Disquiet Junto Project 0441: Three Stones

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.


Stones have a history and stones have a memory. Three small stones from the Tyrolean Alps, broken off from the mountain, hiked down the slope, fallen into the water or thrown into the water, lying in the water, moved by the current, sanded, shaped. In their form, their history has sedimented. The memory of water is inscribed in these stones, even if they are transported to a city without mountains and without a river, to a city standing on sandy soil in the lowlands. Shape, smoothness and roughness, heaviness, all these properties of the stones reflect their memory and at the same time determine their sound. Sound and memory are in this way related to each other. The piece tries to explore this memory of the water, sealed in the stone, which has migrated from the water of the mountain stream into the dry sand of the lowlands. The three stones are used as sound objects, they are rubbed against and thrown on several materials like concrete, metal, tense canvas and the wooden resonant body of an acoustic guitar. The acoustic memory of running water is generated by electronic manipulations of these stone sounds. This creates a certain degree of alienation, which resonates the strangeness of the migrated stones in the stone- and waterless environment. The stones’ environmental memory is rendered audible.

Migrierte Steine (Erinnerungen ans Wasser) [disquiet0441]

Steine haben eine Geschichte und Steine haben ein Gedächtnis. Drei kleine Steine aus den Tiroler Alpen, vom Berg abgebrochen, den Hang herab gewandert, ins Wasser gefallen oder ins Wasser geworfen worden, im Wasser gelegen, von der Strömung bewegt, geschliffen, geformt. In ihrer Form hat sich ihre Geschichte sedimentiert. Die Erinnerung ans Wasser tragen diese Steine mit sich, auch wenn sie in eine Stadt ohne Berge und ohne Fluss, in eine auf Sandboden stehende Stadt in der Tiefebene verbracht wurden. Form, Glätte und Rauigkeit, Schwere, all das ist Träger der Erinnerung des Steins und zugleich klangbestimmend. Klang und Erinnerung stehen auf diese Weise in Relation zueinander. Um diese im Stein, der aus dem Wasser des Gebirgsbachs in den trockenen Sand der Tiefebene migriert ist, verschlossene Erinnerung ans Wasser geht es im Stück. Die drei Steine werden als Klangobjekte verwendet durch Reibung und Aufprall auf Beton, Metall, gespannter Leinwand und dem hölzernen Resonanzkörper einer akustischen Gitarre. Die akustische Erinnerung an das fließende Wasser wird durch elektronische Manipulation dieser Steinklänge generiert. Dadurch entsteht ein gewisser Grad an Verfremdung, wodurch auch die Fremdheit der migrierten Steine in der stein- und wasserlosen Umgebung mitschwingt. Das Umweltgedächtnis der Steine wird hörbar gemacht.


Hey All, I did something with some of the tracks this week. It is kind of my Sunday Morning ritual. Thanks to the guys making their tracks available. Credits in the description on sound cloud. Peace, Hugh


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.

Now 1 is kind of easy I live at the edge of the English Lake District. Mountains and Sea. I picked up Three River stones on Saturday on our wanderings and was thinking about 2. People tend to think about the Lake District as a natural landscape but of course nothing could be further from the truth. First of all when Stone Age and then Iron Age man arrived here it was covered in trees. Those people set to work in the landscape right away - not just clearing but also working the stone. High in the Langdale valley is a place where green stone axes were made. They seem to have been ceremonial and have been found all over Europe. In Queen Elizabeth the first’s time Copper and Silver were mined here. Slate has been an export for a long time too. As we head towards the coast the abundance of Iron Ore helped the burgeoning ship building trade blossom.

So: Industrial Beauty……

A video and a recording


I really enjoyed that, @junklight. Great to have some background to the piece as well. I’ve always found the Lake District to be quite mysterious and it was nice to learn a bit more about it through your piece. Especially enjoyed the violent, eruptives sections.


@mode.analogue: This is a wonderful piece of work with so many layers undergoing iterative developments. I enjoy those pronounced resonances throughout and the obscured watery sounds. Great balance of foregrounded actions and the ambience of the field recordings too!

@Ausgesuchtestenohren: An excellent, explorative piece. Lots of granular layers of detail. It reminded me quite a bit of Bernard Parmegiani’s 1984 work, La Création du monde - a similar exploration of migrated forms, collective memory and things coming in to being; whilst conversely coming apart too. :slight_smile:


Three scoria stones from the bottom of our garden. Recorded scraping and banging together with a shotgun microphone.

The resultant track was sliced in Ableton Live’s Simpler, twice, with different transient percentages for each. Then two instances of HATEFISh RhyGenerator each with four separate rhythms and notes were applied. A sample of this was then PaulStreched 21 times and used to underly the original rhythm. Two sends were used for some of the tracks, Eventide Crystal on one and Valhalla SuperMassive on another.

The effect I was going for was the simultaneous bubbling of lava and the slow movement of the earth.


The rocks on the hill behind our house are quiet and also bellowing. We chose three of them – two not much larger than a hand, the third a rock face (we live among old hills in a place that has known many names, climates, worlds and ages). In reflecting on the idea of these stones and their relationship to place, we imagined the immensity of time and the mysterious bubbling and shifting that brought these stones from the roots of mountains millions of years ago to where they now sit: upon a small moss-and-fern-covered lookout.

We wanted to explore a few ideas:

  1. Place is always changing; so is our relationship to these stones (as pieces of earth, as things of beauty, as sound tools, etc.).
  2. The sound of the stones moving against one another suggests these old and moving relationships, but also calls them out as (literally) superficial. Our perceptions of the rocks – their sonic capacity, their histories, their depth – are not truth; rather, they are attempts to make sense of things based on reference points and ideas that we carry with us as a relatively young species.
  3. The place that these rocks inhabit is ancient but is also present. We don’t shy away from this, and add our own sounds to the experiment.

All sounds by Simon Neufeld and Judith Klassen (The Land).


At the seashore of the Côte d’Azur (France) you rarely have a sandy beach, most of the time you have pebble beaches. With every wave the pebbles make an unsurpassable and characteristic noise. Sadly I never managed to field record this sound, due to windy noises, general vacation lazyness, forgotten recorders, empty batteries …

So this track is a mixture of field recordings from the Côte d’Azur (waves and voices) and around 20 samples of three stones (from those pebble beaches), recorded today for this track. Rhythmic parts have been looped in Ableton and some non-rhythmic samples have been mangled by a granular sampler, which created a sound that was sometimes astonishingly close to the original.


As part of this weeks Junto project 0441 I have created the following track uploaded here: https://soundcloud.com/blackbody_radiation/bb_r_disquiet0441
This project grabbed my attention, for lots of reasons, and as I live in the vicinity of the Listening station described in my upload I decided to make this composition. The piece is a combination of field recordings and process based improvisations. I look forward to hearing any feedback from the community and to listening to the many other contributions.
Kind regards,
3 stones hanger



The three stones in the photo I found on a beach near Nice, France. Entire beaches of these stones make the most incredible music when waves recede and the piles of stones tumble against each other. A recording of such stones was processed in Supercollider so that filters could be used to pick up specific parts of the sound spectrum made solely by the tumbling stones along with the waves. This causes the drone texture. The only additional sounds were generated by the odd piano or guitar note added.


This work is made from three stones taken from the shingle coastland surrounding Dungeness Nuclear Power Station, and a recording of the sea in its shadow.

Each stone was first recorded hitting the other. The sound of the stones’ impact is then triggered and filtered using randomly modulating repetitions, echoing the ‘click’ of a Geiger counter’s audio readout as it detects each randomly emitted particle of radiation.

Each stone was also scanned using Virtual ANS, to generate the technical, ominous texture you hear at 1:00, 2:00 and 2:55. A reminder that the station is now inactive after an inspection in 2018 found dangerous levels of corrosion classified as a level 2 incident on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

Inspiration also came from ‘Music for Pieces of Wood’ by Steve Reich and ‘Rock Piece’ by Pauline Oliveros.


Took a walk in a local park till I found some rocks to record. I took a fairly straightforward approach being short on time this week putting together a beat with the rock samples in Caustic on iphone. The background drones were the same samples extremely time stretched.


For this assignment, I gathered three rocks from the nearby Seattle City Light right-of-way. This is now a corridor for high-tension power lines that is popular with dog walkers, but from 1910 to 1939 it was the route of the Seattle-Everett Interurban Railway. My intent was to somehow represent the railway underfoot and the electricity flickering overhead.

I recorded the rocks using my Shbobo Shnth’s built-in mic and 8-bit ADC. Using Numerology Pro within Ableton Live, I created an erratic train rhythm.

I attempted to portray high voltage by creating quantized MIDI clips using Reaktor’s Skrewell ensemble fed through the WIDI audio-to-midi VST. These were used to play a drum rack filled with clicky rock samples fed through Dieter Zobel’s WabbelEcho ensemble.


I picked up three stones of different sizes and appearance and tried to play around with them a little bit to have a varied range of sounds. Then I isolated these sounds in different groups and put them in ableton to make kind of rhythms and loops with them. At that point I was a little lost about what to do next, as I felt that it was walking the line between more abstract sounds and whatever makes a song, and I did not want to necessarily go into either side. I started playing the violin then, trying to focus more on the sounds that I was producing rather than structure, but then had to do several edits to give it some cohesion. If I had one more day, I would like to keep working on it to polish the violin part and make it more abstract, and less of a song. But it was really fun to work on it and to be thinking about these things. I can’t wait to listen to the whole playlist.


Im trying to upload my tracks for Disquiet0441. This is my first time on this forum and I do not know how to get them posted. they are on SoundCloud. Thanks for any advice

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Hi. The easiest way is to copy and paste the URL of there SoundCloud track. That usually automatically becomes an embedded player.

stones often appear on the carpet just inside the front door - sometimes they seem too big to be carried in underfoot
i tend to pop them in plant pots to retain moisture
i dont know where they come from but stones never seem to have a distinct point of origin to me; they’re just part of the earth

these three stones are played through protoplasm (w/ hornet chorus, ddly, ambient reverb) midi from magenta generate, pitched right down in places
the original recording is stretched over the course of the track using low quality tempo change in audacity

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Hi all, thank you so much to Marc @disquiet for doing another round of collaborations with the festival. I’m looking forward to be digging through the entries and discussions over the next couple of days!

For those who are interested, the Musikfestival Bern is a festival for conteporary music of all epochs. Have a look at www.musikfestivalbern.ch - parts of the website are available in English. If you need to reach me, feel free to also write to t.reber@musikfestivalbern.ch, @tobiasreber on Twitter or facebook.com/tobias.reber on Facebook.


Thanks for the beautiful documentation! Heard it on Soundcloud first without this context and already loved the tube sound on this progression.