking and it will be the end of comprehension …
Does anything I write here make any sense? OK, maybe I was simply in love with the CC0 recording https://freesound.org/people/felix.blume/sounds/117470/ from Felix Blume and wanted to use it (again). Listen to it! It’s really something special
source material: fieldrecordings. manipulated with a custom algorithmic composition/transformation software.
Granular samples played in Mangl. Sequence from Less concepts. Field recording by myself.
Lo-fi by Less concepts > Sanyo 2 speed dictaphone.
My first Junto, hopefully I got everything right in the soundcloud post
I thought about this prompt for a while and realized that I was missing my happy place at the center of me due to these weird times. So this recording was a fun effort to center myself in a happy place. Sunny lofi pop music made in Ableton Live 10. Enjoy!
For a while now I had the idea of playing with a shimmer reverb, so I took this assignment as the opportunity to create a single harmony of overtones on a Solina that ran through the reverb, to hide as the central point. Then I added the parts before and after, where it builds towards the ground tone. Added some simple phased bass and some drums that glitch. After listening to it after some time, I also embedded some noise in the mid section because somehow it seemed to pop up in my head every time at that place.
Oh, and the track art is done by taking the spectrum of the midsection and turning it into a vortex with depth of field in Touchdesigner
I love both the dream scene and the music. For me, the slightly buzzy-metallic distortions are extremely pleasing to listen to.
i like to hide stuff in the murk
i used performance rnn to gradually resolve to clear piano and then blur out again
with paulstretch to the middle and the sliding time stretch in audacity on the way out
i’ve run out of free downloads on bandcamp because (i’m very happy to say) my music’s being archived by the british library
My second effort here. As noted before I’m participating in an effort to work under deadline. Three days may seem a lot for some, but I probably average 2 months to finish a track. Last time I made a track in an hour and I was highly dissatisfied with the result. But it was a good start. I’m a lot happier with this, though I spent several hours over 2 days working on it. To the point where I’m just tired of it. These are the issues I need to work on.
Thank you! I’m glad it was pleasing to listen to.
More on this 438th weekly Disquiet Junto project, Disquiet Junto Project 0438: Deep Plan — The Assignment: Compose a piece of music in which something special is situated at the very center — at:
Clever, that u-turn.