Disquiet Junto Project 0441: Three Stones

Disquiet Junto Project 0441: Three Stones
The Assignment: Make music that explores territory sonically.

This project is the first of three that are being done over the course of as many months in collaboration with the 2020 Musikfestival Bern, which will be held in Switzerland from September 2 through 6 under the motto “Tektonik” (“Tectonics”). For this reason, a German translation is provided below. We are working at the invitation of Tobias Reber, an early Junto participant, who is in charge of the educational activities of the festival. This is the second year in a row that the Junto has collaborated with Musikfestival Bern. Select recordings resulting from these three Disquiet Junto projects will be played on a listening booth at the Steinatelier on September 5, as well as being aired on Radio RaBe (rabe.ch), an in independent local radio station partnering with the festival.

Step 1: Find three stones from one location.

Step 2: Consider how the stones can be thought to connect (physically, historically, culturally, psychologically) with where they originated, with a sense of region, of place, of terroir.

Step 3: Record source audio from the stones identified in Step 1.

Step 4: Compose and record a piece of music with the sounds from Step 3 exploring the ideas from Step 2.

Seven More Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0441” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0441” (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 tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your tracks in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:


Step 5: Annotate your tracks 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, June 15, 2020, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

Length: The length is up to you.

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0441” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, 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: It is always best to set 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 441st weekly Disquiet Junto project, Disquiet Junto Project 0441: Three Stones — Make music that explores territory sonically — at:


This is the first of three projects in collaboration with Musikfestival Bern 2020 which will take place in Bern, Switzerland, from September 2 to 6. More on the festival 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. Thanks, @TobiasReber, for the collaboration.



I recorded this piece using sea glass that I found on the beach near my apartment. I dropped each stone into glass containers set on top of a drum and onto a guitar while my wife played a drone on a keyboard.



I’m excited to dig into “How To Read Nancy” which I got recently. First thing I thought of when I saw the project for this week!


My process for this track was first to create a tape loop and record percussive and scraping sounds using three stones that originate from the pictured quarry known as Anglezarke quarry.
‘Anglezarke’ originates from old Norse and translates to ‘Anlaf’s hill pasture’. It is located in Lancashire UK.

I wonder how many people have a favourite hill ? This one is mine :slight_smile:

Snapshots of these loops were transferred into Mangl. The sounds were then modulated further and performance played to make this recording.

Edit: Uploaded a different take, with novation circuit > Norns for more control over params


I’ve used a recording I made last week at Pindari, where Alan Lamb and Scott Baker built an instrument known as ‘the wires’ for the 2004 Unsound Festival.

My partner and I worked with Alan for the 2006 Unsound Festival, and I’ve recorded ‘the wires’ since then and trimmed trees to ensure they continue to hum.

Last week ‘the wires’ weren’t humming, as it was very still.

You can hear the long decay from touching ‘the wires’ and I’ve created a piece of music that aims to slow their back-and-forth hum even more.

My idea was to create a sense of the geological change that revealed and distributed the granite boulders on the hilltop outside Wagga Wagga.


A stone hits the contact microphone, triggering the vocoder which reveals a glimpse of harmony. A vacuum tube overdrive is increasingly corroding the sound. In the second part is a classic jazz trio arrangement builds on top of the this foundation. Until is erodes away itself.

Some gentle synth noodling over the beginning takes the edge off. It takes on the bass role in the second half.


The stones were gathered by me in July 2018 just outside of Badlands National Park. The White River Badlands in South Dakota are bizarre. It’s plateaus of soft sediment and volcanic ash layered with colorful flat-lying strata. Over 75 million years the sand, silt, and clay, mixed and interbedded with volcanic ash, stacked up, layer upon flat-lying layer, until the pile was thousands of feet deep. The individual beds erode separately, giving this unique view as if the mountains were blocky. But they erode quickly, over an inch per year.


In my approach, I wanted to convey how erosion is making it increasingly hard to see the message. The meaning corrodes. Hence the use of the contact microphone and the vocoder hiding the harmonies of the Subharmonicon. The more time passes, the more the signal is distorted, but you can still look for and find beauty in it. You can still build on it. Even if just for a short while.


The playlist is now rolling:


I found three large stones from our backyard, recently excavated from a clean up in the yard to make space for a new veggie patch. Lately I’ve been drawn to the sound of cascades through riverine and creek tributaries. I especially enjoy the barely-there melodies that one can hear when a creek is flowing very discretely. This year I made several recordings at Carrickalinga Creek during the summer, when the flow of the water is minimal. Whatever water passes around, between and through rocks is amplified and coloured by the resonance of rock formations and their apertures. As opposed to striking or sounding the rocks, I thought it might be interesting to create my own cascade at home with a resonant aperture formed using the three large rocks I found in the backyard.

I positioned them in our bathtub and then placed a microphone inside the aperture. Then, with the plug in place (I didn’t want the resonance of the drain to feature) I ran the water gently near the rock formation to capture the discrete resonance of this little space I had made with the rocks. Over the course of the recording I slowly turned the tap off, so the flow of the water is reduced to drips followed by the faint ‘ping’ of the springs inside the tap itself.

I’m not entirely sure how successful the recording is, but I like the poetic nature of the idea behind it. I think it also reflects aspects of being so home-bound during the pandemic period and somewhat removed from nature and the wider world. In that respect, I guess you could regard the piece as a simulacra of nature, transposed to the confines of domestic space.


The Walrus was Tabu.


This piece is mainly composed of edited and mangled samples of 3 rocks bouncing off each other this morning, near the coast of Øresund. I’ve added a small chord progression and some effects (Valhalla Supermassive reverb and some filtering). An interesting resonant effect is gotten by doing a massive stretch (PaulStretch for anyone who cares) of a rock sliding of another.


For this project I decided to look for the 3 stones as nearby as I could possibly find them: within my home. One stone was a large chunk of amethyst I found on a nearby bookshelf. Another was a small polished stone with the “Om” symbol carved in it that sits on my desk. The third was a rectangular cut and polished cabochon of jasper with a tiny hole drilled in it, obtained for a craft project.

I started by making several recordings of the stones striking one another and of their surfaces rubbing together. I also tied a string through the cabochon and recorded the sound as it struck and drug across the surface of the amethyst crystals.

From these recordings I selected a sample which I pitched up several octaves until it sounded musical. This sample was then used in a sample player that manipulated its sound as I played a short sequence of musical notes that were repeated throughout the length of the track.


Suss Müsik found three flat, smooth stones. They stack quite nicely into a pillar, which brought to mind the “stone town” of Kuklica.

Located near Kratovo in North Macedonia (about 260 kilometers northwest of Thessaloniki), the Stone Town of Kuklica is an area consisting of over 120 naturally formed stone pillars. The pillars are the result of natural erosion in volcanic rock over the past 100,000 years.

The most famous legend explaining the pillars’ formation is about a man who couldn’t decide which of two women he should marry. He planned to marry each woman on the same day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. (Suss Müsik recommendation: don’t do this.) While the first wedding was in progress, the second woman showed up in a rage. She cursed all the attendees and turned them into stone, where they stand today.

For this piece, Suss Müsik sought to capture the moment at which a wedding becomes a petrification event. An array of “hits” using the three found stones were converted into random patterns using a grain synthesizer, then compiled into a more coherent rhythm. The piece concludes with a few somber piano chords. The vocal melody is a distressed field recording of “Ave Maria” sung in Greek.

The piece is titled Kuklica and was recorded live to digital 8-track.


I didn’t want to go too far from home so I stayed in the local community. I got one rock from right by my house and two from slightly further afield (in the middle of the night).

As is the case for sample based challenges I wanted to only use the samples as source material. In this case the recordings are only of my tapping and scraping the rocks together, and in one case sliding then down a piece of wood. The samples are mostly intact apart from filtering with some looped. The melodic one is also a looped sound of two rocks being scraped together.

Overall I’m not sure I achieved what I was aiming for in that: without extensive manipulation of the samples, taking samples in which the rocks aren’t a central part, or introducing other material… I didn’t get the sounds I wanted. I worked within these limitations, but the similar tone of all rock impacts meant the mix didn’t quite work. Having said all that the result sound okay. Thanks for another fun project!



The source material for this track is based on percussive recordings of three stones I collected from around the railroad tracks near my place of employment.


Trilateral Masonry
• Key: Ab BPM: 40 Time signature: 4/4 DAW: Reaper
• Instruments: n/a
• Plug-ins: Waves metaflanger, Cockos reverbate
• Hit three stones together to create a 13 measure rhythm
• Added a reversed copy of the original on track
• Added automated reverb to a third copy of the original
• Added an automated flanger to a fourth copy of the original


Growing up on near the coast, i have long been captivated by bits of sea glass - they hold some weird, ambiguous, place in my heart - and seem a productive phenomena to think about time with; once useful things carelessly abandoned to the elements, once sharp things rendered smooth, once entirely fabricated things approximating the natural once again. And the colours! Frosty whites, evocative blues and turquoises, greens both pale and deep, browns suggesting booze, coincidentally suggesting seaweed… would that all our waste could be rendered so innocuous and casually beautiful…

so, yeah, i chose to work with three pieces of sea glass; not technically stones i guess? but, the way i figure it, the sand that made the glass was once rock, and these pieces, sea and sand-worn are, if not rocks, then, uh, rock adjacent? & they have all been collected from the coast of North East England…

i had intended to make something smoother, more gauze-y - i guess i may yet, as these are pleasing samples to my ears - but i ended up rather liking the the scrape and chip of the ~eight minutes i recorded fiddling about with the three most appealing pieces near the top of the jar i keep these things in on my windowsill. There’s a varying amount of granular delay at play here - a quintessential smoothing/eroding effect to my mind - but that aside there’s no real effects added bar some eq-ing and compression; most everything else is cut & splice; where it gets weird - that strange digi-brittle & rumble - is just me playing games with playback speed in the main - micro universes extruded from dragging things out and out again. I felt justified in using rain recorded yesterday morning, 'cause [a] i reallly like rain & [b] it’s a way of including the water than formed these odd pieces of glass in the first place… heading to the beach didn’t appeal yesterday - it was raining - & anyway, waves and sea seemed a little too on the nose, i figured…


While contemplating the three stones, I had a vision suddenly of three rocks out there in space: Venus, Earth and Mars. What do they sound like? I thought about their individual periods around the sun and how they together create a heavily syncopated beat. Their surface temparatures and overall color scheme had me transcode that to sound frequencies, combined with different colored noise for each planet, filtered in a tempo resembling their turning on their axes. The earth comes close and life comes through, in radio noises and signals. Somehow this feels like there is still much to discover, but here is a start.


this is ¶radio hummingbird’s contribution to this week’s disquiet junto with the serial number 0441. in short, the requirement for this contribution was to create a piece of music from three stones collected for this specific reason.

i am lucky enough to currently live in a city laying alongside a majestic river. this extremely busy waterway is generally referred to as the river rhine. coincidentally, the city of bern can be reached from here by traveling along this course and up one of its major tributaries called “aare”.
conversely, it is therefore entirely possible that one of the stones collected by me on the local riverbank for this occasion has traveled its way downstream from the alpine mountain ranges of switzerland. past the city of bern. through germany and france until it reached the city of cologne just to be further flushed forward on its long journey to the sea. along its way it will have been ground smooth. broken apart multiple times. crushed and crumbled. and one day, after centuries of struggling, it will have reached its final destination. laying dormant on the bottom of the ocean it will one day, far in the future, be one little particle of gigantic beds of rock formed anew from what would have been mountain ranges in the past. the cycle is complete and new pieces of stone will start traveling down newly formed river beds to be crushed and ground to small pieces of sand to eventually form a new type of rock again far in the future…

this sound collage is supposed to capture the endless journey of rock on top of this planet. i used three stones collected and recorded me handling them through several looping devices onto cassette tapes. this created beautiful feedback layers which added richness to the sound. whilst playing back these tape loops, i also played back two field recordings i captured on the location i collected the stones from. furthermore i created new loops with the stones using two ditto loopers together with an additional delay pedal whilst arranging all playing tapes alongside. the result is what you can hear in this track.

a daw or computers were only used for a little mastering in ableton live. easy.

please enjoy and listen loud.